Addis Ethiopia Weblog

Ethiopia's World

Men and Women Explore the Visual World Differently

Posted by addisethiopia on December 4, 2012

My note: Eyes are the most important part of both men and women, if we want to discover and know something about them — as the eyes are the window to our souls.

Have you ever looked into someones eyes and felt a kind of presence about them? Or on the contrary, you felt inclined to get away or that something was off about that person? Or, have you ever been able to detect darkness about a person based on their eyes?

I’m personally convinced that the eyes are capable of telling a lot about a person.

BeautifulEyes

Everyone knows that men and women tend to hold different views on certain things. However, new research by scientists from the University of Bristol and published in PLoS ONE indicates that this may literally be the case.

Researchers examined where men and women looked while viewing still images from films and pieces of art. They found that while women made fewer eye movements than men, those they did make were longer and to more varied locations.

These differences were largest when viewing images of people. With photos of heterosexual couples, both men and women preferred looking at the female figure rather than the male one. However, this preference was even stronger for women.

“Women may be attaching more risk to looking people in the eye,” Mercer Moss noted, which is why they may focus their gaze on a lower part of the face than men do.

Research on gender differences in eye movements isn’t new. But previous studies used specific imagery, such as faces registering emotions or sexually suggestive pictures, said Mercer Moss. In this study, he wanted to know whether gender differences existed when people viewed more general visual stimuli. It turns out they do.

Mercer Moss himself hopes the study results will promote better eye-movement research. “University departments that do this kind of eye-tracking work tend to have skewed gender ratios,” he noted. These include computer-science departments, which tend to be male-dominated, and psychology departments, which tend to be female-dominated.

That means results from such studies may not be broadly applicable, Mercer Moss explained.

But one thing now seems clear: As the age-old battle of the sexes continues, beauty isn’t the only thing in the eye of the beholder.

 

Continue reading…

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