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I love a good article that debunks myths and bad science, and this is one of them. Do people truly have a "gaydar"? Blanchard-supporter Bailey definitely believes so. His transgender research is based on the idea of androphilic gay men (and trans women) being effeminate performers of a kind.
I lost my belief in my own gaydar when the day I actually had it confirmed! A gay male friend of mine and I had a good dinner in a restaurant, and I was so proud when I noted that our waiter was gay. My gay friend had not noticed. Then it struck me: I did not actually know that the waiter was gay. I only supposed so because of the way he looked and presented himself. Moreover, given that some 1 to 5 percent of the population is believed to be gay, there should at least be five more gay men in that restaurant, and I hadn't noticed any of them. In fact, I hadn't know that my gay friend was gay before he told me so.
So there you go.
FROM THE ARTICLE:
//But as we’ve been able to show in two recent papers, all of these previous studies fall prey to a mathematical error that, when corrected, actually leads to the opposite conclusion: Most of the time, gaydar will be highly inaccurate. How can this be, if people in these studies are accurate at rates significantly higher than 50 percent?
There’s a problem in the basic premise of these studies: Namely, having a pool of people in which 50 percent of the targets are gay. In the real world, only around 3 to 8 percent of adults identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual. What does this mean for interpreting the 60 percent accuracy rate?
Think about what the 60 percent accuracy means for the straight targets in these studies. If people have 60 percent accuracy in identifying who is straight, it means that 40 percent of the time, straight people are incorrectly categorized. In a world where 95 percent of people are straight,
60 percent accuracy means that for every 100 people, there will be 38 straight people incorrectly assumed to be gay, but only three gay people correctly categorized. Therefore, the 60 percent accuracy in the lab studies translates to 93 percent inaccuracy for identifying who is gay in the real world (38 / [38 + 3] = 92.7 percent).
Even when people seem gay – and set off all the alarms on your gaydar – it’s far more likely that they’re straight. More straight people will seem to be gay than there are actual gay people in total. If you’re disappointed to learn that your gaydar might not operate as well as you think it does, there’s a quick fix: Rather than coming to a snap judgment about people based on what they wear or how they talk, you’re probably better off just asking them.//
Last Edited By: jackmolay Mar 21 17 6:42 AM. Edited 1 time