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‘Gaydar’ Under the Radar: Is the Term Just Another Stereotype?

Update Date: Jan 19, 2017 12:32 AM EST

The word "gaydar" became an international term which is derived from two words: "gay" and "radar." It is often used when a person could predict another individual's sexual orientation by basing it on subtle cues.

The term gaydar is often used by most individuals as they would claim to have the ability to predict the sexual orientation of another individual through judgment. The prediction is often opinionated, which sparked doubt among experts if the term gaydar does in fact, exist.

Experts were skeptical about the term as they tagged it as a term used for stereotyping and to create one's own gender bias based on judgment.

It turns out that a person's "gaydar" does exist

According to Psychology Today, Nicholas Rule, a Canadian Psychologist along with his team came to prove that the term "gaydar" does exist. The researchers categorized the non-verbal clues into four categories, adornment, actions, acoustics, and appearance.

These cues, however, are not applicable to individuals with homophobic tendencies as their judgment is often biased. For gays and lesbians, however, their cues are said to be quite accurate and they reportedly have good gaydars.

Another "gaydar" research

Aside from Rule and his team, researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, led by William Cox also did research on the science behind the term gaydar. This was published in the Journal of Sex Research as mentioned by IFL Science.

Their research involved 55 straight men and 50 gay individuals wherein their gender was rated by volunteers. These men were judged based on the statements they were tagged with, such as their hobbies, their sports, and their preferences.

Their research, however, came to the conclusion that stereotypes play a vital role when it comes to judging sexual orientations.

Gaydar under the radar

The term gaydar is still under the radar as more studies need to be done for it to be considered as something natural. Some people may be good at reading and perceiving sexual orientations through non-verbal cues, but it does not, however, require special talents.

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