Bil Browning

Gaydar reduced to body language?

Filed By Bil Browning | September 04, 2007 11:01 AM | comments

Filed in: Living, The Movement
Tags: body movement, gaydar, psychology, science, studies

SKT_057.jpgA recently released study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology claims to have partially unlocked the secrets of "gaydar." While the study isn't very in depth and leaves quite a bit of unanswered questions, it does pose some interesting possibilities.

The study claims that when looking at the walking stride (specifically the rear ends) of both straight and gay men and women, respondents can choose the queers with an overall accuracy rate higher than chance (60% for men, not so high for women). The study claims that "the gay subjects tended to have more gender-incongruent body types than their straight counterparts." Specifically, lesbians tended to swagger with their shoulders and men swayed their hips. They did jump to a conclusion that I didn't even think of though... I can't wait to see how SLDN will use this in their work!

"Studies like ours are raising questions about the value of the military's 'don't ask, don't tell' policy," Johnson said. "If casual observers can determine sexual orientation with minimal information, then the value in concealing this information certainly appears questionable. Given that we all appear to be able to deduce this information to some degree with just a glance, more comprehensive policies may be required to protect gays against discrimination based on their sexual orientation."

The findings also are part of mounting evidence suggesting that sexual orientation may actually be what social scientists call a "master status category," or a defining characteristic that observers cannot help but notice and which has been scientifically shown to color all subsequent social dealings with others.

Leave a comment

We want to know your opinion on this issue! While arguing about an opinion or idea is encouraged, personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please be respectful of others.

The editorial team will delete a comment that is off-topic, abusive, exceptionally incoherent, includes a slur or is soliciting and/or advertising. Repeated violations of the policy will result in revocation of your user account. Please keep in mind that this is our online home; ill-mannered house guests will be shown the door.

Eric Georgantes | September 4, 2007 12:13 PM

Oddly enough, I noticed that about myself. I was at work, and the windows in the front give a full reflection when it is late and dark out. I was walking towards the front, and something just struck me. I suddenly noticed how I was walking, so I went back, started walking towards the front again and I was still doing the slight hip swaying thing.

I didn't even realize that I had been doing it. Has anyone else had that or something similar happen to them?

I always walk on my tiptoes (my mom put me in one of those baby walkaround things waaaay too early) so I bounce whenever I walk anyhow. My walk always gives me away. I am, literally, twinkle toed. *grins*

I wonder if the ex-gay instructors will use this info as justification for adding a "How To Walk Like A Real Man" class to their curriculum --- I mean, if you finally experience attraction to women, but you still walk like a fairy, then you aren't completely cured, are you?

Makes me wonder. My son walks just like his father and uncle. When you see the 3 of them walking down the street from the back, they all look alike. They have the same bone structure and way of holding their bodies. So I would say this is definitely not 100%. Unless.......

So does this explain my time of 18 seconds in the 100 yard dash?

Eric Georgantes | September 5, 2007 11:24 AM

I always walk on my tiptoes (my mom put me in one of those baby walkaround things waaaay too early) so I bounce whenever I walk anyhow. My walk always gives me away. I am, literally, twinkle toed. *grins*


I do that on hardwood or tiled floor when I'm barefoot.