Are Men More Visual Than Women?

It's commonly thought that men respond more strongly to visual stimuli than women. The myth is part and parcel with many others in the same camp – that men think about sex more often than women (once every 2 minutes, isn't it?), are more likely to be non-monogamous, and are more likely to desire adventure. Cringe. What about the way we process visual stimuli? Are male brains really hardwired to see differently, or can we chalk it up to another gender myth?

Apparently, a study that focused on the eye movements of men and women proved that participants of each of the sexes eyes moved differently when looking at images of art. Women made fewer eye movements than men, but we are more likely to linger for longer and to more varied locations. The differences were most significant when viewing people. When it came to viewing photos of heterosexual couples, both men and women preferred looking at the female. While men were only interested in the face of the two figures, the women were more likely to look at the whole body.

What do the findings prove? Maybe that the majority of men and women perceive the world differently – perhaps due to the fact that our socialization is so different. Think about the messages we recieve about sexuality: men grow up learning that being "sexual and manly" includes oggling women, emphasizing appearance over the other senses and maybe even boasting a Don Jon relationship with sex. The visual emphasis isn't inherent, but learned. 

Ever found yourself pleasantly surprised by a guy who proved the stereotype wrong? Or in an unlucky jam with one who proved it right?

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Tags: are men visual, dating advice, gender stereotypes, men, romance, visual cues, visualize, women smarter than men

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