Toronto Diary
1 min

Can you tell who’s a top and who’s a bottom by looking at faces?

If you’ve ever played that game where you guess whether a guy is a top or a bottom by looking at his general demeanour and taking a stab in the dark? Well, you might actually be on to something.

According to a newly released study in The Archives of Sexual Behavior, people can actually make a fairly accurate assumption about someone’s sexual position based on that person’s facial features. Apparently, people tend to base their assumptions on stereotypical masculine vs feminine features, and it somehow works out to be slightly more on-the-nose than simply guessing. It doesn’t say how much better, which leads me to assume it’s not by much, but still, a slight margin of improvement is present. A clip from the study, via The Huffington Post:

"In Study 2, we determined that the relationship between men’s perceived and actual sexual roles was mediated by 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.

Thus, same-sex relationships and sexual behavior may be perceptually framed, understood, and possibly structured in ways similar to stereotypes about opposite-sex relationships, suggesting that people may rely on these inferences to form accurate perceptions.”

So basically, people tend to assume that the more masculine partner is the top and the more feminine partner is the bottom, and this assessment is only slight more accurate than flipping a coin. So . . . I guess stereotypes are actually kind of accurate then? Well, this has been kind of a depressing lesson. Yay? 

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