They say you can tell a lot about someone from a first impression.
Apparently many of us can even guess whether a person is gay or straight after only a brief glimpse of their face, a study suggests.
Researchers found most people they tested had an inbuilt ‘gaydar’.
Participants were shown images of faces, free of make-up, jewellery or hair, which may have given clues.
They guessed the gay men correctly 57 per cent of the time, and gay women 65 per cent of the time.
Each of the 129 college students surveyed saw 96 photos.
Subjects with facial hair, glasses and makeup were not used in the study to prevent 'easy clues'.
The pictures were also cropped so that hairstyles were not visible.
The study, published in the online Public Library of Science, suggests that we unconsciously make decisions about whether someone is gay or straight every time we meet a new person.
Psychologist Joshua Tabak, who led the study at Washington University, said the results suggested there may be an instinctive feel for sexuality.
He said: ‘It may be similar to how we don’t have to think about whether someone is a man or a woman or black or white.
'This information confronts us in everyday life.’
The study, published in journal PLoS ONE, attributed the lower score for men to the participants making more ‘false alarm’ errors.
Mr Tabak said they could have been more likely to mistake straight men for gay because they were more familiar with the concept of gay men than they were of lesbians.
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