Can Women Be Color Blind?

by Kevin Mulligan May 10, 2019

Can Women Be Color Blind?

Can women be color blind? Yes, but the chances are slim! Color blindness occurs in only about 1 in 200 women (compared to 1 in 12 men)*. As a result, approximately 95% of people with color blindness are men. Thanks to chromosomal differences between men and women, color blind women are much fewer and farther between than color blind men.

Can women be color blind? Yes, but the chances are slim! Color blindness occurs in only about 1 in 200 women (compared to 1 in 12 men)*. As a result, approximately 95% of people with color blindness are men. Thanks to chromosomal differences between men and women, color blind women are much fewer and farther between than color blind men.

Men are much more likely to be colorblind than women because the genes responsible for the most common, inherited color blindness are on the X chromosome.

- National Eye Institute

Men are much more likely to be colorblind than women because the genes responsible for the most common, inherited color blindness are on the X chromosome.

- National Eye Institute

What Gene Causes Color Blindness?

What Gene Causes Color Blindness?

Red-green color blindness is a sex-linked genetic mutation on the OPN1LW or OPN1MW gene that is passed on the X chromosome. Females have two X chromosomes so if a woman inherits one normal X chromosome and one with the mutation, she won’t display the mutation since it is a recessive gene. Males are more likely to be color blind since they don’t have a second X chromosome to override the chromosome that carries the mutation.

Red-green color blindness is a sex-linked genetic mutation on the OPN1LW or OPN1MW gene that is passed on the X chromosome. Females have two X chromosomes so if a woman inherits one normal X chromosome and one with the mutation, she won’t display the mutation since it is a recessive gene. Males are more likely to be color blind since they don’t have a second X chromosome to override the chromosome that carries the mutation.

Is Color Blindness Inherited from the Mother or Father?

Is Color Blindness Inherited from the Mother or Father?

Women can be carriers of the color blind gene and pass the mutation down the family line. If only the father is color blind, there is a 100% chance that his daughters will carry the gene, but they will not be color blind themselves. His sons will neither carry the gene nor be color blind.

Women can be carriers of the color blind gene and pass the mutation down the family line. If only the father is color blind, there is a 100% chance that his daughters will carry the gene, but they will not be color blind themselves. His sons will neither carry the gene nor be color blind.

Is the color blind gene recessive?

Is the color blind gene recessive?

Yes, the color blind gene is recessive, meaning that if you are a woman and only one of your X chromosomes has a color blind gene condition, you will be a gene carrier, but will not be color blind. If the mother carries the gene but is not color blind, there is a 50% chance that her sons will be color blind and a 50% chance that her daughters will carry the gene.

Yes, the color blind gene is recessive, meaning that if you are a woman and only one of your X chromosomes has a color blind gene condition, you will be a gene carrier, but will not be color blind. If the mother carries the gene but is not color blind, there is a 50% chance that her sons will be color blind and a 50% chance that her daughters will carry the gene.

When a color blind father and a mother who carries the color blind gene have children, there is a 50% chance that their sons will be color blind. Their daughters, however, will have a 50% chance of being color blind and 100% chance of being carriers of the gene.

When a color blind father and a mother who carries the color blind gene have children, there is a 50% chance that their sons will be color blind. Their daughters, however, will have a 50% chance of being color blind and 100% chance of being carriers of the gene.

Alternatively, a color blind mother and a non-color blind father will have all color blind sons and will have daughters who all carry the color blind gene.

Alternatively, a color blind mother and a non-color blind father will have all color blind sons and will have daughters who all carry the color blind gene.

Finally, if both parents are color blind, their sons and daughters have a 100% chance of being color blind and their daughters have a 100% chance of carrying the gene.

Of the approximately 300 million color blind people in the world, it is estimated that 95% are men. Now that you have learned how the inheritance pattern works and how genes are passed, it's easy to see why.

Finally, if both parents are color blind, their sons and daughters have a 100% chance of being color blind and their daughters have a 100% chance of carrying the gene.

Of the approximately 300 million color blind people in the world, it is estimated that 95% are men. Now that you have learned how the inheritance pattern works and how genes are passed, it's easy to see why.

Learn more about color blindness and EnChroma glasses

Learn more about color blindness and EnChroma glasses

* For people of Northern European ancestry.

Sources: https://nei.nih.gov/health/color_blindness/facts_about

* For people of Northern European ancestry.

Sources: https://nei.nih.gov/health/color_blindness/facts_about

Share your story and join the #EnChroma community!




Kevin Mulligan
Kevin Mulligan

Author

EnChroma Social Media Specialist, musician, runner, buddy. Favorite EnChroma frame: Derby



Also in Beyond Color

What’s the Strangest Thing You’ve Ever Been Asked About Color Blindness?
What’s the Strangest Thing You’ve Ever Been Asked About Color Blindness?

by Kevin Mulligan March 26, 2019

Sometimes color vision deficiency (CVD) can be more confusing to those who are not familiar with it than to those who have lived with it all of their lives. For instance, the term “color blindness” can lead some to believe that people with CVD can only see in black and white. We surveyed our EnChroma color blind community on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to learn what strange and crazy questions they have been asked over time.

Continue Reading

Beyond the Shore: Are Marine Animals Color Blind?
Beyond the Shore: Are Marine Animals Color Blind?

by Kevin Mulligan February 28, 2019

There’s a whole world of color under the sea. From vibrant coral reefs to the colors of the nearly-infinite supply of sea-life, underwater expeditions can yield some pretty technicolor experiences. Some marine animals, however, see their world a little differently. You’d be surprised to learn that some of nature’s aquatic beings are actually color blind. 

Continue Reading

What Do Color Blind People See?
What Do Color Blind People See?

by Kevin Mulligan February 05, 2019

Color blindness is an often misunderstood condition. Many assume because of its name that “color blind” means a person can only see in black and white. In actuality, the vast majority of people with color blindness do see color, but they see a much narrower range of color. It is estimated that a person with normal color vision can see up to 1 million distinct shades of color.

Continue Reading