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We then asked the women how sincere they felt the responses were.
As expected, the female subjects seemed to perceive the judgments coming from the gay man to be more sincere because they knew that he wouldn’t have any ulterior motives—whether that meant wooing the subject (which they might suspect of straight men) or competing for the same romantic partner (straight women).
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).
Still, more needed to be done to support the hypothesis.
To test this, we created a fake news article that detailed extremely skewed sex ratios, indicating that women in college were competing over a very small pool of men.
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.
For the final two studies, we wanted to figure out when women were most likely to befriend and place their trust in gay men.
We predicted that this would most often occur in highly competitive dating environments, where a trustworthy source like a gay friend would be valued by women jockeying with one another for a boyfriend.