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.
It really only had to do with one thing: dating and relationships.
To further examine why this might be the case, we had women imagine receiving information from either a straight woman, straight man, or a gay man about their physical appearance and the dateability of potential boyfriends.
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.
Other findings—combined with our own—show that there seems to be an extremely strong psychological underpinning for why women are so drawn to gay men.
For instance, a recent study in the revealed that straight women tend to hire gay men over other heterosexual individuals because they perceive gay men to be more competent and warmer.
Why are straight women so drawn to having gay men as friends? During the course of my research, I’ve discovered that the most interesting, compelling—and, arguably, most theoretically coherent—explanation is through the lens of evolution.
Specifically, I believe evolutionary psychology and human mating can help explain why relationships between straight women and gay men tend to flourish.