Study: No such thing as ‘gaydar’ (next research topic: racist dog whistles?)

Study: No such thing as ‘gaydar’ (next research topic: racist dog whistles?)
Source: Nathan Chute/Reuters

[Ed. – How about racist ‘dog whistles’? Is that worth investigating?]

A new study suggests that ‘gaydar‘ — the sixth sense by which many insist they can just tell that someone they meet isn’t heterosexual — is bad in two big ways. For starters, it doesn’t work. But more importantly, the concept of gaydar may be pretty harmful. It may — big surprise here, guys — just be an excuse to revel in harmful stereotypes about LGBTQ people.

In a paper published in the Journal of Sex Research, University of Wisconsin-Madison psychologist William Cox argues that gaydar just isn’t really a thing.

“Imagine that 100 percent of gay men wear pink shirts all the time, and 10 percent of straight men wear pink shirts all the time. Even though all gay men wear pink shirts, there would still be twice as many straight men wearing pink shirts. So, even in this extreme example, people who rely on pink shirts as a stereotypic cue to assume men are gay will be wrong two-thirds of the time,” Cox said in a statement.

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