March 11, 2005


Gay men read maps like women (Shaoni Bhattacharya, 25 February 2005,

Gay men employ the same strategies for navigating as women - using landmarks to find their way around - a new study suggests.

But they also use the strategies typically used by straight men, such as using compass directions and distances. In contrast, gay women read maps just like straight women, reveals the study of 80 heterosexual and homosexual men and women. [...]

The stereotype that women are relatively poor map readers is borne out by a reasonable bulk of scientific literature, notes Rahman. "Men, particularly, excel at spatial navigation." The new study might help researchers understand how cognitive differences and sexual orientation develop in the womb, he says. [...]

The difference between gay men and lesbian women might hint at differences in development, says Rahman. Previous work has shown that lesbians show little difference in their cognitive skills compared with straight women.

The only measure on which they appear to shift is on language production or verbal fluency, he adds. Like straight men, lesbians tend to be more sparing with words than straight women. Gay men, however, are inclined to speak as much as straight women.

That last bit by itself explains why men are homophobes but approve of lesbianism.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 11, 2005 1:46 PM

Well, you have to have a tendancy to speak more if you're always having to ask others how to get somwhwere (Of couse, if you put the map-reading and verbosity sections of the stories together, it would also explain why Thelma and Louise drove off that cliff -- totally lost and disinclined to ask for directions).

Posted by: John at March 11, 2005 2:11 PM

My husband says men approve of lesbianism because men are too conceited to believe there truly is such a thing as a lesbian i.e. if she met the right man (usually self-referential) she wouldn't be gay. These are my husband's words so agree or disagree with him.

Posted by: Buttercup at March 11, 2005 2:29 PM


Even easier--we can understand being attracted to women, but can't understand why even women are attracted to us.

Posted by: oj at March 11, 2005 2:35 PM

One sexually aroused nude woman - good
Two or more sexually aroused nude women - even better!
Not rocket science.

Posted by: Governor Breck at March 11, 2005 2:38 PM


OJ & Governor Breck are absolutely correct. Men are simpler and more straightforward than you think, and this confuses you - somewhat like President Bush confounds his opponents.

Posted by: Bruce Cleaver at March 11, 2005 2:43 PM


Exactly right. My wife advises her young female acquaintances that the "3F" method (feed him, flatter him and...) is infallible for a happy and long relationship. Really, guys, which of you wants more than that? Actually, any two will probably do.

Posted by: Rick T. at March 11, 2005 2:55 PM

And Buttercup:

Yes, most men believe that lesbians are made, not born.

Posted by: Rick T. at March 11, 2005 2:56 PM

if gay men are like women, and they are in turn attracted to other gay men, doesn't that make gay men lesbians ?

and if lesbians are like men, and they are in turn attracted to other lesbians, doesn't that make lesbians gay men ?

where is that damn rabbit with my pills, my head hurts

Posted by: cjm at March 11, 2005 3:01 PM

That's brilliant, cjm. We shall use my largest scales ...

Posted by: sir bedevire at March 11, 2005 4:16 PM


Posted by: cjm at March 11, 2005 4:39 PM

Except Orrin, I've never heard any man express approval of lesbianism.


The insertion of lesbian scenes in porn movies aimed at men suggests some do, anyhow.

It always puzzled me, but the explanation I heard made sense -- similar to what Buttercup's husband said.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at March 15, 2005 3:06 AM


Every man I know approves of lesbianism, explicitly and, as your porn scene note acknowledges, implicitly. As Jonah Goldberg put it: every man thinks every woman is about one beer away from kissing another woman.

Posted by: oj at March 15, 2005 7:30 AM