Add this to
your gaydar: a new report in Live Science says that you
can tell a person's sexual orientation from their eyes. Pupils, that is. According to Stephanie Pappas, a new study finds that
pupil dilation is an accurate indicator of sexual orientation. When people look
at erotic images and become aroused, their pupils open up in an unconscious
reaction, which gave researchers a much easier way to to study orientation and
arousal without traditionally invasive blood flow to the genital measurements.
Researcher Ritch Savin-Williams, a
developmental psychologist at Cornell University, says the new study is the
first large-scale experiment to show that pupil dilation matches what people
report feeling aroused by.
"So if a man says he's straight,
his eyes are dilating towards women," Savin-Williams told Live
Science. "And the opposite with gay men, their eyes are dilating to
Savin-Willims told Live
Science that the pupils dilate slightly in response to any exciting or
interesting stimulus, a sign that the autonomic nervous system — the system
that controls involuntary actions like pulse and breathing — is ramping up.
Savin-Williams and fellow researcher
Gerulf Rieger had 325 men and women who idetified as gay, straight, or bisexual
watch one-minute videos of a man masturbating, a woman masturbating, and
neutral landscape scenes while a camera measured tiny changes in their pupil
The results, according to Live
Science, showed that pupil dilation matches the pattern seen in genital
arousal studies. In men, this pattern is generally straightforward: Straight
men respond to sexual images of women; gay men to sexual images of men; and
bisexual men to both men and women. But women's responses were more complex,
said Savin-Wiliams, because while lesbians responded to images of other women,
straight women "dilate basically equally in response to erotic images of
both sexes, despite reporting feelings of arousal for men and not women."
Whether there's a host of closeted
bisexual women or another evolutionary answer to this straight girl dilation,
it gives researchers a complex result to try to unravel.
To read the full study, visit Live Science.
SOURCE: GAY DOT NET