Advisor: J. Michael Bailey
Office: Cresap 225
Phone: (847) 491-4239
Though he has a page dedicated on Bailey’s website, it lists no research interests.
Can you tell whether someone’s gay just by the way he or she walks?
David Sylva wants to know. He straps bright red lights to people’s bodies and videotapes them walking in the dark. He then shows the videotape to observers (who won’t be biased by clothing or hairstyles since the walker is in the dark) and asks them to guess the walker’s sexual orientation.
Sylva’s observations focus on the physical characteristics of the individual’s stride, such as the closeness of the knees.
Why does Sylva, a graduate student at Northwestern University, care so much about how gay people walk? Because he’s one of a growing number of researchers who think sexual orientation may be as basic as how you walk, something inborn that you don’t choose.
Elizabeth Cohen (June 30, 2007). Step by step, researcher looks for sexuality clues. CNN
David Sylva, a graduate student at Northwestern University, has been studying individual walking styles to see if homosexuals’ strides are different from those of their straight counterparts. He hopes the data will give support to the nature side of the sexual orientation argument.
Connie Lee (July 6, 2007). Research points to inherit trait for homosexuality; some dispute. The Purdue Exponent.
Below: David Sylva as he appears on the Northwestern website.
Bailey is well known for his work in the field of homosexual eugenics.