|Posted on November 9, 2013 at 5:55 PM|
Though not in the way you're thinking, since gay faces are more masculine than straight faces. Or so say the researchers who conducted a two-part study at Charles University in the Czech Republic. In part one they took 80 photos of the faces of 33 gay and 33 straight men. They established about 11,000 separate coordinates on the faces, and then compared them on the basis of what they call “geometric morphometrics.” The results showed gay men to have faces that were wider and shorter than straight men, with smaller noses and larger, more rounded jaws.
In the second part of the study they showed photos of the 66 men to 40 men and 40 women from Charles University. They were asked to rate the masculinity of the men, and also to try to determine if they were gay or straight. Overall, the gay men were rated as having more masculine faces, and the students were unable to accurately guess the orientation of the men.
The study is interesting, but very, very premature and incomplete. For one thing, the sample size is extraordinarily small. For another, all of the men were Czechs and were Caucasian. Before I put much stock in it I’d have to see the findings replicated in other populations, and done multiple times because of the subjectivity involved. BUT….if it turns out to be real, there are two rather monumental realities revealed. First, the stereotypes of gay men having more feminine looks would be blown out of the water. Second, the idea of homosexuality as having a prenatal “cause,” whether based on genetics or hormones or something else, would be dramatically buttressed. Personally, I’ve never cared if I’m gay because of a gene or hormonal differences in my mother, or because of early life events, but additional evidence that people are born gay would help more straight people avoid prejudice.