Research Shows Men Really Dont See Eye to Eye With Women

How Differences in Color Vision Have Contributed to Gender Roles and Stereotypes

It is well known that men and women perceive the world differently, often having conflicting views and ideas about things such as home decorating, clothing, and appearances. Recent research tells us that color vision plays an important part in our view of things and may have contributed to forming gender roles and stereotypes dating back to our hunter-gatherer past.

In one part of a recent study led by researchers at CUNY’s Brooklyn and Hunter Colleges, a group of young men and women with 20/20 vision were asked to describe various colors across the spectrum. The study revealed males are less sensitive to differences in colors and less able to differentiate shades of colors in the center of the color spectrum, including blues, greens, and yellows. Because of this, researchers noted the color vision in males was shifted.

A color spectrum is composed of light separated into different wavelengths. The spectrum is arranged in the order of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet, with the longest wavelength being red and the shortest wavelength being violet. According to the study, males require a slightly longer wavelength to perceive the same hue as females. The orange hue of a clementine, for example, may appear redder in color to a male. Likewise, males may perceive grass on a lawn as a bit more yellow in color, while females perceive a greener color.

With women showing greater sensitivity to shades of color, they may have naturally adapted to gathering fruit and plants during the hunter-gatherer prehistoric era. Researchers suggest that females are better equipped to notice different shades in static objects such as wild berries and plants. In contrast, males show greater sensitivity to rapidly moving objects and fine detail. This may have contributed to why men were primarily the hunters during the prehistoric era, as their vision makes them more capable of spotting and identifying moving prey from a distance.

The difference in vision between men and women continues to play a part in today’s gender stereotypes, although not always accurate. Ranging in topics from home decorating to video game use, it is believed that sensitivity to color or to rapidly moving objects can influence a person’s interests or capabilities. While it is debatable which vision trait is better to be dominant in, for most women, the grass appears to be greener.

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