Researchers at the University of Warwick gave tests to a large group of people to determine whether sexual orientation had an effect on performing mental tasks. They worked with BBC to collect the data from over 198,000 men and women aged 20–65 years.

They found that men outperformed women on tests such as mentally rotating objects (skills used in real life to navigate with a map). However, women outperformed men in verbal dexterity tests and in remembering the locations of objects. They also noticed that for a number of tasks there were key differences across the range of sexual orientations.

In mental rotation, where men usually performed better, the results showed that the table of best performance to worst was: 1. heterosexual men; 2. bisexual men; 3. homosexual men; 4. homosexual women; 5. bisexual women and 6. heterosexual women.

In general, where a gender performed better in a task heterosexuals of that gender tended to perform better than non-heterosexuals. However, when a particular gender was poorer at a task homosexual and bisexual people tended to perform better than heterosexual members of that gender.

Age was found to discriminate on gender grounds but not sexual orientation. Men’s mental abilities declined faster than women’s while sexual orientation made no difference to the rate of that decline in either men or women.