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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, June 4, 2010 - Volume 38 Issue 23
Dutch scientists suggest 'Gaydar' is real
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Dutch scientists suggest 'Gaydar' is real

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Staff Writer

'Gaydar,' the instinctive power LGBT people supposedly have to zero in on other Gays - even in a crowd - may really exist.

According to Dutch scientists, when they examined how heterosexual and homosexual people focus their attention, the study found that Gays are much more detail-oriented.

So how does that fit in with the 'Gaydar' theory?

For the research, 42 Gay and straight volunteers were presented with photos of outlines of large squares and rectangles. Each shape was packed with smaller shapes. According to scientists, generally, the human brain is programmed to take in the larger picture. In other words, when people see a rectangle-filled square, they're likely to say it is filled with squares.

According to the results of the study, when the men and women were presented with similar questions about the pictures they had been shown, the straight volunteers answered faster - but were less accurate.

Scientists say that the Gay men and women, on the other hand, were slower to answer but were right more of the time - especially when they were asked about the smaller shapes.

Authors of the study said this suggests they are able to hone in on even very small details as well as the bigger picture.

Researchers said they believe that "in Gays' daily routine, this close attention to detail could help them to detect others' sexual preferences."

"This is the first time that scientific proof has been found for the existence of a 'Gaydar' mechanism amongst homosexuals," researcher Dr. Lorenza Colzato of Leiden University in the Netherlands said. "This perceptual skill allows homosexuals to recognize other Gay people faster and we think it's because they are much more analytic than heterosexuals."

People who are naturally more perceptive and detail-oriented may have a greater chance of picking up on subtle clues in other people that they may be homosexual, which makes it easier for them to search out Gay friends and sexual partners, the study found.

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