Why Are Men More Likely To Be Colorblind?

By Kealani Espinda

Our ability to see color is a critical tool for completing daily tasks, navigating the world around us, and even successful performance in certain professions.

Approximately 300 million people worldwide are unable to see the complete color spectrum, and there’s a genetic reason for that. While the condition affects just a small fraction of the population at large, it disproportionately affects men. This is because the red and green pigment genes involved in color vision are located on the X chromosome. Red-green colorblindness is a recessive gene, so males only need to inherit one gene for color blindness because they only have one X chromosome. Females would need to inherit two of the recessive genes, which is more unlikely!

In this animated short, Kealani Espinda explains the sex-specific genetic expression of colorblindness and how the ways it can make life challenging for those with the condition.

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