Gay vs straight dating
The experiments, published in the journal , demonstrated that straight women and gay men perceived one another to be trustworthy sources of relationship and dating advice.
In other words, when it came to dating-related matters, there was an almost instantaneous level of implicit trust.
About three years ago, I initially tested this theory in a series of experiments that have served as the foundation of my research program on gay-straight relationships.
In these experiments, straight female participants were shown fictitious Facebook profiles depicting either a straight woman, straight man or gay man.
In other words, it’s not like straight women totally trusted gay men on all matters.
It really only had to do with one thing: dating and relationships.
Recently, my colleagues and I at the University of Texas at Arlington developed a series of four related studies.
We had women read this news article and then indicate how much they would trust a straight woman or a gay man in various dating-related scenarios.
When women read the news article about the increased competition, their trust in gay men was amplified.
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”).