Does Eye Color Depend on Gender?

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1 Does Eye Color Depend on Gender? IT MIGHT DEPEND ON WHO OR HOW YOU ASK. AMY G. FROELICH IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY JSE WEBINAR, APRIL 2014

2 Datasets and Stories Article Froelich, A.G. & Stephenson, W.R. (2013) Does eye color depend on gender? It might depend on who or how you ask. Journal of Statistics Education, v. 21, n. 2. Link to article:

3 Using Student Data in Introductory Statistics Purpose: To increase student interest and obtain source of real data. Use data set in introductory and intermediate statistics courses for data analysis and inference. Use data set in computing course as an example of data cleaning.

4 The 5 Ws of the Data Set Who: 2068 Stat 101 students What: 15 different quantitative and categorical variables. When: From Spring 2004 through Spring 2007 Where: Iowa State University Why: To motivate topics in descriptive and inferential statistics. How: Survey through website. Student names were collected and kept separate from data. Students received a small number of homework points for completing survey.

5 The Variables Gender Age (in years) Height (in inches) Year in School Eye Color Miles from Home Town to Ames, IA Number of Brothers Number of Sisters

6 The Variables Number of hours spent on computer per week Exercise? (Yes or No) Number of hours per week spent exercising Number of music CDs owned Number of hours per week spent playing computer games Number of hours per week spent watching TV Birth weight (in pounds and ounces)

7 Gender and Eye Color Student reported eye color Drop down menu with 5 options Blue, Brown, Green, Hazel, Other Other chosen by few students (42 out of 2068) dropped from analysis Gender Drop down menu with 2 options Male, Female

8 Analysis of Gender Gender Number Proportion Female Male Total In our data, there are more females than males. Why?

9 Analysis of Eye Color Eye Color Number Proportion Blue Brown Green Hazel Total The proportion of students reporting blue or brown eyes are similar. The proportion of students reporting green or hazel eyes are similar. The proportion of students reporting blue, brown or green/hazel are similar.

10 Contingency Table of Eye Color and Gender Eye Color Gender Blue Brown Green Hazel Total Female Male Total

11 Conditional Distribution of Eye Color Given Gender Eye Color Gender Blue Brown Green Hazel Given Female Given Male Marginal All values are percentages.

12 Mosaic Plot of Conditional Distribution of Eye Color Given Gender

13 Findings Brown and Hazel Similar percentages report these two eye colors from both gender. Blue and Green Larger percentage of Males report Blue. Larger percentage of Females report Green.

14 Contingency Table of Eye Color and Gender Gender Given Blue Eye Color Given Brown Given Green Given Hazel Marginal Female Male All values are percentages.

15 Mosaic Plot of Conditional Distribution of Gender Given Eye Color

16 Findings Brown and Hazel Distribution similar to overall distribution of gender. Blue and Green Distribution tilted towards Males for Blue. Distribution tilted towards Females for Green.

17 Chi-square Test of Independence Are reported eye color and gender independent variables in the population of Stat 101 students at ISU? Assume sample is representative of population. Test Statistic: P-value: Conclusion Reported eye color and gender are dependent variables in the population of Stat 101 students at ISU.

18 Contradictory Results Biologically, gender and eye color are thought to be independent traits. Genetic basis for eye color not completely known. Not simple dominant recessive trait. Known genes for eye color not on X or Y chromosome. Genetic studies of eye color do not find dependence with gender. In our data, reported eye color are gender were found to be dependent. Why?

19 Discussion of Results Student difficulties with results. Result due to larger percentage of females in data. Results take this difference into account. Results due to bad luck. We obtained an unusual sample. While possible, not probable.

20 Possible Explanations Number of eye color options Genetic studies classify according to 3 colors (blue, brown, green/hazel) Estimate effect in our data by combining green and hazel to form one category p-value = Reported eye color and gender are still dependent, but evidence of dependence is not as strong.

21 Possible Explanations Use of student reported eye colors Genetic studies of eye color use expert opinion to classify eye colors. Differences in color perception among students related to gender?

22 Possible Explanations Color Blindness Color Vision Defect Most common is red-green color vision defects Missing one class of photopigments: medium (green) or long (red). No difficulty seeing blue (short) vision defect appears as colors move from blue towards green and red. Difficult to distinguish between green and hazel and to distinguish between these colors and blue.

23 Possible Explanations Incidence of color blindness Approx. 8-10% of males and less than 1% of females Approx 73 to 92 of our 919 males students would be estimated to have a red-green color vision defect. Due to defect, these males could be more likely to over-report blue eye color.

24 Possible Explanations Distribution of true eye colors between two genders in population of Stat 101 students at ISU is different. Data collection does not allow us to draw this conclusion from this analysis. Could be unknown differences in racial or ethnic backgrounds of female and male students in Stat 101 at ISU. Distribution of eye color varies according to racial or ethnic background.

25 Lesson for Students There are no simple survey questions. What is your eye color? How many brothers/sisters do you have? Data collection methods must match intended use. Conclusions must take into account data collection methods.

26 Extensions Gender and Eye Color Use three eye color categories: Blue, Green/Hazel, Brown Collect data in class allows for outside corroboration of eye colors Ask students or test for color vision defects Ask students for racial or ethnic background

27 Extensions Ideas for student data Social Media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) Cell Phone company (Verizon, AT&T, etc.) Mobile Operating System (ios, Android, Windows, etc.) Cell Phone (iphone, Samsung, etc.)

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