By the Numbers

Lesbians Have the Best Gaydar, Says Science

Pin it


Trying to figure out whether that sexy lady across the bar could be into you? Ask a lesbian, says science. According to researchers at Northeastern University, lady-loving ladies have the best gaydar around — at least, when it comes to reading other women.

To figure it out, scientists started talking. The research team chatted with nine women on camera, and then had the test subjects watch the footage and record, minute by minute, how they’d been feeling during the interview. Then, researchers showed the videos to 100 more women, also of varying orientations, and asked them, too, to score the interviews: what was each test subject feeling, and when? What was she thinking? What is her personality like? And also, is she gay?

Straight ladies were pretty good at the emotions-reading part — especially the emotions of fellow straight ladies. But when it came to accurately reading the subjects’ sexual orientation, the lesbians left the straight women in the dust. (For what it’s worth, both were equally good at assessing personality traits.)

All that makes sense, researchers say. It’s logical that if you’re used to assessing which way another lady swings for personal reasons, you’d be better at it. The stakes are higher. The rewards are higher. You’ve got more practice. Straight judges, the team hypothesized, might not care so much about sexual orientation, which makes them worse at figuring it out. It’s scientifically official — lesbians win gaydar, 1:0.