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Women See Colors Better

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the fuschia-and-mauve dept.

Science 103

fenimor writes "The results of the study by researchers at the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University, suggests that natural genetic selection has provided women with a frequent ability to better discriminate between colors than men. 'Normally, this degree of genetic variation is suppressed through natural selection,' says Brian Verrelli, a researcher at ASU. 'In this case, nature is supporting a high degree of variation instead.' Because women have two X chromosomes, women can receive one chromosome with the typical configuration of the red vision gene while the other chromosome receives a slight variation. By contrast, men have one X chromosome, and any variation in the single red gene that they receive reduces their ability to distinguish between red and green."

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[OBVIOUS] (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10138389)

If this were fark, this story would have the OBVIOUS tag.

Re:[OBVIOUS] (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10139596)

So that's what is wrong with the IT website colors!

Re:[OBVIOUS] (1)

cybermancer (99420) | more than 10 years ago | (#10141122)

I am pretty sure their research went something like this:

http://www.mckeeth.org/2004/09/superior-color-se ns e-of-women.shtml

I wonder how much this study cost us tax payers?

Re:[OBVIOUS] (1)

geek42 (592158) | more than 10 years ago | (#10148383)

Funny... but wrong. I do hope he's joking about the second law of thermodynamics meaning that evolution can only degrade a system. The problem being, of course, that the earth isn't a closed system. Simply add in the sun, constantly bombarding us with an endless stream of all the entropy we could ever want, and wow... looks like evolution can work after all. I just like pointing out the obvious.

Now for the not-so-obvious: I've actually observed the effects of this experiment (along with a new result which I'm not sure the experiment confirmed) while out for a walk with my girlfriend at dusk. I pointed out to her that it was too dark to tell what colour our popsicles were - bright pink in the darkness kinda looked dull-orangy to me. She pointed out that it was clearly bright pink. She's clearly more sensitive to color in low light.

And now the interesting part: She's LESS sensitive to intensity. I can dinstinguish shapes in the darkness long after she's gone blind.

My theory: differing ratios (or quantities) of cones/rods.

Oh, and dude, don't assume taxpayers pay for all research. Probably this research - what company would care about this - but not all research.

Re:[OBVIOUS] (1)

cybermancer (99420) | more than 10 years ago | (#10150278)

I was mostly stiring the pot (aka Trolling) with the taxpayers and thermodynamics comments.

That is interesting about your girlfriend and popsicles. I think you are right on the money with the rods and cones.

Re:[OBVIOUS] (1)

shadowmas (697397) | more than 10 years ago | (#10146779)

"sorry office i have two X chromosomes and i saw it as a green light."

not really news (4, Interesting)

Tomahawk (1343) | more than 10 years ago | (#10138411)

This isn't really news - it's well known that women have better eyesight, and are less prone to colour blindness than men, all due to that X-Chromosome.

There was a story last year sometime (couldn't fine it, and was trying to find the article on Google - I'll try again and post a listing) where it claimed that someone women had an extra-sensitive sight for colours - especially shades of blue. Again, all due to them have 2 X-Chromosomes. One lady in the article was able to pick out a pair of shoes that were a perfect match for a dress she had purchased months back and was in her wardrobe since then.

Interesting stuff, but not really all that newsworthy, methinks.

T.

Re:not really news (4, Interesting)

GoRK (10018) | more than 10 years ago | (#10138481)

Actually, it's a sensitivity to red. Apparently some women (termed tetrachromats) have an extra cone along down the red way allowing them to make more distinction when there are red hues in a color. The article was in Wired if you want to narrow your search.

Re:not really news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10139335)

So why do so many asian women drive so bandly?

Red light too bright?

Re:not really news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10140213)

Same reason you type so "bandly"??

racism is uncool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10140792)

racism is uncool.

Re:not really news (2, Funny)

UrgleHoth (50415) | more than 10 years ago | (#10142571)

And here I thought it was my fault when I make my wife see red. Now I've got an excuse!

Re:not really news (1)

Myself (57572) | more than 10 years ago | (#10149307)

You're speaking of Looking for Madam Tetrachromat [freerepublic.com] .

Damn (2, Funny)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 10 years ago | (#10138487)

If there's been a team of ladies concocting some of the recent Slashdot colour schemes recently, that might explain why my eyes hurt... :-)

Re:Damn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10138505)

No. The fact that the colors are so damned ugly is just proof that men did it. I know that the trolls like to pretend that the Slashdot editors are gay, but the color schemes are clear proof that they aren't.

Re:not really news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10152000)

This isn't really news - it's well known that women have better eyesight, and are less prone to colour blindness than men, all due to that X-Chromosome.

There was a story last year sometime (couldn't fine it, and was trying to find the article on Google - I'll try again and post a listing) where it claimed that someone women had an extra-sensitive sight for colours - especially shades of blue. Again, all due to them have 2 X-Chromosomes. One lady in the article was able to pick out a pair of shoes that were a perfect match for a dress she had purchased months back and was in her wardrobe since then.

Interesting stuff, but not really all that newsworthy, methinks.

T.


In other news, scientists have discovered women have better grammar than men.

Well, duh!! (4, Funny)

Geraden (15689) | more than 10 years ago | (#10138425)

When I describe a color for my wife, she always corrects me, "That's not pink, that's peach!" or, "That's more of a seafoam green, Scott!"

Any man who is married & has gone paint shopping with his spouse knows exactly what I mean.

At least we now have a biological reason for our apparent color-blindness.

Re:Well, duh!! (1)

karnal (22275) | more than 10 years ago | (#10139248)

I just tell my fiancee that I don't really care. I make her pick out paint colors herself. Besides, isn't that what we're here for? They pick out the paint, we get to put it on the walls....

Re:Well, duh!! (1)

booch (4157) | more than 10 years ago | (#10139254)

Yes, women definitely know a lot more color names than men. Other examples include fuchsia, teal, cornflower (which is blue -- not yellow!), taupe, chartreuse, and mauve. Heck, I'm lucky if I can distinguish beige from white or tan -- much less subtle shades in between like cream, ivory, or eggshell.

My theory on this is that women had the box of 64 or 128 crayons when they were little, and men grew up with only the 8-pack box of crayons. Still doesn't explain why neither gender ever mentions the color "burnt sienna" [cnn.com] after age 6.

Re:Well, duh!! (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 10 years ago | (#10139707)

Yeah, but do they actually agree on the names?
I've observed a few girls debating on what is turquoise and what isn't. Wasn't very conclusive[1].

It's not very useful to have many names for colours if everyone has different names for the colours.

[1] While women can be pigheaded about such subjective stuff, they're usually not pigheaded and obsessive about it as a few men - who'd then do stuff like take a lot of trouble and time to define a "standard" colour chart.

Re:Well, duh!! (1)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 10 years ago | (#10140740)

Pantone to the rescue?

Re:Well, duh!! (1)

bob65 (590395) | more than 10 years ago | (#10141141)

Yes, women definitely know a lot more color names than men. Other examples include fuchsia, teal, cornflower (which is blue -- not yellow!), taupe, chartreuse, and mauve. Heck, I'm lucky if I can distinguish beige from white or tan -- much less subtle shades in between like cream, ivory, or eggshell.

But can men see the difference between the different colors? If so, maybe they just have a larger color vocabulary, due to experience.

Re:Well, duh!! (1)

TykeClone (668449) | more than 10 years ago | (#10143008)

cornflower (which is blue -- not yellow!)

I'm not sure that corn has a real flower that you'd recognize. You've got the tassel (which isn't usually yellow) and the silk - which starts out yellowish but browns after pollenation.

I'd think that cornflower would probably be white - the color of corn flour.

Re:Well, duh!! (1)

extremely (1681) | more than 10 years ago | (#10151406)

You are kidding, right? cornflower [google.com] images are easy to come by on the web. Most people might not recognize it since they buy corn in a can but corn is a flowering plant.

Re:Well, duh!! (1)

TykeClone (668449) | more than 10 years ago | (#10153242)

Dude - I don't think that's corn. It looks more like a wildflower or something, but it's not corn.

Re:Well, duh!! (1)

Lars T. (470328) | more than 10 years ago | (#10143150)

Still doesn't explain why neither gender ever mentions the color "burnt sienna" after age 6.

Well, Bob Ross [rotten.com] always used a little bit of burnt sienna - and a lot of other little bits of strange colors to paint his happy little somethings. What that says about his gender, I don't know. PS: the link is harmless. No, really.

Re:Well, duh!! (1)

booch (4157) | more than 10 years ago | (#10143387)

Bob Ross rocks! For some unknown reason, we had a Bob Ross kit of some sort in the tech shop when I worked at CompUSA. We joked about getting Bob Ross certifications.

Re:Well, duh!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10144088)

Still doesn't explain why neither gender ever mentions the color "burnt sienna" after age 6.

What? You clearly don't know any artists. Burnt sienna is a well known pigment. BTW, my wife picks all the colors. She's not just a women, she's an artist.

Re:Well, duh!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10150455)

cornflower (which is blue -- not yellow!)

Well, of course the colour "cornflower" is blue. Cornflowers are blue flowers, after all! They're those little blue flowers that grow in the ditches beside cornfields. It's entirely possible that's why they're called "cornflowers". Even if that's not the etymology, it's still an easy way to remember the name. Assuming, of course, you're a geek who's not afraid to go outside once in a while.

--
AC

Re:Well, duh!! (1)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | more than 10 years ago | (#10139280)

I agree whole-heartedly! I have indeed done the paint thing with my wife and am amazed that she can differentiate between colors that to my eyes looks alike. I think just the fact that colors like "mauve" and "fuschia" exist is more than adequate support for the notion.

Re:Well, duh!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10142180)

Just show her slashdot's IT page and she'll be as colorblind as any of us.

I believe it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10138444)

Girls are the only people who tell me I am colorblind.

Re:I believe it (1)

geniepiper (679773) | more than 10 years ago | (#10153164)

As a woman I find that a great many men have difficulty telling blue from green.

Of course... (4, Funny)

GypC (7592) | more than 10 years ago | (#10138447)

That explains why there are so many female master painters in the classical Western style, which uses subtle color variations to portray a scene in a very lifelike manner.

Rembrandt, being male, was obviously a hack.

Re:Of course... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10138480)

Did the article say that all men are colorblind and that all women see vibrant colors 200% better than men? Get out of your ridiculous black and white kneejerk mindset, it isn't going to take you anywhere.

Re:Of course... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10139140)

Keep it clean, fellas. Was there not a "funny" moderation at the time you replied to that post?

It's kind of like if someone said women are generally smarter. Someone will obviously bring up the same sort of counterexamples: if they're so smart, why was music, art, and science more or less dominated by men before the 20th century?

Re:Of course... (1)

Lord Omlette (124579) | more than 10 years ago | (#10140814)

Unless he wasn't really male! dundunDUN

Re:Of course... (1)

no reason to be here (218628) | more than 10 years ago | (#10141652)

Well, ignoring the patriarchal and oppressive nature of Western society until recently, a whole lot of those painters were also gay, which might explain part of it. /Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Re:Of course... (1)

GypC (7592) | more than 10 years ago | (#10143172)

patriarchal and oppressive nature of Western society As opposed to the enlightened and egalitarian societies of... where, exactly?

a whole lot of those painters were also gay, which might explain part of it.

What are you saying? Gay men have 2 X chromosomes?

Re:Of course... (1)

no reason to be here (218628) | more than 10 years ago | (#10145615)

What are you saying? Gay men have 2 X chromosomes?
No, but gay men have certain brain structures that are like women's. It may not have anything to do with chromosomes. The gay interior designers and the like that I see on various reality shows seem to know color pretty well.

As far as enlightened societies...well...uhh...I'm sure there was one somewhere, once...maybe.

Re:Of course... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10149170)

No, but gay men have certain brain structures that are like women's. It may not have anything to do with chromosomes. The gay interior designers and the like that I see on various reality shows seem to know color pretty well.

Except, in this case, TFA is about color perception in eyes of women because of the second X-chromosome that they possess.

Re:Of course... (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 10 years ago | (#10153308)

While not specificaly linked it is possible for them to have 2 X chromosomes:

See here [kaiser.org]

Re:Of course... (1)

HBI's_girl (747955) | more than 10 years ago | (#10146217)

From a real world perspective. I was in a painting and color theory class about 2 years ago. There was a guy in my class who was completely red green color blind and partially blue orange color blind as well. His clothes were usually dark shirt, khaki pants so he wouldn't mess up the colors and clash. As unbelievable as it sounds, the guy was one of the BEST in the class in terms of matching the color on his canvas to the real world color of what he was painting.

I can't imagine this would happen often, and I wouldn't have believed it had I not seen it happen, but obviously at least some people who are color blind can compensate.

Personal theory (4, Insightful)

clintp (5169) | more than 10 years ago | (#10138482)

My pet theory is that humans are selected that way because for millions of years as hunter-gatherers women did the gathering and men did the hunting. (Presumably, because it's harder to hunt with an infant, but it really doesn't slow down your gathering.)

Women would need to be able to distinguish fine colors to tell plant features apart (poisonous, spoiled). If you make a bad choice, your group might get sick. Whereas men don't really need to distinguish colors as finely because an antelope is an antelope no matter what shade it is.

A color-blind male won't hurt the group much. A color-blind (or handicapped) female would.

Re:Personal theory (1)

nelsonal (549144) | more than 10 years ago | (#10139027)

The last paper I saw hypothosised that color blindness is an advantage while hunting because everything is camoflaged so motion and shape cues are more important (which is what better hunters rely on normall). A colorblind male could potentially help the hunting group.

Re:Personal theory (1)

Watcher (15643) | more than 10 years ago | (#10140187)

An aside on this: the military recruits color blind individuals very heavily. As it turns out, they make excellent snipers because they are not easily fooled by camo. The same problem was probably an advantage in some circumstances on the serengetti thousands of years ago.

Re:Personal theory (4, Informative)

NegativeK (547688) | more than 10 years ago | (#10140694)

An aside on this: the military recruits color blind individuals very heavily.

They do..? After deciding to join the service, I looked through the Army MOS specifications: less than 20 out of 200 jobs the Army offers allow for red-green deficiency. Specifically, the Army doesn't allow color-blind programmers (much less infantry.) Go figure.
The Air Force, which is who I intend on going with, seems to think that black text on white backgrounds isn't a bane to us with minor red-green deficiency. w0074r.

By the way, the official MOS descriptions for the Army are located here. [about.com] You can also find all of the other official descriptions for the other services at the wonderful website as well.

Re:Personal theory (1)

Watcher (15643) | more than 10 years ago | (#10140972)

Huh, interesting. I was told about this by an army sniper who was color blind...of course, there could have been a high BS factor.

Re:Personal theory (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 10 years ago | (#10146843)

Huh, interesting. I was told about this by an army sniper who was color blind...

"Dammit, you stupid soldier! I ordered you to shoot the guy in RED, not in green."

Re:Personal theory (1)

Thornae (53316) | more than 10 years ago | (#10147507)

Colour blind guys are better at not being fooled by camoflague (thus, good for snipers). I've a colour-blind friend who proved this at the Army stand at the local show, when they were showing off their new camo gear. They had a picture with ten guys in camo hidden in it, saying that most people could only find two or three. My mate picked out all ten in less than half a minute. Guess it's a good thing he's a pacifist.

Re:Personal theory (2, Interesting)

smurf975 (632127) | more than 10 years ago | (#10140196)

This is also what I thought as dogs are color blind and they are normally hunters. Seeing in black and white makes you see contrast better.

As I understand some of the big cats (lions, panthers, tigers) only see in shades of green. Which is basically the same as being color blind, however the shades of green work out better at night (moonlight) time.

The only species that need to see color are ones that eat fruit, to see if its ripe or not.

Re:Personal theory (1)

Yokaze (70883) | more than 10 years ago | (#10139042)

What I don't like about that theory, or at least my understanding from it, is that it sounds like women and men would evolve seperately.

My theory is, colour blindness, like any genetic "defect" is recessive. And in the case of the gonosomes, men lack the usual dominant allele (in exchange for some other features)

But in contrast to other genetic defects, for example cystic fibrosis, the phenotpye is less lethal. Hence it is more prevalent.

The reason, that it is bound to the gonosomes can be pure chance.

Re:Personal theory (1)

AgniTheSane (608074) | more than 10 years ago | (#10139784)

Um, the reason women see colors better, according to the article, is because they have 2 X-Chromosomes. So, your theory implies that they developed with 2 X-Chromosomes, and men with one, due to millions of years of hunting and gathering?

I am not sure that makes sense...

Re:Personal theory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10140323)

No, the X and Y were just 'there', and whatever information is on them was just refined over the ages.

Re:Personal theory (1)

AgniTheSane (608074) | more than 10 years ago | (#10141190)

Except that it probably happened about 23 million years ago--which kind of pre-dates humans and hunting and gathering....

http://www.umich.edu/news/Releases/2003/Jun03/r061 603.html

Re:Personal theory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10143216)

Actually, the XX / XY system is far less stable than you might think. Several mammals (rodents mostly) appear to be evolving away from it, and don't forget that birds work the other way around (female birds would be XY if the bird chromosones were XY). And reptiles and amphibians are often temperature-controlled, above a certain temperature, the embryo matures male (or maybe it's female, not sure).

Re:Personal theory (1)

austad (22163) | more than 10 years ago | (#10141142)

Also, a colorblind person can supposedly see better in the dark than a non-colorblind person, due to there being more rods in their eye.

I'm horribly colorblind, but I can see fine when others think it's pitch black.

Re:Personal theory (1)

stonecypher (118140) | more than 10 years ago | (#10164210)

This'll be insightful as soon as you can name a plant or meat in which subtle color changes indicate rot. The chef among us will quickly point out that the first and most accurate way to determine the state of food is smell, not sight. The variations between perfectly good plants in some cases reach across thirty degrees of both hue and value.

And, by the way, the article points out that the women simply have a greater statistical domain for eyesight, being able to carry both a normal and a mutant vision gene, whereas we lowly men have to choose. This is also why tetrachromacy is virtually unknown amongst men, yet afflicts more than three percent of women.

Hmm (4, Funny)

LordOfYourPants (145342) | more than 10 years ago | (#10138519)

I've taken this color blindness test [liquidgeneration.com] myself and I have to say that I was shocked with the final results.

Re:Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10138618)

Damn, I've got to get to the eye doctor now.

Re:Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10139009)

You suck. :(

DO NOT CLICK LINK SHOCKING FLASH IMAGE (2, Informative)

timothv (730957) | more than 10 years ago | (#10139894)

If I ever met you, I would stab you repeatedly with a knife for not giving a warning.

Re:DO NOT CLICK LINK SHOCKING FLASH IMAGE (1)

stonecypher (118140) | more than 10 years ago | (#10164223)

Yes, because surely the site will work best if you're warned first. Please have a funny bone surgically installed.

Mod parent down heavily.

Re:DO NOT CLICK LINK SHOCKING FLASH IMAGE (1)

timothv (730957) | more than 10 years ago | (#10164748)

Great way to dig up a post from 3 days ago. You might find it funny, but 90% of people do not. Someone might get chronic nightmares or a heart attack, or similar.

Re:Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10156393)

Do not follow that link. You think you're taking one of those normal colour blindness tests where you have to read the numbers and then all of a sudden a image of some woman with blood all over her face and eyes appears along with a blood chilling scream audio. Very disturbing.

Isn't this very old news? (2, Interesting)

Bluesman (104513) | more than 10 years ago | (#10138532)

I'm color blind, and I've always heard color blindness is passed genetically and occurs in men, predominantly.

My grandfather had that problem too, so I guess my mother passed it to me.

Re:Isn't this very old news? (1)

nelsonal (549144) | more than 10 years ago | (#10139124)

It's sex linked. The gene is deficient in the X cromesome and reccessive. I'm sure this is simplified as there isn't one colorblind gene. Girls require two colorblind genes to be colorblind, or they are just carriers. Boys have a 50% chance of being colorblind if their mom is a carrier. Fathers always pass their X chromasome to their female offspring (colorblind or not colorblind, mothers pass one of their two to their offspring. A colorblind father will not pass the gene to his sons but could pass it to his daughter's sons.

Re:Isn't this very old news? (1)

bhima (46039) | more than 10 years ago | (#10139402)

No, thank god it's not linked to sex. I'm colour blind but my GF still sleeps with me!

RGB/CMY devices (1)

art6217 (757847) | more than 10 years ago | (#10138588)

Do monitors/printers/etc. produce low quality color
images in the eyes of women?

Perhaps R1R2GB/CMY1Y2 devices would better fit to
their needs? :)

Re:RGB/CMY devices (1)

MyDixieWrecked (548719) | more than 10 years ago | (#10140181)

I think you mean CM1M2YK. ;)

Re:RGB/CMY devices (1)

HBI's_girl (747955) | more than 10 years ago | (#10146275)

Monitors and printers make colors differently.

Monitors work with a subtractive color palette (ie. the presence of red blue and green make white) and printers work with an additive color palette (red green and blue make black).

I think you use CMYK as a color scheme on computer monitors (in graphics) because color printers work in CMYK. Makes sense to me anyway.

This just in... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10138591)

women are better with colors than men! Can you believe it? In related news, women can walk better in high-heeled shoes then men! Wow. Is there anything they can't do?

Re:This just in... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10138978)

women are better with colors than men! Can you believe it? In related news, women can walk better in high-heeled shoes then men! Wow. Is there anything they can't do?

Solve differential equations.

Re:This just in... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10139942)

Say "no" to a shoe sale.

Re:This just in... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10139978)

Change a lightbulb by themselves when there's a husband or boyfriend within shouting distance.

Re:This just in... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10140619)

Back in to a parking space.

Re:This just in... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10141244)

Stay out of credit card debt.

Re:This just in... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10141619)

Save a conversation until halftime.

Tetrachromats are old news (5, Informative)

halothane (200070) | more than 10 years ago | (#10138671)

This is old news. Studies published in 2000 based on data from the early 90s have talked of the tetrachromat phenomenon. See this article [utk.edu] . There is even a mention of it in wikipedia. Some people [4colorvision.com] even think that all humans are blocked tetrachromats.

Re:Tetrachromats are old news (2, Informative)

belg4mit (152620) | more than 10 years ago | (#10140564)

Close, I agree this is truly ancient news. However
tetrachrmoacy is very rare (not the "frequent" the blurb claims) as true tetrachrmoacy requires the fourth cone to have a frequency response curve that is significantly different from either the existing red or green gone.

It's culture, not genetics. (2, Insightful)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 10 years ago | (#10139977)


I don't agree with any of the theories.

Think about this. Suppose a little boy grew up in the woman culture. From the time he is able to understand words, he would be taught in many different ways that color matters, because "being beautiful" matters. Such a person would learn to be especially sensitive to color, the way someone who has been blinded learns to be especially sensitive to sounds. It has nothing to do with gender.

More than 30 years ago, a woman told me I was a "typical engineer". She said I was socially backward and that I had a "slide-rule voice". I was smart enough to know that she was right. I remembered that, when I was a teenager, I would have to ask my mother if clothes matched in color.

I put a lot of effort into growing in those areas. For example, I went to sensitivity training at UCLA Management Institute to be more in touch with my own and other's feelings. I asked women friends a million questions. I began paying attention to how people operated who could do things I couldn't do.

I'm still friends with the woman who criticized me. Now I'm far more in touch with my feelings than she is, and she accepts advice from me. It takes me, literally, about 1 to 3 seconds to decide whether something is artistically pleasing, including seeing whether the colors are appropriate. I can deliver a complete criticism in one minute. Last year I spent several hours reviewing the recent offerings of Donna Karan [donnakaran.com] and other fashion houses with a woman friend who was a buyer for a department store in New York. She seemed to appreciate what I said, even though I am generally negative about women spending so much time on clothes. When I was single I would think, why should a woman spend a lot of time with something I am going to look at only long enough to discover how to take it off?

Last Sunday I went clothes shopping with my wife, and I picked out the only top she decided to buy. It's learning how, only that.

The woman who criticized me is still no better at being logical, something that is absolutely necessary for a programmer, and absolutely necessary for managing to have a good life. If she had put the same effort as I did into teaching myself to think carefully, I'm sure she could have done very well, however.

What women often want is a man who is horny, knows what to do, but is otherwise just like them. Because of that, a man who knows the woman culture gets far too many chances to have sex. A big criticism that I have, and that I have heard from Europeans and Russians and Brazilians, is that women in the U.S. are too undiscriminating about who they choose for sexual involvement.

A few months ago I was standing in a bar surrounded by at least 200 people talking to a woman I had met. I told her I did not want a beer because I am overweight; I don't need the calories. She said she was overweight, too. I said she didn't look overweight to me. She said she was, nevertheless. I ran my hand under her jacket along her waist, and said she was not overweight. She said she was. I said, "Okay, take off your clothes." Obviously, I was only joking, but she laughed in a delighted way, indicating she thought I was on the right track. I was only trying to relieve the boredom of being in the bar. I didn't see the direction things would take in a few seconds.

It's all in learning how, only that.

Re:It's culture, not genetics. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10140378)

"What women often want is a man who is horny, knows what to do, but is otherwise just like them."

That has to be the dumbest thing I've ever read. Men that fit that description end up as 'THE FRIEND', a condition worse than terminal cancer.

Re:It's culture, not genetics. (1)

contagious_d (807463) | more than 10 years ago | (#10142419)


  1. Last Sunday I went clothes shopping with my wife.
  2. A few months ago I was standing in a bar surrounded by at least 200 people talking to a woman I had met...I ran my hand under her jacket along her waist...
  3. I didn't see the direction things would take in a few seconds


Either congratulations on your recent marriage or quit being a assclown and posting evidence for your divorce case on slashdot.

Please try to see the general message. (1)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 10 years ago | (#10144054)


A lot of Slashdot readers look for something that might be wrong with a comment, rather than respond to the message.

My wife was standing about 10 feet away when the incident I described happened. I have a photo of the woman and my wife together. A lot of women think a man is more attractive when they can see another woman likes him.

My wife knows I'm friendly with women and it doesn't bother her. She also knows I'm happily married and she does not have to worry about another woman.

Re:It's culture, not genetics. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10142557)

Yes, culture explains part of it. Men generally have the physical potential to be able to lactate, and if we culturally expected them to do so, we'd have a lot more nursing fathers than we do. But it doesn't change the fact that the average mother is better suited, physically, to breastfeed babies than the average father.

Similarly, while there are social reasons women are more sensitive to color, there's also a quite logical genetic reason. It explains why male red-green color blindness is vastly more common than female; it explains why tetrachromacity is found disproportionately in women who are closely related to red-green colorblind men; it has a logical mechanism that can be verified by analysis of the chemical makeup of the genes in question; and it results in different, objectively observable physiological results when the reactions of the cones to certain light wavelengths are tested.

Re:It's culture, not genetics. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10144216)

Suppose a little boy grew up in the woman culture.

when I was a teenager, I would have to ask my mother if clothes matched in color.

I am generally negative about women spending so much time on clothes. When I was single I would think, why should a woman spend a lot of time with something I am going to look at only long enough to discover how to take it off?

Because of that, a man who knows the woman culture gets far too many chances to have sex.

Man, this is a *STRANGE* post. I have no idea what your point is.

Re:It's culture, not genetics. (1)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 10 years ago | (#10144793)

What the hell?

You know your wife's taste in clothes, you sucessfully come on to drunk women in bars, russians and brazilians have shared with you their insight into north american sluttiness. What does any of that have to do with discrediting the genetics theory of colour perception?

Despite your uncanny ability to pick up chicks in bars and to tell wheter or not you like an art piece in under a minute, this doesn't change any of the data that actually pertains to the matter at hand: Women have better colour vision than men because 2 of the 3 pigments are coded on the X chromosome, of which they have two, and men have one.

There is NO evidence for the implication. (1)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 10 years ago | (#10146643)


It's amazing how many hostile responses there have been to my post.

My point is: There is absolutely NO evidence that genetic differences that may have been discovered have any effect whatsoever on what a man is able to do. In normal human interaction, men are just as able to perceive and understand color as women.

There are thousands of "scientific" articles like this that vastly overstate the scientist's actual findings. The article is written the way it is only because that way it will be read by more than a few people, who are looking for justification for the hostility toward men that has become standard in the U.S. culture. Normally the underlying findings would be read by only 50 or 100 geneticists, at most, who have an interest in a genetic difference that makes no perceptible difference in human behavior.

This is VERY important: A man can learn to be just as good in sensing color as a woman, in any human endeavor that matters.

Most of the great painters have been men [bu.edu] , of course. Have you known women who complain that great male painters have made bad color choices?

The article sells a lie that is too subtle for most people. Most people are completely fooled, as the comments show.

This is extremely important because of the prevalence of misunderstanding. Men in the U.S. live in a very adversarial environment. Few realize this. They learn to accept the hostility and even invite it, and even treat themselves in a hostile manner. For example, the Slashdot logo says "nerd", an extremely derogatory label.

Again, men have been taught to accept adversarial behavior. Look at the responses to my comment that assume that I am trying to get some social advantage. Some people can only have that perception, and cannot benefit from what I said.

You don't need to live in the cultural prison that others made for you.

Re:There is NO evidence for the implication. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10148480)

I think the point was that, males can to be socially taught how to recogonize the subtle differences, whereas female genetics gives them an implicit advantage in recognizing color differences. Science has located the genetic advantage on the X chomosome that predisposes some people to have higher perception levels with less effort.

As for the great painters being men, one should not rule out european sexism as to who got the opportunity to be great in their age.

You totally missed the point. (1)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 10 years ago | (#10148629)


"As for the great painters being men, one should not rule out european sexism as to who got the opportunity to be great in their age."

You totally missed the point. Women don't complain about the color choices of male painters, showing that they don't see color better.

Women choose male interior decorators more than they choose females. They would not do that if women could see color better.

Re:It's culture, not genetics. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10149060)

I went to sensitivity training at UCLA Management Institute to be more in touch with my own and other's feelings.

Pussy.

Finally, all is clear! (2, Funny)

ptaff (165113) | more than 10 years ago | (#10140325)

Finally I understand why they have run out of color names for makeup! Calculator Beige, Misty brown, Mirror, Dead Duck, Greedy Pumpkin and all variations.

Feel ready to own one or many Tux Stickers [ptaff.ca] ?

A related subject... (1)

marcus (1916) | more than 10 years ago | (#10140796)

Language [ling.gu.se] and colors [sciam.com]

I'm a guy... (1)

SLiK812 (518195) | more than 10 years ago | (#10141258)

I actually can tell the difference between mauve, tan taupe and beige, but I'm a guy: I don't care!

An everyday application (1)

spaceyhackerlady (462530) | more than 10 years ago | (#10141313)

One industry that knows about colour perception is the folks who process film and print pictures. The staff who run those 1 hour minilab photo places are almost entirely women. The people who do the hiring know exactly why.

...laura

Another Slashdot article about this... (1)

jwise (106316) | more than 10 years ago | (#10141351)

here [slashdot.org] .

Not in My family (1)

bluGill (862) | more than 10 years ago | (#10144936)

Maybe in general, but this isn't true in my family. Both my sisters are color blind. So is my dad, my brother, and I. My mom isn't. What is interesting is that dad and my brother are about equal, unable to tell red from green, while my 2 sisters and I can tell there is a difference except in subtile things. (Well as far as I can tell, in any case when given yarn tests we get them right most of the time, while my bother doesn't)

I'm not sure what this means.

Re:Not in My family (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10153412)

well, if you're from the south, it means theres only 2, usually 3 people in that group.

You wouldn't happen to have more than your allotment of fingers or toes, woudl you?

misleading article title (1)

alonsoac (180192) | more than 10 years ago | (#10146838)

As the summary hints and is obvious if you read the article, the news is not about women in general being able to see colors in general better than men. The news is about women being less prone to have color blindness, which according to article happens to 8% of men. If you are a man and do not have color blindness then you can see colors just as well as a normal woman.
So to say that women see colors better is wrong.
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