Guessing Sexual Orientation: Heterosexuals' Ability to Accurately Estimate their "Gaydar"

Connie J. Kendig, Nicole Maresca

Abstract


We investigated whether heterosexuals are more accurate than they believe in their ability to guess sexual orientation and whether considering sexual orientation will influence heterosexuals' feelings of closeness toward pictured individuals. We found that a significant number of participants (76.7%, p<.002) overestimated their ability to guess sexual orientation and overall, participants rated heterosexuals higher on the closeness scale than homosexuals (p<.001). Thirty male and female, Caucasian, heterosexual participants between the ages of 25 and 35 were asked to guess the sexual orientation of twenty pictured individuals and rate each picture on a closeness scale. Participants were randomly assigned to one of two conditions (Group A = closeness scale first; Group B = closeness scale second). The researchers suggest additional study to determine the underlying processes involved in the findings.

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References


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