Studies have shown that men and women do see the world differently and gender can impact the way people see. For example, men are typically more sensitive to small details and moving objects, whereas women are more perceptive to color changes. Also, Color Blindness, is much more common for men than it is for women. This is because the most common forms of color blindness are genetic conditions, passed along the X-chromosome. People with an X-chromosome and a Y-chromosome (men), only need their one X to be defective to catch it. People with two X-chromosomes (women), need their both to be defective.
Men also have thicker retinas and larger M cells than women. The M cells are responsible for tracking the movement of objects. Women on the other hand have more P cells, which are responsible for identifying objects, as well as analyzing textures and colors. Some theorize that this difference has its roots in the hunter-gatherer days when men did most of the hunting and women did most of the foraging. The ability to spot game at a distance would have been a significant advantage in hunting.
Some differences between men and women’s vision also occur during the first few months of development. For baby girls, within their first few months of life, their eye contact will increase by over 400%. For baby boys, their eye contact will show significantly less improvement during their first few months. In a study done on 100 babies on the day of their birth, girls were found to prefer looking at a young woman’s faces whereas the boys preferred moving objects.
Although everyone is susceptible to having some form of vision problem, due to their body’s chemistry, men may be susceptible to having unique vision issues. Starting at puberty, hormones cause a flux of changes within the body for boys and these hormonal changes may also affect the way the eyes grow. For men, puberty causes a sudden increase in testosterone causing a rapid amount of physical growth and their eyes also begin to lengthen in this period of time. As their eyes lengthen, this can create myopia, also known as nearsightedness. This change in eyesight can last for a short period of time or it can last into adulthood causing a more permanent change to their vision.