Q. Neither of my sons seem able to find things easily in the refrigerator. Both my girls can! Is there something wrong with these boys?

A. I doubt there is anything wrong with your boys, at least in terms of their being able to locate things in the refrigerator. According to authors Barbara and Allan Pease in their book Why Men Don’t Have a Clue and Women Always Need More Shoes, males have a long range tunnel vision style as compared with females who have a short range but wider peripheral vision. In everyday living this could impact the ease with which males and females locate items in refrigerators, cupboards, and drawers (where a wider peripheral style of vision may offer an advantage).

Some have theorized that this difference may be related to the fact that males used to be the “hunters” and females the “gatherers.” I wasn’t there back then so my best guess is that the hunter-gatherer society may have its basis strength based on size and difference in percentage of body muscle tissue and to differences in vision style.

I do know that the males in my life often asked me to “find” items in the refrigerator for them. My guess is that the distance between eyes and refrigerator shelving is a better match with the female shorter-peripheral vision style than with male tunnel vision style. This also may mean that males are able to “see” signage on highways more easily than females or at least from farther away. Does understanding this make the differences go away? Certainly not! But I can chuckle about it, waste no energy in becoming irritated or upset, and use it as an opportunity (whenever possible) to set up the environment in a way that works more efficiently for both males and females.