BYU conducted a year-long study that determined the difference between men and women walking home at night in 2023. This study was done through a thermal imaging and verbal interviews.

The outcome of this study was to provide not only for assistance with future campus designs to ensure safety for both men and women when walking at night, but to help individuals avoid unsafe physical and emotional tensions that follow with constant fear of the unknown.

The study began with participants looking at 16 images surrounding various campuses of BYU, Utah Valley University, Westminster University and the University of Utah, said FOX13 Salt Lake City news.

Each photo included a Qualtrics heat map tool that allowed the participants to visually see areas of thermal incline and identify the areas on the screen that stood out to them personally.

The results of the study showed that most women’s visual patterns involved scanning the environment and perimeter of dark areas and bushes. While men focused on the surrounding objects, including sidewalks, lamp posts, etc.

About 600 individuals were apart of the study. According to Violence and Gender, of the participants roughly 51% were females and 49% were males.

The study was lead by Robbie Chaney, a BYU Public Health Professor. Assisting Chaney included Alyssa Baer and Ida Tovar.