Gaydar Myth

Most of the details supporting the claims in this infographic can be found in our recent article in the Journal of Sex Research, “Inferences About Sexual Orientation: The Roles of Stereotypes, Faces, and The Gaydar Myth.”




The past work we reference here refers to various papers demonstrating facial perception of sexual orientation (e.g., Rule, Ambady, Adams, & Macrae, 2008). Further review and citations can be found on the first two pages of our article. The new studies referenced here are Studies 3 and 4 of our article, with background established in Studies 1 and 2 as well.

That people rely on stereotypes to infer orientation has been established in many studies. Further evidence for this is presented in Studies 1, 2, and 5 of our article mentioned above, and also other recent work of ours, including Cox & Devine (2014) and Cox & Devine, (2015).

To read all about this experiment, see Study 5 of our JSR article.


The main argument about accuracy is fleshed out on the last two pages of the main JSR article. In Cox & Devine (2014), we report an experiment demonstrating how stereotyping to infer orientation can lead to higher levels of prejudice-based aggression (e.g., hate crimes, bullying). A broader review of how stereotypes lead to a host of negative outcomes, including narrow thinking, prejudice, and depression, can be found in Cox, Abramson, Devine, & Hollon (2012).

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