Symmetrical Facial Features Inform Your Gaydar

Study finds those with more facial symmetry are more often heterosexual.

by Lesley Kennedy • MORE.com Reporter

Think your gaydar is totally on the mark? You must really know a slightly asymmetrical face when you see one.

ScienceDaily reports a recent study asked men and women to rate photos of both genders based on their sexuality and found that the more likely raters were to identify someone as heterosexual, the more symmetrical that person’s facial features were. The study also found that people who identified themselves as heterosexual tended to have more symmetrical facial features than people who identified themselves as gay.

“The ability to assess the sexual orientation of others may be an adaptive trait,” Dr. Susan Hughes, an evolutionary psychologist and leader of the study, tells the website. “In terms of mate selection and romance, it’s crucial to recognize [others’ sexual orientation].”

In fact, the study found symmetry offered a better gauge of sexuality than typically feminine or masculine facial features.

“It appears that individuals use cues of symmetry to make assessments about one’s sexual orientation and may be one of the features that comprise a person’s ‘gaydar’ abilities,” Hughes tells ScienceDaily.

Just to be sure, maybe someone should come up with an app for that—with adjustments made for beer goggles. Just a thought.

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First Published January 24, 2012

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