Ovulating Women Have Better 'Gaydar'?

A team of American and Canadian researchers tasked with exploring..."gaydar science"?...have found that women who are ovulating have special powers. Namely, at that time of the month when babies can happen, a woman can tell whether a man is straight or gay, just by looking him in the face! Or, more specifically, at a photo of his face. So they say. Also, once a woman starts to feel romantic about a guy, she has "a heightened sensitivity to a man's sexual orientation." (Duh.) How was such knowledge uncovered?

In the first experiment, 40 undergraduate women were asked to guess the sexual orientation of men based on photos of their face. Half were gay; half were straight, all had similar expressions and were deemed "equally attractive." (Note: None of the women were on birth control pills, which in other studies have been known to do some funny things with the expected results of these sorts of studies.)

The result: the closer a woman was to her peak ovulation the more accurate her guess.

In another trial, women were shown 200 photos of 200 women, half of whom were lesbian. There was no relationship between accuracy of guess and ovulation.

Finally, the team asked some of the women to read "an outline of a romantic encounter," then to repeat the experiments. The women who read the story were also better at judging the sexual orientation of men.

This, to the researchers, indicates that "men's sexual orientation is relevant to conception and thus of greater importance as women are nearer to ovulation."

Perhaps. It's the photo thing that really throws us here, as, obviously, there are plenty of cues to indicate whether a person likes you, romantically or otherwise. And those cues go beyond simply looking at a photo. Of course, life goes beyond a scientific study. So perhaps science is a little bit right, and a little bit crazy. Well, at least it's interesting. Just, please, never call us "programmed to get pregnant" again.

Ovulation Seems to Aid Women's 'Gaydar' [US News Health]


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