Face Symmetry and Sexuality

Could your sexual preference be written all over your mug?

Photo by Think Stock

We’ve heard of facing the facts, but this is taking it to a whole new level. A study at Albright College in Reading suggests that determining one’s sexuality is as easy as looking at a face. And get this – researchers found that heterosexuals have more symmetrical features than gay people.

It gives a whole new meaning to gaydar.

The researchers studied 15 straight men, 15 straight women, 15 gay men and 15 lesbians. “We found differences in measures of facial symmetry between self-identified heterosexual and homosexual individuals,” says Dr. Susan Hughes, the lead researcher. “We also found that the more likely raters perceived males and being attracted to women, the more symmetrical the face.”

The study also examined sexual dimorphic facial measures – or how “masculine” or “feminine” a face appeared – and found heterosexual men had overall more masculine features than did gay men. Have these folks ever seen Rock Hudson? Hardly a feminine face.

“We were surprised to find that symmetry played a larger role than masculine/feminine features in assessing sexual orientation,” says Hughes. “But 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.”

So what do you think? Is sexual orientation written on one’s face or is there more than meets the eye?