During conversation, men and women fix their eyes on different things and their gaze is pulled away by different types of distractions, finds a new study that examines how men and women focus.

Researchers at the University of Southern California studied 34 participants as they watched videos of people being interviewed. Distractions such as pedestrians, bicycles and cars passed in the background within the video frame.

The researchers tracked the movement of the participants’ pupils as they looked at the screen, and found that men, when focused on the person being interviewed, fixed their eyes on the speaker’s mouth. They were most likely to be distracted by conspicuous movement behind the interview subjects.

Meanwhile, women altered their gaze between the speaker’s eyes and body and they were more likely to be distracted by other people entering the video frame.

Why do these sex differences in attention occur? The study’s authors point to previous research showing that women might have a leg up on men when it comes to decoding nonverbal communication.

“If women are more able to decode nonverbal cues, then fixating [on] regions outside the mouth would yield more information about the speaker for women than men,” the researchers wrote in a paper in the journal Vision Research.

And the difference in what distracted the subjects might indicate that men and women have different subconscious priorities when staying aware of their surroundings.

“Our current explanation is that women rely more on features relating to the social nature of the scene to direct attention, whereas men rely more on motion features,” the researchers wrote.


So there I was on the train home, flicking through the socials as we all do when I encountered a post that pretty much made me stop in my tracks and got me thinking. So firstly, applause to the post because it did exactly what we hope every post does. It got my attention and it held it. So much so that I made it a topic of conversation with my 13 year old daughter when I got home. After all, the post would be deemed to be very relevant to her age bracket.

The post itself? Well here it is and it is not for me to condone or condemn, freedom of speech is something we thrive on as a nation. I just wanted to raise this meme to effectively start s discussion. To hear your thoughts to it’s message.

As we all know we bask in memes all day every day with some almost becoming so viral that they are a household products. That is the power of social media, it can convey any message to an audience of absolute millions and millions. What a tool to possess, for the right message.

But here we are, someone has taken the time to create and send out this meme to an audience to whom I feel may be the most influenced and fragile even in the most traditional of times but now where filters are torn down people are exposed to content, views and influences when quite honestly they may not be ready to be. We all wanted to be grown up and beyond our years and now that power is applied more and more as time rolls on. Fantastic, everyone should have a voice but… a voice also has hearing and being that when a generation is working out where they are, who they are such negative vibrations could cause catastrophic ripples.

The younger people of our population as their bodies begin to fill with hormones have the freedom to feel and be whatever their soul feels aligned to, which is amazing. But they are still just children. The most delicate of confidence and so easily influenced by the freight train that is social media. Caution is advised when dealing with this ever evolving issue.

If we as a society enable those of us wanting to chose our own individual path so the smoothest of plains can be attained then let’s not show that streak of human cruelty by pulling the rug out from under their feet.

Sending a message that if you are not by traditional values one thing or another then you clearly must be something else and that something else is not a good thing. Is cold and heartless, possibly simply born from a fear or lack of understanding. I don’t fully understand the volume of genders, maybe because I have never felt anything but my gender so therefore simply can never understand what it feels like. But I can relate to mental illness and mental wellbeing, we all can. We’ve all at some point been at a low point, thinking and making decisions when our minds are fogged.

The mixed message this meme sends out is dangerous. In a time where we should be helping and nurturing each other regardless of our age, gender, sexual preference, background or any other measure you want to apply to it. Life these days is tough, let’s not make it any harder for ourselves.

I would love to know your thoughts on this subject.

To close out, should it be worth pointing out that each of the gender symbols appear to spur from a circle. Looks like regardless of who we are, we may have something in common.

We’re all people…