Facebook ‘Likes’ Can Be Used to Correctly Predict if You’re Gay 88 Percent of the Time: Study


A new study by researchers at the University of Cambridge and published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (or PNAS) reveals that sexual orientation can be predicted almost 90 percent of the time just by simply looking at what a user 'Likes' on Facebook.

Write the researchers:

We show that easily accessible digital records of behavior, Facebook
Likes, can be used to automatically and accurately predict a range
of highly sensitive personal attributes including: sexual orientation, ethnicity, religious and political views, personality traits,
intelligence, happiness, use of addictive substances, parental sepa-
ration, age, and gender. The analysis presented is based on a dataset
of over 58,000 volunteers who provided their Facebook Likes,
detailed demographic profiles, and the results of several psychomet-
ric tests. The proposed model uses dimensionality reduction for
preprocessing the Likes data, which are then entered into logistic/
linear regression to predict individual psychodemographic profiles
from Likes. The model correctly discriminates between homosexual
and heterosexual men in 88% of cases, African Americans and
Caucasian Americans in 95% of cases, and between Democrat and
Republican in 85% of cases. For the personality trait “Openness,”
prediction accuracy is close to the test–retest accuracy of a standard
personality test. We give examples of associations between attri-
butes and Likes and discuss implications for online personalization
and privacy.

They add:

Sexual orientation was easier to distinguish among males
(88%) than females (75%), which may suggest a wider behavioral
divide (as observed from online behavior) between hetero- and
homosexual males.

Read the full study HERE.


  1. BABH says

    “Sexual orientation was easier to distinguish among males (88%) than females (75%), which may suggest a wider behavioral divide (as observed from online behavior) between hetero- and homosexual males.”

    Science, telling us what we already know: that straight men (and indeed a lot of gay men) are terrified of being perceived as gay.

  2. me says

    Babh, that has to be one of the least intelligent things I’ve ever read. Get over your persecution complex–what you said makes absolutely no sense.

  3. chasmader says

    This isn’t news. The way to determine if someone is gay or straight is to watch whom they look at. This is just an updated way of doing that.

  4. ripper says

    So because I “like” Seth Fornea and Zach Walls, someone can figure out that I’m gay?

    How brilliant.

  5. Wasted Money says

    Hmm, another fine example of wasted money on a study where the conclusion is a resounding: No $hit!

  6. BABH says

    @ME – I’ll use small words, to help you understand: straight men try not to behave in a way that could make them seem “gay.” Therefore, it is not surprising that gay men and straight men have very different “likes” on Facebook.

    In other words, there is a wider difference between gay/straight male behavior than there is between lesbian/straight female behavior, and the reason for that is straight male homophobia.

  7. BABH says

    Now please explain what led you to think I have a “persecution complex” because, in Muphry’s Law [sic] style, your comment made absolutely no sense.

  8. ratbastard says

    Why do people, whom in most other cases make intelligent choices, choose to put so much information about themselves online, especially social networking sites? People who collect such data for semi-legitimate and nefarious reasons used to have to scramble to get it, now it’s handed to them on a platter.

    There is no real privacy on the internet, something which I think many people block out because it makes them uncomfortable to contemplate. And the consequences of this are still in the beginning stages of being felt, but will have very profound effect for all of us, really revolutionary in scope, and in many respects negative in nature.

  9. Rick says

    “So because I “like” Seth Fornea and Zach Walls, someone can figure out that I’m gay?”

    No, it’s probably more like if you are a male and you “like” Lady Gaga or Madonna or Cher, you are almost certainly gay……whereas if you are a male and you “like” Bruce Springsteen or Metallica, you are almost certainly straight.

    If you are a male and you “like” something sports-related, it is highly likely you are straight…..if you are a male and you “like” anything fashion-related, it is highly likely you are gay.

    And on and on and on.

    Sadly, this is proof positive the the culture of effeminacy is very real and is the prevailing mindset among gay men, and if this situation persists, it is going to be very, very difficult for gay men to ever be fully accepted in society–as opposed to being tolerated, which is not the same thing.

    If these “likes” really were a consequence of sexual orientation, per se, that would be one thing…..but they are not, of course. There is nothing about the sexual orientation of gay men that should cause them to relate more to women and women’s interests than straight men should and no reason why they should relate less to men and men’s interests than straight men should. It is all learned behavior and totally unnatural…..and if we don’t find a way to unlearn it (for our own sake, mainly, but also because of the consequences it will have for us in society), then we are doomed to be outcasts forever.

    Very depressing news, but not at all surprising.

  10. Rick says

    “I’ll use small words, to help you understand: straight men try not to behave in a way that could make them seem “gay.”

    No, straight men for the most part behave in a masculine manner that comes naturally to males of all species and is driven by biology, not culture. Gay men for the most part, having internalized the societal notion that their sexuality makes them less than true men, alter their behavior accordingly and model their behavior on women rather than men and the result is the artificial, effeminate behavior that constitutes “gay” culture.

    To be sure, straight male behavior is not ENTIRELY natural in that they erect artificial emotional barriers with other men and allow themselves emotional freedom only with women, when the natural tendency would be towards intimacy with other men, instead……so to that extent, yes, their behavior is driven by homophobia

    So neither straight nor gay men truly behave in a natural manner, which is why the entire male culture needs an overhaul.

    The results of this study seem to suggest, though, that despite some outward signs of progress in that regard, we are very far away from reaching that happy medium.

  11. Rick says

    You can tell that I’m masculine because I run away like a sissy child whenever I’m asked to give any form of proof that I’m as masculine as I want everyone to think that I am.

    In truth, I’m not terribly masculine. But I am terribly ugly, and what a lot of people don’t realize is that a gay stereotype is that “gay men are attractive”. And I’m not. So, people can’t tell that I’m gay, but it’s pretty much because I’m so ugly I couldn’t get f***ed if I fell @ss-first onto a cock factory.

    I am Rick, and I’m a cowardly and worthless excuse for a man.

  12. says

    Know what else facebook can be used for? Being openly gay, and Coming Out.

    That’s one of those funny things. A study on “how to tell if someone’s gay” is more and more ridiculous considering so many of us make no bones about our gayness. Hi, i’m gay.

    There’s a world of us that don’t hide. Hi, we’re gay, and we use facebook. And walk around in the real world. And date. And life’s pretty swell.

    And BABH – you make some very-accurate points. I went to an art school as a kid – it was amazing to see, as we got older, some of the incredibly talented male dance students drop dance all together. Why? because “dance means gay” – talent and potential ignored and avoided, so as to not be associated with something “gay”

    Hey Rick, you sack of dung – is this the day you prove your manliness by linking us all to the URL where you show us all your manly macho man example? No? It’s not? You’re gonna keep on rambling like a cowardly anonymous ninny?

    of course. thanks for proving me, and everyone else right.

  13. ripper says

    “No, it’s probably more like if you are a male and you “like” Lady Gaga or Madonna or Cher, you are almost certainly gay”

    Once again, your sad little attempts at bashing gay men ring absolutely false.

    As a matter of fact, I don’t like any of those artists. My Music “likes” on Facebook consist of VNV Nation, Front Line Assembly, Skinny Puppy, Haujobb, Neuroticfish, and about 200 other industrial/EBM acts.

    Furthermore, it turns out I also “like” dozens of sports pages on Facebook including FC Barcelona, Chelsea FC, Leo Messi, Frank Lampard, Landon Donovan, and several others. I also like numerous mountain bike pages that I use to discuss trail conditions with other bikers.

    Do you ever tire of being wrong?

    I wonder what connections the study uses to determine that you’re a sexist, homophobic a-hole.

  14. johnny says

    I guess my facebook page would make their computer (and Rick) blow a gasket.

    I like fashion and interiors but I also like Nascar and pro football. I drink beer but occasionally I like wine. I like camping out in rugged terrain and not shaving or bathing for a week at a time, but I also like being campy and bathing every day. I like art museums but I also like Monster Truck shows. I like going to wings/sports bars but I also like cooking gourmet food and staying home. I like playing sports but also like simply reading.

    Life is for living and I love ALL of it.

    This is the style of the gay man circa 2013, get over it Facebook.

  15. Thomas says

    RICK and BABH: You each might be right, but this study doesn’t give the necessary evidence. From the study: “Good predictors of male homosexuality included “No H8 Campaign,” “Mac Cosmetics,” and “Wicked The Musical,” whereas strong predictors of male heterosexuality included “Wu-Tang Clan,” “Shaq,” and “Being Confused After Waking Up From Naps.” Although some of the Likes clearly relate to their predicted attribute, as in the case of No H8 Campaign and homosexuality, other pairs are more elusive…. Moreover, note that few users were associated with Likes explicitly revealing their attributes. For example, less than 5% of users labeled as gay were connected with explicitly gay groups, such as No H8 Campaign, “Being Gay,” “Gay Marriage,” “I love Being Gay”…”

    This seems obvious to us and part of classic stereotypes, but by itself it is neither proof of a wider “culture of effeminacy” nor of “straight male homophobia.” A huge problem with the study is that it uses “Interested in” to code for homosexuality (or heterosexuality). This was less than 1000 gays and 900 lesbians, and the field was simply blank for many of the respondents (and the survey respondents comprise a biased sample too). All of these people are obviously more comfortable with creating and sharing a public persona, and it seems hard to generalize to all gay men. More importantly, Facebook itself actively pushes recommended likes to users. I know that as soon as I said I was interested in men, I was flooded with likes for musicals, fashion, etc. Plus, the SVD procedure meant that only the top 30 components were used, thus severely masking the complexity of the matrix underlying the individual users.

  16. GregV says

    I was skeptical upon reading the headline, wondering how did the researchers even confirm in the end who belonged in what “actual” category to prove their predictions right or wrong. I’m even more incredulous after reading their methods.

    First, they say they predicted sexual orientation based on Facebook “likes” such as “Britney Spears” and “Desperate Housewives.”

    Then, this is how they confirmed whether they were right:

    ” Sexual orientation was assigned using the Facebook profile “Interested in” field; users interested only in others of the same sex were labeled as homosexual (4.3% males; 2.4% females), whereas those interested in users of the opposite gender were labeled as heterosexual.”

    But the “interested in” field is NOT necessarily an indication of someone’s sexual orientation. I’ve seen married straight men check “men” or “women and men.” I am sure that some of them interpret that to mean in terms of “friending” people — NOT for sexual or romantic hook-ups.

    In fact, I would find it a little odd for a straight married man to put up a profile seeking out “women” and I could understand why he would at least be “interested in” Facebook friends of both sexes, if not just (in the case of a jealos wife or conservative man) friends solely of his own sex.
    I recall showing how Facebook works to a straight married woman and saying “There’s your old high school boyfriend. You would click here if you wanted to “friend” him.”
    She said, “Well, of course I don’t, but maybe I can look up some of my old girl friends.”

    Plus, my straight brother watched Desperate Housewives and I didn’t. And my profile doesn’t say I’m “interested in men” (I already have a man; I’m not “interested in” using Facebook to find men any more than women.)

    The study is severely flawed by confirming its conclusions with assumptions instead of facts.

  17. says

    um, any other gays currently OBSESSED with the latest David Bowie?

    pretty much every single ‘mo on my facebook friends list is talking about it 24/7.

    and justifiably. it’s uh-MAAAAZE-ing.

  18. says

    I guess one of the questions I have when someone asks “why do gay guys like ___________?” is usually, “Why doesn’t everyone else like _______?”

    Are we to apologize for being paragons of taste and culture? i certainly won’t.

    viva la camp aesthetique!

  19. Rick says

    @RIPPER I didn’t do the study….so directing your anger at me is inappropriate, but if it makes you feel better, go ahead.

    That does not mean that there are not exceptions–the correlation, was not, after all, 100%….and I am sure that if I had a lot of “likes” on my own Facebook page, I would probably incorrectly be pegged as straight. Perhaps you would have been, as well. If so, good for you–

    But clearly they found huge differences between gay men and straight men as groups and those can only be accounted for by the explanation I offered.

    If you have an alternative explanation that makes any sense, by all means share it with us, instead of resorting to a woman-like emotional outburst. I would certainly love to believe that there is an alternative explanation, because, as I said in my first comment, I find the findings of the study to be terribly depressing.

  20. BABH says

    Oh, and in my first post, where I wrote “(and indeed a lot of gay men),” I was talking about people like Rick, with their internalized homophobia.

    There’s nothing “natural” about what society happens to think is “manly” or “effeminate.” In some cultures*, it’s super butch for straight male friends to hold hands. In some cultures, pink (“vibrant and forceful”) is the right color for baby boys, and blue (“the more delicate color”) is for girls. In some cultures, a high tenor voice is macho and a bass voice is just base.

    So you don’t like sissies, Rick. Good for you. Have fun with your own oddly fetishized ideas of masculinity. But don’t go around badmouthing my fabulous, fey, lisping sisters or – manly man that I am – I will call you out as the bully and bigot that you are.

    *(our own Anglo-American culture, just 100 years ago, in fact)

  21. db says

    I’m surprising it’s not even more. I mean, is a straight guy going to like Andrew Christian underwear? Probably not. Is a straight guy going to like various gay porn stars? Hell no.

  22. Kissyfur says

    I think OUT is different from GAY. People don’t like NoH8 pages on Facebook if they are gay and don’t want people to know. Also not every gay dude likes that stuff listed. I like WuTang Clan and Shaq which purportedly make me straight. Marlarkey!!!

  23. Zlick says

    So Rick, I don’t often call you out – since it’s kind of redundant. But I’m curious, what about certain activities or elements of life make them inherently male or female? Why are sports male? Why is fashion female? Girls play sports, always have. Boys wear clothes, always have. What’s up?

  24. says

    Zlick – rather than asking him for more long-winded exuses, try asking RIck for PROOF.

    he’ll run away like that bully from the youtube video….

  25. BABH says

    Thanks, LK, I’ve admired your posts here for a while too. And yes, I’m listening to the new Bowie album as I type.

  26. says

    No man, straight or gay, who is comfortable in his own skin would be so emotionally fragile as to find this study “very depressing.” I’m sure the fact that Bruce is among my likes but Lady Gaga isn’t really threw them off–though being a man married to a man might tip off the really astute. People who are open aren’t much concerned with what their online profiles reveal to the number crunchers or anyone else.

  27. Craig S says

    Kiwi: re David Bowie, I haven’t really listened to the whole album yet here — but I do really love the songs I’ve heard so far.

    As for Facebook likes, I think I’d probably confuse these researchers royally: I’ve got some likes that obviously point at gay, some that would seem to suggest straight instead, and many more that don’t really imply anything one way or the other. Which is, well, pretty much the kinda guy I am: historically, when I’ve met gay people (and straights who have enough exposure to the gay community to know that gay men are much more diverse in manner and interests than the stereotypes would have it), they’ve picked up that I’m gay right away before I even had to explicitly come out — but when I’ve met straight people whose understanding of gays was more purely stereotypical, they not only don’t pick up on my sexuality but sometimes don’t even believe me when I do come out. I’m a bit of a Gaydar Confusion Unit, and I kinda like it that way :-)

  28. says

    well, that’s the reality Craig – a savvy human being who understands and diversity can tell we’re gay before they see us deepthroat a footlong 😉

    even my ultra-gay self confuses some less-savvy folks, simply because they don’t yet realize that, yes, some (a LOT!!?!?) of gays are inked, furry, and decked out in punk combat gear :)

    “you’re not like a lot of other gay people”, – trust, i am.

    it’s one of the beautiful things about being gay – to find “gay guys like you” all one need do is actually get out in the real world.

  29. Kyle says

    I suspect most people don’t have their sexual orientation public or filled out, so the study relying on this information is problematic. Still, I think it would be obvious to many other gay men that I’m gay from my Likes even though not a one is remotely stereotypical and plenty are counter-stereotypical. Straight people would probably not recognize the significance some of the Likes would have to a gay man (certain authors, famous people, movies, organizations, etc.). Take Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, the HBO prison drama Oz, Ben Cohen, Gareth Thomas and Macklemore for examples.

    @THOMAS That’s one of the most intelligent posts I’ve seen on Towleroad. Intelligent in its circumspection, coherence and thoroughness. Well done, sir.

  30. Craig S says

    Yeah, exactly. One of my favourites is when I’m told that I can’t be gay because I spent my teenage years back in the 1980s listening to the Smiths and R.E.M. and Husker Du instead of Madonna and Tiffany and Debbie Gibson. Like, er, you might want to do a bit of research into what the Smiths and R.E.M. and Husker Du actually had in common, eh?

    And never mind that my 1980s playlist also included Kate Bush, Annie Lennox and Sinéad O’Connor?

    And for the record, while I don’t actually have “Being Confused After Waking Up From Naps” listed as one of my Facebook likes, it completely describes me.

  31. says


    my ollllld great-aunt was visiting when i was a teen, and saw all the horror films in the TV room, said “whose are these?”
    my dad’s like “Raymond’s”
    My aunt: “what? but…he’s….a dancer…”

    BWAAAAAHAHA. yes. exactly.

  32. Rick says

    “There’s nothing “natural” about what society happens to think is “manly” or “effeminate.” In some cultures*, it’s super butch for straight male friends to hold hands. In some cultures, pink (“vibrant and forceful”) is the right color for baby boys, and blue (“the more delicate color”) is for girls. In some cultures, a high tenor voice is macho and a bass voice is just base.”

    That is where you are wrong and your examples betray you as a prisoner of the culture you have inherited.

    It is true that some of the more superficial symbols of masculinity may vary from one culture to the next. But the fundamental definition of masculinity is pretty universal across all human cultures and societies in all places at all times and is totally incompatible with effeminate behavior.

    For example, physical cowardice (a key element of the culture of effeminacy) will subject any man, anywhere in the world to disgrace and rejection (which it will not do with women), the reason being that one of the cornerstones of masculinity is the willingness to fight and defend the society (and one’s family) if need be. And that expectation falls to males because of their physical superiority to females. Nature dictating culture.

    You will not find a single instance of a culture where male and female, masculinity and feminiity are not distinguished from each other. That is because nature decreed those distinctions.

    And be careful with the holding hands example–most of the cultures in which that behavior is acceptable among men (sub-Saharan Africa, for example) are notably homophobic. So your desire to view them as being sympathetic to your notions is misguided……instead, they tend to reflect my belief that the natural emotional bonds for men are to each other rather than to women……and that the real challenge is to change the culture to allow men to express themselves with each other emotionally AND sexually with freedom, at the same time that TRUE masculine values (e.g. physical courage) continue to be adhered to.

    Your attempts to attack masculinity and make effeminate behavior among men socially acceptable are absolutely doomed to failure, I can assure you.

    So you can either do the smart thing and recognize that gay men need to face their own demons and deal with them…….or do the stupid thing and continue to wallow in the mud of oppression and go on being social outcasts.

    It is entirely up to you.

  33. Craig S says

    Even funnier, I used to know a guy who was really into heavy metal, and he also used to get that “you can’t be gay and like that stuff” speech too.

    Dude’s favourite metal band of all time? Judas Priest.

  34. BABH says

    “For example, physical cowardice (a key element of the culture of effeminacy) will subject any man, anywhere in the world to disgrace and rejection”

    So tell me, Rick, what unit were you in when you served in the military? I was in the Ranger Regiment, myself, serving as a line infantryman on 3 combat deployments. In the DADT repeal movement, I met countless mincing fairy veterans who would like nothing better than to print out this comment thread and jam it so far up your ass that you’ll find yourself eating your words.

    And tell me, Rick, have you ever seen two drag queens in a fistfight over a question of honor? Because it happens all the time.

    Physical cowardice? Just walking down the street is an act of bravery for people who refuse to perform gender according to your ridiculous and abnormal “norms.” If they sometimes flinch when someone gets too aggressive, it’s because they’ve been beaten up before. But they have great physical courage, so they refuse to let the bullies win, and keep living their lives as honestly as they know how.

    I can see how that might be threatening to you.

  35. ripper says

    “instead of resorting to a woman-like emotional outburst”

    Ironic accusation, Rick, considering you start more faggoty-like drama on here than any other poster.

  36. says

    BABH – understand where RICK is coming from – he’s a grown adult man who hates “effeminate men” because “effeminate men” don’t live in Closeted Cowardly Fear of straight men, the way that the RICKs of the world do.

    If “RICK” believed, actually believed, even one ounce of what he’s writes, he’d have an even more visible presence than I do on the internet. Why? Because he’d be adamant about affecting the change he claims to want to see. But he’s got no visible presence.
    Because he can’t affect that change, and it will certainly never come.

    You show me a gay man who wants to, uh, “eradicate the culture of effeminacy” and I’ll show a complete coward who cannot ever put a face to his claims, and uses the anonymity of the internet for his only outlet to voice his rage.

    There is no such thing as a Culture of Effeminacy. That’s a lie grown adults cowards tell themselves in order to justify being hidden and away from the real world.

    So keep it up, Culture of Effeminacy. Whatever keeps hateful cowards off the streets can’t be that bad.


  37. Craig S says

    Okay, Rick, you know what? Many, many of the biggest “physical cowards” I’ve ever met in my life have been straight men, who prided themselves on their machismo but then turned into scared little kids at the first hint of conflict — and many, many of the toughest mothertruckers I’ve ever met, the ones you did *not* want to tangled with if you valued keeping all your original body parts, have been queens of the flaming and/or drag varieties.

    Yes, it’s true, we live in a culture that values masculinity much more highly than femininity — a culture which deprecates or is outright contemptuous of women, and of men who are perceived to be more “feminine” than “masculine”. But if you think that’s okay and *we’re* the ones who need to change our cultural values instead, then you really need to give your head a shake. EVERY person on this planet — male or female, straight or gay, or anything in between either of those polarities — has a goddamn RIGHT to be EXACTLY as feminine or masculine as their own choice or circumstance dictate, while still being entitled to the exact same degree of respect no matter what.

    It’s not the gay community’s gender values that need to change, in other words — it’s everybody else’s (including, evidently, yours.)

  38. Rick says

    @BABH The great thing about the Internet is that you can make up all sorts of anecdotes without having to demonstrate that they are true or provide any empirical evidence to back up your claims.

    And all of you can anecdote yourselves to death, but it won’t make facts go away.

    I will make this observation, though: If gay men were not inclined to physical cowardice, then they never would have become so disrespected by straight men in the first place. And they would very rarely be bullied by straight men, either–or be ridiculed by them for being sissies, because any potential bully would know there would be serious consequences to his actions if he did attempt to bully.

    So your “dueling drag queens” and “mincing fairy veterans” tales are meaningless in the light of this larger observation….perhaps, though, your point was that gay men are courageous when it comes to conflicts between EACH OTHER, but are only cowards when confronted by straight men……in which case, this just further reinforces my point about gay men believing that they, themselves, (and each other) are of inferior masculinity to straight men…..which is the root cause of effeminate behavior, to begin with.

    So you see, any way you cut it, you end up at the same conclusion.

    This study was based on an empirical observation, plain and simple–and, as I said to Ripper, if you cannot come up with an alternative explanation to mine for why the empirical facts showed such dramatic differences between gay men and straight men, then you don’t have a leg to stand on.

    One final point: Gay men who behave effeminately are NOT doing so out of some devotion to their own individuality; in other words, they are not just “being who they are.” On the contrary–they are simply exchanging male models of behavior for female models of behavior and conforming to the latter. It is all about thinking of oneself as a woman and trying to be like a woman rather than a man. Which is the result of nothing but psychological trauma, however hard anyone tries to pretend otherwise.

  39. RyanInWyo says

    Is anyone surprised that the guy who always complains about the “culture of effeminacy” here showed up once again to complain about the “culture of effeminacy?”

    I guarantee you, that guy who always complains about the “culture of effeminacy” has always, always wanted to do drag but can’t bring himself to do it. He’s basically the same as the homophobe who desperately desires to suck a d!ck but can’t bring himself to do it. People fixate on the things they want.

  40. says

    and as RICK is so cowardly he can’t even put a face to his comments online, he proves that it’s because of wimpy cowards like him that anti-gay prejudice exists.


    *elegant curtsy*

    seriously, Rick. you’re such a pathetic coward. you don’t even have the balls to show yourself online.

  41. says

    @RYANINWYO – i concur.

    “i hate femmes!” gays are just like “i hate gays!” republicans.

    sooner or later their dirty little secret gets busted WIIIIIDE open.

  42. RyanInWyo says

    @Little Kiwi: Indeed. It’s time to come out of the dressing room already and show us that fabulous ensemble.

  43. says

    Wow…I never would have thought that I’d call out RICK on his b.s,like, ever because, well it’s just too easy, but this statement:

    “… holding hands example–most of the cultures in which that behavior is acceptable among men (sub-Saharan Africa, for example) are notably homophobic.”

    For someone who claims to be so well informed, surely you MUST know that homophobia is NOT inherently African but a foreign concept imported by European colonizers. Do a little research and you’ll understand, you poor soul!!

  44. BABH says

    Just as nobility is not carried in the blood but in the heart, manliness is not dependent on your physical appearance, your mannerisms, or the clothes you wear. Manliness (in latin: “virtue”) is dependent only on how you treat people, and it is most obviously revealed in the way you treat people who are more powerful than you (sucking up to “macho” men, for example) and in the way you treat people who are weaker or of lower status than you (ragging on women and effeminate men, for example).

    You may aspire to be manly, Rick, but a man stands up for the kid being picked on at recess. It is the insecure and cowardly boy who tries desperately to fit in with the cool kids by joining in their taunts. The funny thing is the harder you try, the less likely they are to accept you. Do you think maybe it’s because they see through you as easily as the rest of us do?

    There was a book in the 80’s called “Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche” that fed on the insecurities of “masculine” straight men. In actual fact, of course, Real Men eat whatever they please, without caring what other people may think. In the same way, gay men (and straight men) who are comfortable in their own skin are happy to “Like” whatever they please on Facebook. Insecure homophobes who worry too much about their peers’ opinions, on the other hand, will avoid clicking on anything that might mark them as different, or unusual, or gay.

    The key point here is that the divergence of gay from straight men on Facebook is significantly greater than the divergence of lesbians from straight women. My thesis (“Straight men are more homophobic and more insecure in their masculinity than straight women are in their feminity”) has greater explanatory power than Rick’s (“Gay men like girly things too much”). Lesbians, as a group, are way more butch than gay men are fey, so on Rick’s account we would expect the women’s divergences to be more pronounced.

  45. says


    “If these “likes” really were a consequence of sexual orientation, per se, that would be one thing…..but they are not, of course.”

    Gotta say, not loving the misogyny.

  46. Craig S says

    Shabaka: True indeed. In fact, it’s true of the majority of cultures around the world; in many or most of them, homosexuality (and effeminacy in men) was actually either accepted or even celebrated as a special class of men *venerated* above all others — UNTIL those cultures, guess what, came into contact with and started assimilating, guess what, Western Christian values.

    The type of masculinity Rick thinks is universal is, in fact, a historical aberration that’s only “universal” in the contemporary world because of colonialism and oppression; it is *not* a standard that all societies have naturally come to on their own.

  47. UFFDA says

    RICK is in great form tonight, love reading him and laughing at his inferious, led by KIWI, who squirm so desperately beneath his analysis. What an entertaining website, it’s like lying head back on a pillow and watching clouds crash into a mountain. More or less.

  48. Craig S says

    Uffda (the real one, not the mothballs troll), ain’t nobody here — and certainly not Kiwi — who has to seriously entertain any thought of actually being Rick’s “inferious”. HTH, HAND.

  49. Craig S says

    For the record, Rick’s argument so far has relied entirely on the “it’s true because I say it is” school of logic, with *no* genuine evidence or proof provided to actually support his position. Yet whenever anyone points to a counterexample that undermines his argument, he simply dismisses it as anecdotal evidence that doesn’t prove anything — even though it’s far *more* evidence than he’s ever provided.

    In other words, he is *not* the one who’s got the moral high road or the logically persuasive position here.

  50. Patrick says


    Is it really so surprising that nearly 90% of men who Like HRC and the NoH8 campaign are gay?

    That’s like saying 90% of men who have have a boyfriend identify as gay.

    Sorry but this isn’t science.

    My point is that this “study” doesn’t make a great point. It’s more *descriptive* statistics than inferential statistics.