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12 Jul

Not only were women more apt to trust gay men under this condition, but we also found that they became more willing to make gay male friends.The downside is that if a straight woman values her gay male friends only for dating advice, the relationship could become quite superficial (see Chris Riotta’s essay “I’m Gay, Not Your Accessory”).

In these experiments, straight female participants were shown fictitious Facebook profiles depicting either a straight woman, straight man or gay man.

(After all, straight women and gay men don’t mate with one another.) However, this is precisely the reasoning behind my approach.

Because gay men don’t mate with women – or compete with them for mates – women feel a certain level of comfort with gay men, and the process of forming a close friendship can occur relatively quickly.

The female participants were then asked how likely they would be to trust the individual’s dating advice.

I also recruited gay male participants, and had them complete the same task (with the gay men viewing Facebook profiles depicting a straight female, gay male or lesbian female).