Is There Gender Bias in Perceptions of Strabismus Among Adults? Journal Articles uri icon

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  • Purpose: To investigate the effect of gender, type, and size of horizontal deviation on the perceived severity or need for intervention for strabismus among adults in the general population. Methods: Eight photographs of individuals aged 25 to 35 years were digitally manipulated to create 30 prism diopters (PD) of exotropia, 30 PD of esotropia, 50 PD of exotropia, and 50 PD of esotropia in both men and women. A survey asked respondents to rank these photographs by their severity or need for intervention from 1 (greatest need) to 8 (least need) to assess for unconscious bias for gender, strabismus type, or deviation size. Results: A total of 203 adult respondents completed the survey. Participants ranked men with both large esotropia and large exotropia (median rank = 1.5, interquartile range [IQR] = 1.5 to 1.5) as needing correction more urgently than similar women (median rank = 3.5, IQR = 3.5 to 4) ( P < .0001). The median rank was 4 (IQR = 3.75 to 4.25) for all men combined and 5 (IQR = 4.75 to 5.25) for all women ( P < .0001). Photographs with exotropia (median rank = 4, IQR = 3.75 to 4.5) were perceived as more severe than photographs with esotropia (median rank = 5, IQR = 4.5 to 5.25) ( P < .0001). Respondents' gender, age, or history of strabismus did not significantly impact their rankings. Conclusions: Male photographs were perceived as having a greater need for strabismus intervention than female photographs despite similar type and size of deviations. Exotropia was perceived as more severe than esotropia for smaller deviations only. More studies on the perceptions of strabismus are needed to understand whether unconscious bias affects patient care. [ J Pediatr Ophthalmol Strabismus . 2023;60(6):396–401.]


  • Thuma, Tobin BT
  • Gunton, Matthew
  • Zhang, Qiang Ed
  • Sharpe, James
  • Gunton, Kammi B

publication date

  • November 2023