Why Men Like Straight Lines and Women Like Polka Dots

Why Men Like Straight Lines and Women Like Polka Dots

Gender and visual psychology

Discover how men and women perceive the world differently and why they won't agree on the colour or shape of the sofa!


Discover how men and women perceive the world differently and why they won't agree on the colour or shape of the sofa! The book is written as a work of popular psychology and opens with an anecdote about William and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and how on their visit to Canada when they both took up a paintbrush, she lavished care on the rounded shell of a snail, while he formed straight lines into a square.

Through anecdote and reviews of worldwide studies, the book reveals how men's designs and design preferences are rooted in a hunter way of seeing requiring excellent 3D vision and focus on a distant horizon (leading to a focus on straight lines, little colour and little detail); by contrast, women's designs and preferences are rooted in a gatherer way of seeing evolved from millions of years of close-up vision focused on picking berries and nurturing babies with rounded features. These activities placed a premium on being responsive to round shapes, colours and detail.

Through many experiments with graphic, product and web design, the author, Gloria Moss, has now found that what men and women produce visually is differentiated in consistent ways and moreover there is a massive tendency for people to prefer designs/ visuals produced by people of their own gender. Since a high proportion of designers and marketers are male and since about 83% of consumers are female, you can see the potential implications of this discovery. Moreover, you could ask whether the largely male artistic canon reflected in Art Galleries around the world could be linked to the fact that the majority of gallery curators have been men.

This is a controversial but fun book to read which takes a fresh look at the way gender affects visual tastes, and the implications of this for relationships and the physical world around us (buildings, products and Fine Art).


This book is a thought-changing one that will revolutionise the way that you look at the visual world around you. You will see how each of us is influenced by elements in our gender that we may be unaware of and how this impacts on what we produce and prefer in the way of visuals - whether it is art and design, architecture, websites or advert. This is relevant to us as consumers as well as people who work in organisations and you will need to be ready to forget a lot of what you know already. This book presents fascinating new information that shows again…and again …and again that there are different ways of seeing that shake the foundations of much of our current understanding. Individuals, companies and society needs to sit up and take note and then move forward! ~ Thomas Jordan, Ex-Chief Creative Officer, Hoffman York Advertising, Chicago. Speaker, Creative Writer and author of Re-Render the Gender and co-author

A must-read for men who want to understand women better and women who want a better understanding of men. Gloria Moss takes a tour d’horizon of the worlds of fine art, architecture, marketing, design, digital media and the workplace and your view of the world will be changed forever. ~ Jeremy Jacobs, Event host, presenter and speaker

Gloria Moss
Gloria Moss Gloria Moss is a Professor in Marketing and Management at Buckinghamshire New University and Visiting Professor at the Ecole Superieure de G...
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