Do Asians Have Peripheral Vision?

Apparently, Asians are like dogs. We lack peripheral vision.  I guess that means we can only see what is directly in front of us. I kid you not, people actually believe this. I found people wanting to know if Asians have peripheral vision on Yahoo! Answers, WikiAnswers, etc. but also on car forums, sports blogs, legal forums, and any other site where people talk about Asians. These discussions were taking place all over the globe from America to Australia to Europe.

Needless to say it’s not true. Asians have peripheral vision. Everyone has peripheral vision, no matter what race you are.

The end.

Well, not exactly. What’s interesting to me is not that there are ignorant people out there who actually believe this but that it seems to be the starting point of a lot of negative stereotypes.

Let me explain. Some people believe that it is the Asians lack of peripheral vision which makes them bad drivers.  Here’s one example:

Do Asian people have decreased peripheral vision? Is this why they are bad drivers? I am serious and not making fun. Slanty eyes must interfere. I am an insurance adjuster and come to this conclusion over my long career. Should I charge them more? This is unfair to us round eyed folks

Okay, this person is clearly racist. But he’s not the only one:

Are Asians bad drivers due to bad peripheral vision/coordination, is it cultural, or are they inexperienced? I live in San Francisco. Almost every time someone cuts me off, is driving too slowly, parked in the middle of the road blocking traffic, merging on the freeway at 35 mph, and the list goes on, it is an asian person(mostly chinese). I’m not kidding and not a racist. Is it they can’t see as well? Do they not care? Are they culturally less aware of their surroundings? Are they new arrivals who never drove a car before? What do you think?Truly, I want to know!

And another:

Do asians have to pay more for car insuarance because they lack peripheral vision?

You get the point. But luckily (for the world) there are patient people who try to answer these people’s questions.

Car insurance is based on driving behavior & history not on particular race, religion, or stereotype.

This next person somehow manages to connect Asian’s lack of peripheral vision to being good at math – which is actually a pretty impressive feat.

if evolution is real why do asians have slanty eyes? answer this, darwin’s nightmare. where’s the advantage in losing your peripheral vision? obviously god created this to handicap them because they’re too good at math.

Here are some of my other favorite questions regarding Asian and their peripheral vision:

Do asians people see everything in widescreen?

Do Asian people have worse vertical peripheral vision than other people? This might sound horribly racist, but that’s not my intention. Do people of Asian descent (and other people who have an “epicanthal fold”) have worse peripheral vision at the top and bottom of their field of vision than people without the fold?

The only reason I’m asking here is because I was talking to a person of Asian descent about it and he said he didn’t know how his peripheral vision compared to other people’s, since he’s obviously never had “non-Asian eyes.”

Why did asians end up with the slits for eyes and white people got the fully open eyes? What advantage is there in asia to have slits as opposed to non-slits?

Do people with Chinese-type eyes see less in the vertical direction?

I looked really hard for a positive outcome of Asians having “different” peripheral vision. This was the best I could find:

Do Asians have advanced peripheral vision?

I have no idea what “advanced” means, but it sounds good, right?

In the end, it always amazes me that people from different backgrounds want to believe that the “other” are so different. I wonder if the world would be a better place if we all accepted that we are more similar than different in every way.

Probably not. But maybe people would stop asking stupid questions on the Internet. A person can dream, can’t they?

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About Koji Steven Sakai

Writer/Producer Koji Steven Sakai is the founder of Little Nalu Pictures LLC and the CEO of CHOPSO (, the first Asian English streaming video service. He has written five feature films that have been produced, including the indie hit, The People I’ve Slept With. He also produced three feature films, a one hour comedy special currently on Netflix, and Comedy InvAsian, a live and filmed series featuring the nation’s top Asian American comedians. Koji’s debut novel, Romeo & Juliet Vs. Zombies, was released in paperback in 2015 and in audiobook in 2016 and his graphic novel, 442, was released in 2017. In addition, he is currently an adjunct professor in screenwriting at International Technological University in San Jose.
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