Once and for all: eliminating the myth of the “Gaydar”

Businessman Thinking

The term “Gaydar” describes a type of sixth sense that identifies LGBT, but in practice relies largely on prejudice, and William Cox of the Department of Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is fed up with studies proving that LGBT can be detected remotely. Cox publishes his findings in a new article, refuting those studies that have tried to prove that there is such a thing as a “Gaydar” – and it is accurate

The term “Gaydar,” which first appeared in America in the 1980s, is Gay Vardar’s bases. The intention here is a kind of sixth sense, which reveals whether the man or woman opposite is gay or lesbian. Labeling of lesbians and gay men camouflages itself with the friendly term “Gaydar”, but “Gaydar”, like any other form of guessing, is largely based on prejudices.

William Cox of the Department of Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is fed up with studies that prove LGBT, especially gays and lesbians, can be identified from afar in an article published in The Conversation. Cox publishes his findings and refutes these studies.

To prove this scientifically, Cox and his colleagues have conducted research to prove that what is called “Gaydar” is nothing more than a disguise. In the first experiment, they went out to check whether people who usually do not tag others would also label gay people if they were convinced they had a so-called “Gaydar.” The experiment was divided into three groups. For the first time, they explained at length why “Gaydar” is a real ability to imbibe us to identify LGBT, the other explained that Gidar is another form of labeling, and the third went directly to the test without introduction.

The subjects were asked to determine from a pool of gay and non-gay men, based on information allegedly taken from social networks. The information included interests (or “nicknames”) divided into two types: stereotypes, such as sports and cars for straight or shopping and theater for gays, and “neutral” interests unrelated to stereotypes such as books or films. Compared with the control group, the group that was told that there was such a thing Gaydar used more tagging, while those who were told that Gaydar is another form of labeling – tagged less than all.

But what if my Gaydar really is accurate?
Some researchers thought there was a grain of truth in the blogging, and to prove it, they showed pictures, audio clips, and videos of straight men and gay men to subjects who would be sorted by gay and straight. Of all the images, half of them were gay and the other half were heterosexuals. In such a case, an adjustment of more than half of the responses in the subjects will indicate high levels of accuracy. The results of the study showed that the subjects were sorted correctly in 60% of the cases, thus proving the existence of a precise “Gaydar”. Yes, but … not exactly

In the real world statistics look completely different. Statistically, 3-8% of older men will identify as homosexual. That leaves us with 97% heterosexual. Now, if people know 60% correctly, it means that in 40% of cases they misidentify. So we’ll think about 40% of gay stereotypes in a world where 93% are straight. A sample of 100 men and 38 heterosexuals will be considered gay, while only three gay men will be correctly identified. That it’s a lot of gay people who do not sleep with men. So even if someone looks gay, the likelihood is that he is probably very straight.

Stereotypes or labels are problematic for all sorts of reasons. They can justify discrimination or oppression, they encourage us to judge people before we know them, and we know that they can cause depression and mental health problems in the people they target. To encourage labeling behind a concept like “Gaydar”, ultimately contributes to the unpleasant consequences of stereotypes. If you have ever been disappointed that your “Gaydar” is a fake, instead of guessing on the basis of dress or speech, you should simply ask.


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