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Gaydar
August 2, 2005 3:32 AM   Subscribe

The Gaydar test is simple. We'll show you pairs of guys and girls. See if you can recognize who's gay.
posted by three blind mice (95 comments total)

 
Fools. The Gaydar works not with mere JPGs.
posted by Jimbob at 3:33 AM on August 2, 2005


My score:

You personally got 15 of the 20 people correct and were better at recognizing guys than girls. Overall, you guessed better than 74% of all test takers.

Disclosure - in about half of the male photo pairs I was shown, one of the two was holding a rainbow flag or wearing a feather boa.
posted by three blind mice at 3:37 AM on August 2, 2005


Got 70%. Stereotyping was very much in play, however. And I also chose shots that looked more interesting compositionally, which is a crude way to do it I guess...
posted by The Salaryman at 3:48 AM on August 2, 2005


Second try...

You personally got 15 of the 20 people correct and were better at recognizing girls than guys. Overall, you guessed better than 74% of all test takers.

Jimbob you're probably right... As a straight person, I felt I was not being led not by gaydar, but by stereotypical prejudice. This round I was shown several women with spikey pink hair and one guy wearing leather chaps and Edward scissors hands.
posted by three blind mice at 3:50 AM on August 2, 2005


God bless the scientific method!

I just clicked on whoever had the most metal drilled in their head, and scored 80%. Yet of all my gay friends none have any visible piercings besides the odd earing here and there.
posted by furtive at 3:50 AM on August 2, 2005


70% the first time when I tried to go with non-obvious ones that looked indie/emo a couple of times on the theory the test was trying to trip me up.

80% when I just went with my prejudice.
posted by Ryvar at 4:00 AM on August 2, 2005


Ryvar, furtive, then we're agreed, I guess: it's not a test of gaydar, but a test of prejudice.
posted by three blind mice at 4:03 AM on August 2, 2005


three blind mice: not necessarily - maybe prejudice IS gaydar.
posted by Ryvar at 4:05 AM on August 2, 2005


Actually let me rephrase in a way that's bound to spark some discussion here: when it comes to gaydar, maybe it works because prejudice is well-founded as far as appearance goes.

Or maybe it's just another stupid and utterly meaningless online test. Still . . . 70 to 80%? For the first four people in the thread? I have trouble believing that's statistically meaningless. For whatever it's worth, I was better at picking out gay girls both times, how about you guys?
posted by Ryvar at 4:12 AM on August 2, 2005


85% - woo hoo! I'm better than 94% of the people who took the test!

And yeah, I pretty much went on stereotypes. The large lady in the tuxedo with the cropped pink hair? She'll be an homosexualist. They don't get to be stereotypes for no reason, after all...
posted by flashboy at 4:21 AM on August 2, 2005


I got 90%. I was better at picking out guys, which is probably a good thing. Of course, I was able to discern that my partner's sister was a lesbian before she actually came out, and even he couldn't see that one.
posted by deusdiabolus at 4:22 AM on August 2, 2005


80%. The women were more difficult to work out than the men.
posted by seanyboy at 4:25 AM on August 2, 2005


I think it is also a function of age. Everybody seemed young and the trendy (pierced, spiked, bleached, goth). I'd like to see this with older people after they've gone through a pierce/spike/bleach/goth phase.
posted by ao4047 at 4:26 AM on August 2, 2005


You personally got 12 of the 20 people correct and were better at recognizing girls than guys. Overall, you guessed better than 28% of all test takers.

This straight male got 60%. I thought it was rather difficult. Often both persons look either gay or straight. Then again, I just found out that a co-worker friend of mine is gay, and I've talked with him daily for the past 3 months and didn't guess it once. So whadda I know?
posted by zardoz at 4:26 AM on August 2, 2005


95% in second go.
using as criteria for the females: short hair, lowest barbie level (make-up etc)
using as criteria for the males: neatness of hair/ clothing
*quickly messes up his hair*
posted by borq at 4:27 AM on August 2, 2005


50%. What does that say?
posted by biffa at 4:28 AM on August 2, 2005


It means you haven't got Teh Gay, or you were going on touch alone.
posted by NinjaPirate at 4:35 AM on August 2, 2005


I went for how happy they seemed. When looking at choosing the happiest person, I got a Gaydar rating of 60%. Going for frowns pulled me down to 30% Looking at frowns on women and smiles on men (and vice/versa) pegged me at 40%.
posted by seanyboy at 4:37 AM on August 2, 2005


I did this test last year and scored worse than dumb luck.

A chimpanzee pushing buttons at random has better gaydar than me.

I'm too afraid to try it again... :-)


But the confusion doesn't stop there. I suspect that when I dress up to go clubbing, I probably trip every gaydar in a two block radius with a false positive...

I'm like a human gaydar-jammer or something.
posted by -harlequin- at 4:37 AM on August 2, 2005


The male part is easy - they guy least likely to get a date is straight.
The female part, well, not so easy. You see, these lesbians weren't like the ones in my magazines.
posted by NinjaPirate at 4:40 AM on August 2, 2005


So this is hot or not except with sexual archetypes?
Am I missing anything?
posted by cavalier at 4:42 AM on August 2, 2005


I would of found it more interesting if they posted shots of everyone at age 5 or 50 and then asked us to tell the difference. As mentioned above, most of the people there are trendy, and as it happens it seems that people submit their own photos (by being members of the site) so there's already a factor of extrovertedness involved. All this does is show we know our stereotypes.
posted by furtive at 4:46 AM on August 2, 2005


^^would have found it....
posted by furtive at 4:46 AM on August 2, 2005


furtive: Maybe what we're seeing here is the product of a sociological construct - our society has certain expectations as to what gay men and women 'look like' and gay men or women often (with significant exceptions) adhere to these stereotypes in order to find partners.

Not being gay, though, I'd like to hear from people who are as to whether there's any validity to that.
posted by Ryvar at 4:53 AM on August 2, 2005


maybe it works because prejudice is well-founded as far as appearance goes

Of course. And it's not just appearance where well-honed prejudice can perform amazing deductions with stunning accuracy on very little information. Of course, if your prejudices are not working (or are too vague, as is my problem), you fix or expand them so they do work. If you stick to old and busted prejudices, then you have a problem, but this test should highlight that. When forced to make a snap judgement in a crisis, you want your judgement to be correct :-)

(If I'm ever in a crisis where your life depends on my correctly assessing the orientation of someone, I apologise in advance for your untimely demise :-) In most other ways I'm pretty good at evaluating people, but orientation isn't one of them.

posted by -harlequin- at 4:54 AM on August 2, 2005


cavalier:
So this is hot or not except with sexual archetypes?
Am I missing anything?


It sounds like you are. In HotOrNot, a person's rating is determined entirely by what other voters thought of them. In the Gaydar test, the person in the photo has indicated their sexual orientation, so unless they're closeted to themselves, it's objectively known which they are, so it is the voter who is being judged based on how accurately they vote, instead of the photo being judged by the voters.
posted by -harlequin- at 4:58 AM on August 2, 2005


I took it twice. The first time I thought perhaps it was a set up so I would pick the least gay looking person. The second time I picked the person I honestly thought looked gay. Got 55% both time. But hey, my first love was either gay or bi and I wasted years on him, so what do I know....
posted by orange swan at 5:04 AM on August 2, 2005


it seems that people submit their own photos (by being members of the site) so there's already a factor of extrovertedness involved.

Actually, I would have thought extroverts are slightly less likely to do their date-finding online. Any skew (if significant) might be in the other direction :-)
posted by -harlequin- at 5:05 AM on August 2, 2005


I can't believe the photos some people think will get them noticed.

80%. You personally got 16 of the 20 people correct and were better at recognizing guys than girls. Overall, you guessed better than 86% of all test takers.
posted by The Monkey at 5:06 AM on August 2, 2005


You personally got 16 of the 20 people correct and were better at recognizing guys than girls. Overall, you guessed better than 86% of all test takers.

But add to that the above criticms re: obvious choices for the guys at least.

and I hear ya, -harlequin-
posted by dreamsign at 5:07 AM on August 2, 2005


I just guessed on a lot of them, to be honest, and I got 70%. I'm not sure if this says I'm prejudiced or that the test is poorly designed.

In any case, no one I know personally much resembles anyone in these photos, so I'm with ao4047 in that I'd like to have seen more people beyond the age of 20 in this.
posted by tommasz at 5:12 AM on August 2, 2005


and gay men or women often (with significant exceptions) adhere to these stereotypes in order to find partners

It depends on the person. It doesn't affect some people, but it is DEFINITELY true of some people. True to such an artifical, forced, ill-fitting extent that you want to slap the charade out of them. But you can't, because a guy limply slapping another guy - people would totally think you were gay, and then you'd have to lower you voice and grunt something about the final score of the game, and find a girlfriend to prove them wrong. And you don't really want a girlfriend, because, well, you just don't. But that's normal, right?
:-)
posted by -harlequin- at 5:16 AM on August 2, 2005


Ouch. 75% first time, 60% second. I found it pretty difficult, and ended up just making snap judgemental decisions... which obviously didn't work out too well ;-)
posted by Chunder at 5:16 AM on August 2, 2005


It would be nice to see the answers, or did I just miss that part?
posted by Acey at 5:21 AM on August 2, 2005


I have finally found my calling: gay detector. How... useful.

You personally got 17 of the 20 people correct and were better at recognizing girls than guys. Overall, you guessed better than 94% of all test takers.
posted by Ricky_gr10 at 5:43 AM on August 2, 2005


Gaydar is more about observing the way a person carries him/herself, how the person makes eye contact with people, and listening to the way the person speaks. While all of those factors carry with them degrees of sterotyping, I would say that still photographs are based entirely on stereotyping.
posted by flarbuse at 5:58 AM on August 2, 2005


70%, which is slightly disappointing - lesbians are renowned for having excellent gaydar. In my defense, I think gaydar is based way more on non-visual cues: what flarbuse said, etc...
posted by arcticwoman at 6:08 AM on August 2, 2005


90% overall. better than 99% than all test takers.

I came out 25 years ago [soooo lotsa practice].
posted by Jikido at 6:17 AM on August 2, 2005


50% - i clearly need to sign up for some sort of course
posted by quarsan at 6:27 AM on August 2, 2005


I got 60% the first time because, like Orange Swan, I thought they were trying to trick me and I was getting all cute with it.
85% the second time, when I realized it was on the level - but the second round showed me way more people waving rainbow flags or wearing tell tale jewelry.

Also, damn, there were a few really appealing looking guys in there. I may have to join up. Unless they were the ones I mistakenly thought weren't gay. That would be par for the course.
posted by CunningLinguist at 6:29 AM on August 2, 2005


70% and for some bizarre reason I'm better at recognizing lesbians than gay men - I blame porn.
posted by Veritron at 6:32 AM on August 2, 2005


and gay men or women often (with significant exceptions) adhere to these stereotypes in order to find partners

This has been an interesting topic for several conversations over the years. Do certain behavioural tendencies correlate naturally with homosexuality, or do people take on whatever social conventions seem to match their orientation as a means of signal?

If it's the latter, I'm f**ked (not a "macho" type male, and I hate sports).

Gaydar is more about observing the way a person carries him/herself

Then I'll still jam your gaydar. I think it's the walk. But seriously, what would that have to do with anything?
posted by dreamsign at 6:35 AM on August 2, 2005


I think gaydar is based way more on non-visual cues

Fair enough arcticwoman but seven out of ten is still not bad. Of course there are exceptions and everyone is different and the examples in the test do not represent a Gaussian distribution of the gay population.... but still.

It would seem (from this limited, lame example) that visual clues might well be gaydar's first order metric. Non-visual clues are soft metrics - they provide a level of assurance - but are not alone determinative.

But then again being straight I have no idea what I am talking about! Unless one is homophobic, there is no need for a straight person to use gaydar.
posted by three blind mice at 6:41 AM on August 2, 2005


Okay, I signed up and want to report back that this is the first online dating thing I've ever seen where the first question is "did mankind evolve from primates" and you can specify that it is "mandatory" that your match agrees. Woo!
posted by CunningLinguist at 6:42 AM on August 2, 2005


90%, bitches. Does this mean that I'm gay?
posted by Kwantsar at 6:43 AM on August 2, 2005


Natural gaydar (using my own intuition about who is gay) = 75%

Stereotype gaydar (erring on the side of prejudice, "lesbians have moustaches and don't smile", "gay dudes wear handmade necklaces and all have the same haircut") = 85%
posted by 23skidoo at 6:47 AM on August 2, 2005


Jikido: 90% overall. better than 99% than all test takers. I came out 25 years ago [soooo lotsa practice].

Kwantsar:90%, bitches. Does this mean that I'm gay?

There's nothing wrong with it.
posted by three blind mice at 6:48 AM on August 2, 2005


80%, and I'm better at lesbians. Who can tell with guys these days, all into the grooming?
(I don't actually consider myself to have gayday in real life, aside from the, well, obviously gay guys.)

To digress for a moment, I went to a baseball game with a friend's church group (what can I say? Great seats). We went out to a bar afterwards, and the other non-church guy and I got into a discussion over gaydar (about how we both knew that high school friends were gay before they came out). One of the guys from the church proceeded to give us a lecture on how just because someone was a mincing "sissy," that didn't mean they were gay. We were willing to accept that, with the caveat that it was a pretty good signifier in general, but that it wasn't without flaws. Since the guy giving us the lecture was the most flaminingly mincing sissy imaginable, we figured that he was straight and was annoyed at always being taken for gay. I mean, he had all of the stereotypical traits: the lisp, the waifish giggle, the flopping wrists and the absolute lack of sports knowledge. So, again, we just figured that he was a mincing straight guy.
Nope. Gay as Liberace.
Sometimes the stereotypes are dead on.
posted by klangklangston at 6:53 AM on August 2, 2005


50%. Go figure.
posted by jonmc at 6:57 AM on August 2, 2005


80%, but I'm a faux-mo.
posted by ColdChef at 7:01 AM on August 2, 2005


Don't forget that these are people'e profile pictures for an online dating service, either. They get one picture, I presume, and probably want to find one that they feel "represents them" most - and since people can't hear them, talk with them, etc. they choose one that has the most visual cues to their persona. And since on an online dating site sexuality is obviously an important factor I think many people post picture that more overtly express it. I got 80, 55, and 70 percent. Sometimes they're really obvious, sometimes not so much. A few times I got the same photo twice and ended up voting different on it based on the opposing picture.
posted by nTeleKy at 7:03 AM on August 2, 2005


It's the Broadway musicals, CC. Don't sweat it. I understand.

*drinks beer. shoots gun. avoids hygeine*
posted by jonmc at 7:03 AM on August 2, 2005


uh, wow. 95% the first time around. i figured i would do much worse than that.
posted by jimmy at 7:06 AM on August 2, 2005


70%, and better at women. Which is odd because I know sooo many gay men and almost no gay women.

Then again, maybe the reason I was bad at recognizing gay men is that I know so many that all my stereotypes have gone out the window.
posted by maggiemaggie at 7:08 AM on August 2, 2005


My sister got 55% and my brother got 45%. I'm like, "Dude, she's got a 'stache!"

Heh. My brother got a freebie, though. One guy had "FAG" written on his arm.
posted by ColdChef at 7:19 AM on August 2, 2005


I got 60%, I closed the results page quckly due to the line drawing of a big, gay orgy (couldn't see anything, but still) and the fact that I'm at work.

I thought the chicks where difficult, but the guys were pretty hard, sometimes both looked pretty 'normal'.

Anyway I was mostly going by over all 'oddness', or whatever.
posted by delmoi at 7:26 AM on August 2, 2005


I took it again. I got 70% this time. If you teach us, we can learn.
posted by jonmc at 7:35 AM on August 2, 2005


This has been an interesting topic for several conversations over the years. Do certain behavioural tendencies correlate naturally with homosexuality, or do people take on whatever social conventions seem to match their orientation as a means of signal?

I think it's possible that there is some natural correlation, perhaps at the heart of the stereotypes. But whatever natural tendencies exist are quickly overwhelmed by social factors.

And of course, it's not just gay people who conform to cultural stereotypes. Straight people do just as much, if not more, but it's not noticed because it is the unnamed category which we take for normal. In fact, I might suggest that straight men work hardest to conform. Especially outside of metropolitan areas, there are strong social pressures to avoid any behaviors which might be construed as gay or feminine.
posted by cytherea at 7:36 AM on August 2, 2005


This explains why my girlfriend always wants to dress me in bright colours. She's warding off other females with teh gaydar.
posted by dreamsign at 7:49 AM on August 2, 2005


I only missed one girl. I simply chose which girl I'd least likely hit on drunk, and it worked out really well (cropped hair, no make-up, looks like she'd yell misogynist).

The guys I had a harder time becaue I though too much into it. I looked for gelled hair and manicured eyebrows, which was pretty easy.

For me, the most telling gay signs are the motions and the "spine rejection" factor of gay men. You know what I'm talking about...
posted by geoff. at 7:50 AM on August 2, 2005


Reminds me of Gay or Eurotrash?
posted by ryanissuper at 7:53 AM on August 2, 2005


This isn't gaydar, is it? This is recognizing the superficial cultural cues offered by the subjects. Valid and useful, but nothing special. You can recognize the difference between an emo kid and a gangsta kid, no?

I always thought gaydar had more to do with catching hints based on how people react to other people sexually, i.e. I sense that the guy at the convenience store is sizing me up sexually. No?
posted by es_de_bah at 8:01 AM on August 2, 2005


they have a guess-the-virgin game, too, which i think is more fun.
posted by timory at 8:04 AM on August 2, 2005


I never thought I had gaydar, but I scored 95% first time around. I guess that's what living in SF will do to ya.
posted by Moral Animal at 8:13 AM on August 2, 2005


I got 100% and got to move on to the fetish bonus round. I can't believe you guys didn't just look at people's hankerchiefs.
posted by drezdn at 8:14 AM on August 2, 2005


Wait a minute... I got a 95% and this:

"You personally got 20 of the 20 people correct and were better at recognizing guys than girls. Overall, you guessed better than 99% of all test takers."

How is that 95%?
posted by Moral Animal at 8:16 AM on August 2, 2005


This post is gay.
posted by Balisong at 8:27 AM on August 2, 2005


Halfway through, I though they purposely skewed the results, i.e. got a straight woman to pose in the Castro with a rainbow flag ... so I started voting *against* stereotype. Then I realized it wasn't just 20 pictures ... recovered to get 65%.

So, are these submitted by the subjects? Obviously, gay people who are OUT are going to look more stereotypically "gay," (as second-hand

Even as JPGs, I think it's worthwhile. I got 65%, but a lot of the time I honestly had no idea, which means that: a) if they're all stereotypes, I've lost some of those prejudices (or never had them) or b) they're not all stereotypes and it shows that "gays" are very regular people. (No digestive comments, please.)
posted by mrgrimm at 8:28 AM on August 2, 2005


grimm - they're not submitted, they just use photos from okcupid users.
posted by timory at 8:31 AM on August 2, 2005


I'm a gay gal, and I do poorly on this test. I do poorly in real life, too; people of the same sex have to be deep-kissing or something before it dawns on me that mayyyybe they're gay. I have no idea how I got myself a girlfriend.
posted by houseofdanie at 8:37 AM on August 2, 2005


I scored 80%

"You personally got 16 of the 20 people correct and were better at recognizing girls than guys. Overall, you guessed better than 87% of all test takers."

I guessed better on the girls, but thought they were harder. Also, what the hell is this guy doing on there?


posted by ddf at 8:43 AM on August 2, 2005


I ascribe my 65% score to a lifetime of not really caring whether or not someone's gay. I guess.
posted by Absit Invidia at 8:47 AM on August 2, 2005


I got a mere 65% at first, then a 90%.

Then again the guy with the silver pants and the "I (heart) your boyfriend" t-shirt was a bit of a giveaway.
posted by clevershark at 9:02 AM on August 2, 2005


I got 90%, but my pictures were really really easy. If I couldn't tell from the person him/herself, I looked at background clues: no one of the opposite gender in the background? Someone in the background with a rainbow or triangle visible?

The redneck guy with the power drill held down perpindicular to his crotch vs. the nearly naked muscle god was a tough one, and I wouldn't have guessed one lady for a lesbian were it not for the "come out come out wherever you are" t-shirt.

My gaydar, though, is 100% accurate when it comes to which guys I'll be sleeping with. If I feel like I'm being struck by lightning, I KNOW with total certainty that I'll be bedding that guy sooner or later. One time it took six years for it to happen...with no contact at all between the "lightning bolt" and the next contact...but it happened. It's a little freaky. And the guys aren't always gay, either.
posted by WolfDaddy at 9:12 AM on August 2, 2005


Thank you harlequin, I went back and read carefully and realized that these people were self-declared.

On first glance I saw the percentages and the id's below and thought this was some kind of group vote thing where people were being declared gay or straight. Now at least it makes a little more sense, if not upseting to the okcupid users unless they opted into the contest.
posted by cavalier at 9:16 AM on August 2, 2005


Ooops. 50%. I looked at the eyes. So much for a gay "aura" flaming (ha) out of my monitor.
posted by buzzman at 10:09 AM on August 2, 2005


I got 75%.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 10:10 AM on August 2, 2005


My wife claims to have acute gaydar, and she is wrong ALL the time, although she is never willing to discuss this.

I really do not think that gaydar exists.
posted by Danf at 10:32 AM on August 2, 2005


they're not submitted, they just use photos from okcupid users.

D'oh. That would be the domain, of course ... I see. So the pictures are from gay people looking to meet other gay people.

Of course they're going to look more stereotypically gay.

A good reason not to use OKCupid (which I'd never heard of b4) ...
posted by mrgrimm at 10:50 AM on August 2, 2005


Um, the test ends with a NSFW cartoon image. I kind of wish I'd been warned.

I got 80%.
posted by knave at 11:05 AM on August 2, 2005


well, and straight people looking for straight people.

okcupid is pretty fun, actually. it's just the new incarnation of thespark.
posted by timory at 11:09 AM on August 2, 2005


80%, better with guys. I'm straight and not a phobe, but I've always had pretty accurate gaydar, especially now here in LA.

And WolfDaddy, I have the same lightning-bolt thing with women. I almost always know. It's weird!

More lightning please?!
posted by zoogleplex at 11:36 AM on August 2, 2005


87% First time.

My office is 50% queer and is located in a predominantly gay neighborhood. Though, I have never caught The Gay myself (my wife an I own the business) - it sure runs rampant in here (and secretly I'm all for it as the pesky straight folk always seem to get knocked up).
posted by tkchrist at 11:57 AM on August 2, 2005


45% - my gaydar is broken. Or I'm too suspicious - like Orange Swan & Cunning Linguist, I suspected a trap and clicked on the less stereotypical looking person. I think I used to know one of those guys though.
posted by mygothlaundry at 12:32 PM on August 2, 2005


My gaydar, though, is 100% accurate when it comes to which guys I'll be sleeping with.

Wolf! Daddy?
posted by Jikido at 12:34 PM on August 2, 2005


Wow, 2 tries and I had 65% both times, and was better at recognizing girls than guys. For girls I was mainly going by short hair, or if that wasn't available, which one I think I'd probably hit on and get shot down by. For guys it was a combination of creepiness, nerdiness, and happiness.
posted by papakwanz at 2:10 PM on August 2, 2005


fitty-five percent both times, and bettter at picking out the girls than the guys. I'm a straight male apparently without functioning gaydar.

Here's the weird thing about the results as it pertains to me. There are a few guys in our program that I was pretty sure were gay--and are. But a woman in our program, one that I've known for four years, just trusted me with the information that she's gay. I had no clue. (we were talking about how hard it is to maintain long distance relationships; she told me how she & her partner have been dealing with living 200 miles apart for three years.)
posted by beelzbubba at 3:23 PM on August 2, 2005


Don't forget that these are people'e profile pictures for an online dating service, either. They get one picture, I presume, and probably want to find one that they feel "represents them" most

You actually get lots of pictures, and many people put in a range. OKcupid is unique among dating sites in that it has ten times the features of normal dating sites, yet is genuinely free to use. Plus it has plenty of ways to waste your time even if you're not interested in the dating side of it.

Calling it an online dating service seems innacurate - though it does offer all the dating stuff, it just bears no resemblance to other online dating services, which are mostly for-profit subscription-driven single-purpose leave-the-abandoned-profiles-active-longer-so-people-think-there-are-more-users exploit-singles-for-their-money deals.

So the pictures are from gay people looking to meet other gay people. ... A good reason not to use OKCupid (which I'd never heard of b4)

Uh, no, there are way more straight people on OKcupid than gay, and their profiles tell you upfront which is which, and your searches will exclude those you have no interest in. I have no relation to the site, but I've done a fair bit of online dating and I can assure you without reservation that OKcupid is far and away the best dating site there is. If you decide to not use OKcupid, you really are only hurting yourself :-)
posted by -harlequin- at 5:11 PM on August 2, 2005


I got 18 of 20, and I was just guessing. They all looked sort of gay to me.
posted by maxsparber at 5:21 PM on August 2, 2005


You actually get lots of pictures, and many people put in a range.

This is the thing about tests like these -- I've done similar ones on "spot the murderer" and "what drug is this person on?" (although that one was fun and interesting) The test designer can choose any photos -- ones that conform to stereotype or break from it -- and that's going to influence, if not determine, the outcome.

It would be different if the test randomly chose pictures from the gay pool of participants at OKCupid (if that were ethical). You'd still have the "presentation bias" (intentional playing to stereotype) but at least it wouldn't be the test designer's own bias coming through.
posted by dreamsign at 6:08 PM on August 2, 2005


dreamsign:

It would be different if the test randomly chose pictures from the gay pool of participants at OKCupid (if that were ethical).

I think that's exactly what it does. OKcupid users can opt out in their preferences, so it's ethical (the test itself doesn't reveal who is what). I think there is another stage, where the photos from the pool are checked to make sure they're not "this is my car!" or "this is my dog!" photos, but that's not a designer selection that will influence the outcome, it's just necessary to enables the pics to be randomly selected.
posted by -harlequin- at 7:14 PM on August 2, 2005


18 outta 20, 98 percentile. Booya!
posted by grandcrewno2 at 8:59 PM on August 2, 2005


If so, -harlequin-, then that's as close as they could get I think to setting a fair testing ground -- albeit it is still "see if you can spot the gay dating service participants" rather than the general population who may not be so keen to put on a telling display.

Interesting idea, though.
posted by dreamsign at 10:09 PM on August 2, 2005


Klangklangston: I know a few gay guys who would happily kick the shit out of you for calling them "mincing sissies." In fact, a lot of gay people "act gay" because it helps identifiy them to other gay people. It is a cultural phenomenon. There is, as far as anyone knows, no correlation between gayness and any physical characteristics, hence there is no such thing as "looking gay." What you are doing is called recognizing a stereotype, something humans are good at.
posted by Astragalus at 10:59 PM on August 2, 2005


Different groups will choose, to varying degrees, to take an appearance that identifies with their group. Some Christians display a fish or cross. Some Masons wear their compass. Some gays dress/speak/walk/act certain ways. Its a very human thing to do.

But then there is gaydar. It can be just a simple thing, or it can be freaky like Wolfdaddy describes. My gaydar once went off when someone walked behind me (and it was accurate, and there was nothing I could identify as 'gay' about the person, yet we had a great time in bed that evening. As that was 31 years ago, be sure it was memorable!)

Going to another place, or being amongst a different ethnic group, can put gaydar out of order. When first I went to Italy, most of the Italian men were setting it off (because of eye contact, I think). Even going from, for example, NYC to Kansas City, can (or at least used to) put the gaydar off.
posted by Goofyy at 11:09 PM on August 2, 2005


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