Main | Friday, May 28, 2010

You Know One When You See One

Dutch scientists say that an experiment using geometric shapes showed that homosexuals were more adept at identifying smaller shapes within larger ones, leading to the curious conclusion that there really is such a thing as gaydar.
A total of 42 men and women were shown pictures of outlines of large squares and rectangles, each of which was packed with smaller shapes. Our brains are wired to take in the bigger picture, meaning that if we are shown a square filled with rectangles and asked what is inside, we can easily be fooled into saying 'squares'. When the men and women were asked similar questions, the heterosexuals replied more quickly but were less accurate, the journal Frontiers in Cognition reports. The homosexuals took longer but got more answers right, particularly when asked about the smaller shapes, suggesting they were able to see the small details as well as the bigger picture. Or they were able to see the trees as well as the wood.

In everyday life, this attention to detail could help them work out people's sexuality. Researcher Dr Lorenza Colzato, of Leiden University in the Netherlands, said: 'This is the first time that scientific proof has been found for the existence of a gaydar mechanism amongst homosexuals. ‘This perceptual skill allows homosexuals to recognise other gay people faster and we think it's because they are much more analytic than heterosexuals.' Adopting such a perceptual style presumably increases the likelihood of detecting perceptual clues indicative of homosexual orientation, which facilitates finding like-minded social peers and potential friends and sex mates.
My "perceptual skill" tells me this study is crap.

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