Gaydar is cobblers, according to researchers. Which is probably why it works so well.


Gaydar at work | Uncredited/Copyright controlled | 18010

Last year scientists from Stanford University said their artificial intelligence algorithm could detect homosexuality by analysing a person’s facial features, and that was how Gaydar worked.

The academics claimed their results were not psuedoscientific but consistent with the prenatal hormone theory of sexual orientation.

This unproven theory suggests that hormones which people are exposed to in the womb lead to different physiological attributes and also different sexualities.

Not according to Google.

According to the Google team … the algorithm didn’t detect a difference in facial features. Instead, it detected a difference in how homosexual and heterosexual men and women take selfies.

“Heterosexual men tend to take selfies from slightly below, which will have the apparent effect of enlarging the chin, shortening the nose, shrinking the forehead, and attenuating the smile,” they found.

“This [angle] emphasises dominance -  or, perhaps more benignly, an expectation that the viewer will be shorter.”

The analysis by Margaret Mitchell and Blaise Aguera y Arcas from Google, and Alex Todorov from Princeton, concludes: “The obvious differences between lesbian or gay and straight faces in selfies relate to grooming, presentation, and lifestyle - that is, differences in culture, not in facial structure.”

So, it turns out that heterosexual men seem to typically take selfies from a lower angle, while heterosexual women take them from a higher angle, because of cultural norms about how we present our own sexuality.

So there you are. Anyway, I knew you were.