The Evolution of Color Perception and Gender Differences

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Introduction The world around us is filled with colors--brilliant blues, pretty pinks, and ravishing reds--except it is not. The sun causes every last color seen by the human eye by the absorption of all the colors of the rainbow onto colorless particles except the one color that is seen (Van & Khouw, n.d.). Unfortunately, there is no uniformity within the world of color. One man’s red is another woman’s orange but why? Numerous factors affect the perception of color but are innate difference in genders one of those aspects? According to the research done in this area of study thus far, gender is indeed a factor in the perception of color shades. There are three main focus areas for the research and studies that have been done. The evolution of color perception eventually lead to practical differences between the genders. Many studies have also found that males and females respond to color differently. Many physical differences such as those in the retina have been found by scientists Body Evolution of Color Perception and Gender Differences Color vision is not a quality that exclusively evolved in humans. The ability existed more than three hundred million years ago even before our vertebrate attached ancestors crawled out of the oceans and onto the land. The eye observes by converting light into nerve signals through the use of photoreceptors. A certain class of photoreceptors are responsible for color vision. They both detect light and discern certain wavelength of light--also known as colors. These color photoreceptors are usually referred to as cones. They are correlated to different color wavelengths by way of something called a photopigment which is actually a type of protein called a opsin. The opsin tunes the color ... ... middle of paper ... ...ut color perception in the study of philosophy include theories such as eliminativism, dispositionalism, the ecological view, physicalism, and primitivism. Dispositionalism is most commonly associated with “the seventeenth century English philosopher John Locke [...]. In Locke's terminology, dispositionalism is the view that colours are secondary qualities. A simple version of dispositionalism is this: the property yellow = the disposition to look yellow to typical human beings in daylight” (Byrne & Hilbert, 2000). Physical and cognitive differences to perception of colors are the product of a long evolutionary process. After a plethora of research and investigation, scientists have determined that gender does affect the perception of color; however, the extent that the perception is affected and the factors that affect color vision need to be further considered.
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