Several studies over the past few years reveal that men and women truly see things differently. You may feel that way about your opposite sex partner in the figurative sense and now it has literally been proven true. We’re sharing the eye-opening studies that demonstrate how men and women see the world differently.
“Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus,” is how the saying goes. When it comes to the senses, the metaphor is pretty much spot on. It’s been determined that women have a keener sense of hearing and smell than men, and now differences in the way men and women see the world are also coming into view.
In 2012, one study from CUNY’s Brooklyn and Hunter Colleges found that women have a more distinct color awareness and were better able to differentiate between hues of color. Interestingly, women also have a broader color vocabulary to accompany their ability to make hue distinctions. Additionally this research showed that men are better able to differentiate contrast changes than women when looking at a series of colored bars of different widths.
This research points to embryo and fetal development as the beginnings of the way men and women see the world differently. As the study explains, the male sex hormone androgen is responsible for these vision differences. When embryos are developing with the help of hormones, the connectivity that drives certain neurons in the brain differs between males and females.
Some scientists believe that males and females may have evolved to be masters of their visionary skills. As hunters, men would need to track objects from a distance – such as prey or enemies – and notice subtle differences in their environment. Women, on the other hand, would need a more perceptive awareness of static colors for gathering foods.
Another recent study from Queen Mary University of London found that men and women see the world differently when they are looking at faces too. Both men and women tend to look into another person’s left eye more often but women have a stronger propensity to do so. Researchers believe this is because vision and facial processing is managed by the right hemisphere of the brain, which controls the left side of the body. This was the first study of its kind to show a gender difference in face exploration and therefore how the brain processes visual information. Other factors such as age, culture, personality and health conditions may play a role as well.
Interestingly, the study of eye movement can have some grand medical applications. For a fraction of the cost of traditional testing, conditions such as ADHD, autism and dementia may soon be screened using gaze-based methods because the eyes give significant clues into the state of the brain.
Next time you and someone of the opposite sex view things differently, remember, there’s a lot of biology behind it.
Sources: The Huffington Post, Live Science, Lion’s Talk Science and National Geographic