Conservatives and Liberals: Who Has Better Gaydar?
By Christopher Rudolph
Originally published on Advocate.com March 22 2013 6:40 PM ET
A new study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology sought to answer whether conservatives or liberal have better gaydar. A group of research subjects were asked to decide whether people were gay or straight just by looking at their face. After they made their decisions, they were asked their political views. “Thus emerged evidence that conservatives, but not liberals, tend to rate more ‘feminine’ male faces — e.g., having high cheekbones or a more slender face — as gay,” said the study, “conservatives also made up their minds about an individual's sexual preference much more quickly than liberals did, overall — again, relying on nothing more than facial features.”
In the end it was revealed that both political parties used their gut reactions to stereotype using facial features, but it was the liberals who made the gut reaction, and then used a thought process to step away from the stereotype. To negate the thought process the study was ran again, this time with one major difference: “This time around, roughly half of the test subjects were required to remember a bit of gibberish —’7T4$RF%’— and type it in after every five faces that they saw. It took up thinking bandwidth — and when thus distracted, liberals behaved just as the conservatives had in the first study. Now, they too relied on gender stereotypes to decide whether individuals were gay or straight.”
Once all parties were made to think between seeing the faces, they resulted in basically the same conclusion, that everyone makes snap judgements about their sexuality based on the look of their face. It appears gaydar is bipartisan.