One of the most publicized indications of homosexuality written on the body turned out to be false, or at least ambiguous. Luckily science updates itself when the facts change.

Widely reported, the initial study found that gay men’s hair tends to swirl around the crown of their head one way, while straight men’s tends to swirl the other direction. Straight men won’t admit to swirling, but a glance at their crowns shows they do. The technical term is actually whorl, and researchers looked at gay and straight men’s whorls and noted their clockwise and counter-clockwise manifestations.

Subsequent studies have not validated the hair whorl findings, and scientists are not sure hair whorls are a valid feature to count. As one says after analyzing the situation:

It’s hard to determine which way the hair whorls in people with long or curly hair, and the data do not fit the simple genetic model perfectly. So you should not use hair whorl direction to demonstrate basic genetics.

He doesn’t even mention those of us who no longer swirl around our crowns. :-(

They both tell us the same about our sexuality. Not much.


This article is part of a series, Written on the Body, exploring the correlations between our body structures and sexual attraction.