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The Science of Gaydar

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New York Magazine has an entirely readable round-up of many of the findings regarding biological determinism in orientation. While the piece is rather long, take heart -- it could have been twice as long had it treated any of the more subtle (and more interesting) neurological studies. An excerpt:

--- Quote ---At first read, their findings seem like a string of unlinked, esoteric observations. Statistically, for instance, gay men and lesbians have about a 50 percent greater chance of being left-handed or ambidextrous than straight men or women. The relative lengths of our fingers offer another hint: The index fingers of most straight men are shorter than their ring fingers, while for most women they are closer in length, or even reversed in ratio. But some researchers have noted that gay men are likely to have finger-length ratios more in line with those of straight women, and a study of self-described “butch” lesbians showed significantly masculinized ratios. The same goes for the way we hear, the way we process spatial reasoning, and even the ring of our voices. One study, involving tape-recordings of gay and straight men, found that 75 percent of gay men sounded gay to a general audience. It’s unclear what the listeners responded to, whether there is a recognized gay “accent” or vocal quality. And there is no hint as to whether this idiosyncrasy is owed to biology or cultural influences—only that it’s unmistakable. What is there in Rufus Wainwright’s “uninhibited, yearning, ugly-duckling voice,” as the Los Angeles Times wrote a few weeks ago, that we recognize as uniquely gay? Does biology account for Rosie O’Donnell’s crisp trumpet and Charles Nelson Reilly’s gnyuck-gnyuck-gnyuck?
--- End quote ---

That's crazy! Wow! My fingers are just like that (om the right). I never knew this... (although I am not left-handed, but I *am* somewhat ambidextrous.)

Colbert interviews David France, author of "The Science of Gaydar"

*click* (video available @ link)


--- Quote from: "berto" ---That's crazy! Wow! My fingers are just like that (om the right). I never knew this... (although I am not left-handed, but I *am* somewhat ambidextrous.)
--- End quote ---

There you have it then.

I, alas, am afflicted with 'het-fingers.'

Step by step, researcher looks for sexuality clues

--- Quote ---ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- Can you tell whether someone's gay just by the way he or she walks?
--- End quote ---


They're studying this?

As with the speech investigations, people have a remarkably good success rate for telling whether a person is gay or not. (All the more remarkable since, statistically speaking, we're talking about people who cannot tell you what month 9/11 happened in.)

Scientists puzzle me. It is not interesting that people can tell if a person is gay by the way they speak or walk. It would be interesting to know why they can tell.


Beware of the cheese.


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