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The Science of Gaydar By David France


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I read this earlier today. One thing that struck me was that the researchers seem to be assuming there is a dichotomy of gay/straight. There doesn't seem to be much research concerning a spectrum from gay to straight.

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Having read the article I can only conclude I am a gay-straight man, or is that a straight -gay man?

No, I think I'll go back to just being a human male.

It does seem to me that many males lack the gene that enables them to love another man. :icon10:

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Is it only me, or do others find the counter clockwise whorl head sexier too?

Hmm. I think I prefer the one on the right (clockwise), he has a nicer tan.

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I took a look and here's what I found:

My hair whorl is clockwise. Shit! That means I must have been faking it all these years!

My BF Doug's hair whorl is counterclockwise. That means he's real and I'm fake.

My bro Chris's hair whorl is the same as mine, clockwise. That means he's also faking it. He yelled at me and said he isn't.

Chris's BF Steve's hair whorl is clockwise. Hmm. So far, three out of four are fakes.

I phoned my friend Ron. His hair whorl is clockwise. Foo! That's four out of five. All faking it! WtF is going on here? Maybe living in the SF East Bay puts us too far away from the Castro District and the Gay Vibes are missing us. You think?

Ron's BF Eric's hair whorl is counterclockwise. Yea! Two out of six. That's a wee bit better.

Oh, yeah, we're all gay, if you were wondering. Or, at least, we thought we were. We acted like we were. We felt like we were. And still do!

Doug's uber-straight brother Curtis is home from the University of Pittsburgh. Doug checked out his hair. The whorl is counterclockwise. Whoa! Now our stats are totally in the toilet. Meaningless. All f'ed up. Foo!

I phoned my uber-straight cousin Ian in Elk Grove. His hair whorl is clockwise. At least that matches the proposition.

Hmm. Hey, wait just a darn minute! All three guys whose hair has a counterclockwise whorl are Chinese (Doug - gay, his brother Curtis - straight, and Eric - gay). All five guys who have hair with a clockwise whorl are Caucasian -- two Irish (me - gay, my cousin Ian - straight), one Irish-English (Chris - gay), one English-Scandinavian (Steve - gay), and one Scottish-Irish-Canuck [French Canadian] (Ron - gay).

I think our little experiment was interesting. And funny. Whatever.

Colin :icon10:

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I wonder if where you live affects the direction of the hair. Sort of like water spiralling down the sink.

Clockwise in the Northern hemisphere, anti-clockwise in the Southern hemisphere, or is it the other way around?

Oh wait a minute I remember reading that someone had done tests on that and found evidence that it is actually 50-50.

I don't really think there is a whole whorl of difference in all this.


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I don't know if mine's clockwise or counter-clockwise. Though if I don't completely wet my hair, it's so wavy it'll do dang near whatever it wants, instead of what I'd want. I'll have to check in the mirror and remember to swap left and right, mirror-wise.

However, I think Colin's proven it's false, and Wibby's question about whether baldness means your bi points out the silliness. I'm right-handed, but that doesn't make me gay. -- Hmm, no idea if hair whorl direction is connected to race or actually random. (Since those guys are related, it'd run in families.)

I'm not going prematurely bald. Good. My dad had a bald spot by this age. Looks like I've escaped that so far.


More to the point, suppose (extreme example) that a guy is "straight" but loves one specific guy. Does it matter whether he's straight or gay, if he loves that guy? In my opinion, no, it doesn't. If he really loves that guy, it doesn't matter if he considers himself otherwise straight or gay.

Or if a guy is gay but loves a woman or has kids...fine.

As Graeme pointed out, it's not an either/or, it's a spectrum.

The labels don't matter.

And yes, love, sex, romance... the whole thing... I want that with a guy. (Sorry, girls, you're very nice, but that spark isn't there.) So in some sense, I suppose the labels don't matter, but have some validity? ...I have no idea what I'm arguing toward in that.

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I shave my head...does that mean I'm in the closet? Or just "confused"?

It means:

1. You're smart.

2. You're clever.

3. You're good-looking.

4. You're a nice guy.

5. You're a good catch for anyone who can get you (male or female).

I know these things, because I'm bald....

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Lest anyone should think that anything about this kind of research into what makes a homosexual, is new, I would like to refer to Havelock Ellis. ( Havelock Ellis, was a British doctor, sexual psychologist and social reformer. see more at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Havelock_Ellis

To quote: http://www.gayhistory.com/rev2/factfiles/ff1896b.htm

1896: Ellis Publishes Sexual Inversion

Englishman Havelock Ellis published the first edition of his Sexual Inversion as Das Kontr?re Geschlechtsgef?hle in Leipzig, Germany because English publishers turned him away for fear of obscenity charges. Ellis was not an invert himself, and the book is neither polemical nor salacious, but the book's many case studies gave inverts a chance to speak for themselves. The theory that Ellis propounded - that inversion is a congenital variation but not a disease - added to the controversy. When an English judge reviewed the book, he found it filthy and returned a guilty verdict against a man caught selling a copy to an undercover policeman.

However history regards Havelock is not important here. Though I will mention he is regarded as a sexual liberationist by most commentators.

I wish to tell you about my personal discoveries of this man and his books.

My grandmother's sister married a chemist, who died tragically at early age before I was born. Some years later when I was around 14, my great aunt died and I inherited a huge volume of books by Havelock Ellis that belonged to my long dead great Uncle, among them was Sexual Inversion. My mother and grandmother were delighted that I was interested in such "intellectual" books. :icon6:

The interesting thing was that the only pages that showed any sign of having been read , presumably by my dead great-uncle, were the chapters on what Ellis called, "Sexual Inversion."

Sexual inversion was a phrase (that might have been coined) by Ellis to describe homosexuality. I read the chapters along with his numerous case studies. These case studies were written records in the person's own words.

At 14 I felt a great deal less alone, as a homosexual boy than I did before I came across this "medical journal."

I would hasten to add by the time I read this volume I had already determined my sexuality. As a perfectionist I was practising at every opportunity as I wanted to be the best homosexual that I could be. :icon13:

Many of Havelock's summaries and conclusions are quaint to say the least by what we know now. He certainly did not seem to be judgemental in his conclusions to me at that tender age. (Of course I had somewhat, raging hormones that may have over-ridden my ability for reasoned assessment.)

However, they are no more curious than some of the "research" I see being put forward like the whirls of hair direction.

Havelock had "found" Left-handedness more common in male homosexuals.

Genitals were less matured than in heterosexual men. err excuse me?

Homosexual men had a preference for green as their favourite colour. (This is interesting because of the green carnation club that Oscar Wilde was a member of and may well have influenced them into stating green as their favourite colour.)

These are the things I can actually remember about Havelock and his studies. I am sure there are a lot I have forgotten.

However, I cannot but feel these latest studies as reported in this topic are as misplaced as some of Havelock's conclusions.

I say that with the utmost respect for Mr. Ellis as I think he was a pioneer in the field of sexual liberation. (Pre Kinsey.)

I do not feel the same regard for the current researchers, at least from the reports I have seen of their work as they seem to be missing that wonderful component of compassionate common sense.

Now if you will excuse me I have to go and comb what is left of my hair whirl. :confused:

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