Is preference for colour between the sexes evolutionary?
Blue for a boy, pink for a girl, this is normality in today’s society.
It has emerged that it could be an evolutionary instinct as to why parents dress boys in blue and girls in pink. I think that this is stereotyped behaviour and there would be an impact if a parent was to dress their little boy in pink. People respond differently to a child depending on the colour they are wearing, this is shown in the Seavey et al (1975) study.
As humans, we use colours to represent our moods and emotions. The Times (2007) says that the evolutionary basis behind this theory is that women benefited from being able to pick the ripe, red fruits whilst men had the ability to find clean water based on how blue it was. However, these ideas of men and women have advanced a lot since then, so why do the stereotypes of blue and pink still exist?
A longitudinal study was carried out on Chinese and British students to challenge the universal preferences. 208 observers were tested, aged between 20 and 26. They clicked their preferences in a computer task and both groups showed similar sex related preferences. It was found that women liked blues and pinks, whilst the makes mainly preferred blue. Hurlbert and Ling found no decisive evidence that sex differences exist in colour preferences.
The media are quick to present the image that little girls prefer ‘pink’ and little boys prefer ‘blue’. Shops sell clothes with a colour preference, even for newborn babies. This shows that preferences are forced upon us from birth; therefore we grow up with the idea that certain colours hold specific meanings.
Overall I don’t think that sex differences for colour preferences are innate or biological. I think it is down to environmental and parental influences. We have been quick to conform to the Medias idea of what girls and boys should prefer, so now we think that blue and pink stereotypes are the norm.