Entertainment » Culture

Who’s On Top? Study Says Clues In Your Face

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Wednesday Apr 10, 2013

Ever wonder if he's a top or bottom? Well, fret no more: A new study published in the April 2013 edition of Sexual Behavior claims that people are able to identify who "tops" and who "bottoms" in a gay relationship.

The study, called "Accurate Identi?cation of a Preference for Insertive Versus Receptive Intercourse from Static Facial Cues of Gay Men," found that "observers were able to discern men's sexual roles from photos of their faces with accuracy that was signi?cantly greater than chance guessing."

The study's abstract goes on to say that in another part of the study, scientists discovered that "naïve observers" made their guesses of who was the top and bottom by assessing the men's perceived masculinity. "Together, these results suggest that people rely on perceptions of characteristics relevant to stereotypical male-female gender roles and heterosexual relationships to accurately infer sexual roles in same-sex relationships."

The study's abstract concludes that same-sex relations and sexual behavior "may be perceptually framed, understood, and possibly structured in ways similar to stereotypes about opposite-sex relationships." It adds that people may depend on these references to "form accurate perceptions."

Researchers Konstantin O. Tskhay and Nicholas O. Rule pointed out that the results are interesting because they "suggest that people may tend to generalize their stereotypical perceptions of heterosexual gender roles to other forms of sexual relationships."


  • , 2013-04-11 11:58:54

    What a bunch of bull! I am assuming the researchers live or grew up in The states, the only place in the world where gay and straight people alike are obsessed with role assignment. In the rest of the world people tend to scuff if someone wants to pin them down as either top or bottom. Sexuality is fluid and varied. Also it is a commonly known fact that there is a huge amount of hyper masculine bottoms and uber feminine tops. Stereotypical male-female gender roles are only useful within the frame of a same sex relationship if you want to write a gay sitcom that will be aired in The States. (Think The New Normal.) This approach is reductive, shortsighted and imprecise. I would love to see where this study was conducted and how "varied" was the sampling. I am guessing not very.

  • DanC, 2013-04-12 18:32:26

    Agreed. Who would pay or spend money on a "study" like this. From just this article I’d say the study was a put-on and fraudulent.

  • Oh Jed said:, 2013-04-12 23:31:24

    I hope that you find the time to create a personal name for your postings. Anonymous is just too sad for perfect comments.

  • GAG'EM, 2013-04-25 22:15:34

    My first thought was that this was an April Fool hoax. Then I just realized it was a load of horseshit. Why do straight people always assume that gay men adopt ’male’ and ’female’ roles in their relationships? There are plenty of versatile men, and couples that flip-flop. These "researchers" failed to consider that. One of the advantages of gay relationships over straight relationships is that they are inherently more equal. No culturally predetermined dominant and subordinate roles.

  • DanC, 2013-04-25 22:35:13

    Again agreed. Now, just convince the Latino community that man/woman is a misconception (i.e. to Latinos, if you are the "woman", you deserve to die). gag’em, oh my! Post your phone no. (and addr).

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