Gender Colors

Pink and blue. The most distinctive colors between females and males. Why is the color pink associated with femininity and blue with masculinity? We actually don’t know. We’ve been told since day one that if you’re a girl, you wear pink. You don’t see men walking around in pink as often as women do, that’s for sure.

Why is that? Perhaps these colors are associated with human biology. The colors pink and blue may be rooted in previous generations, leading girls and boys to separate ways with the colors. Those are just my guesses.Some evidence actually suggests that this color separation really only arose in the twentieth century. A study was conducted at Newcastle University in the United Kingdom by neuroscientists Anya Hulbert and Yazhu Ling. Hulbert and Ling surveyed a group of women and men (about 200) in an odd age group (20-26). Some of the participants were British, Caucasian, and native Chinese. Throughout these tests, they put colored rectangles on a computer screen and allowed for each participant to choose the colored rectangle they like best. Studies showed that regardless of ethnic background, the women preferred the rectangles with red-tones, and the men, blue.

Perhaps these colors, after all, are rooted in evolution. Hulbert and Ling believe that these colors are rooted all the way back to mankind. So when I think of “mankind” I think of men hunting and women providing for the men. Well, these doctors suggest that the color blue is associated with men because of hunting and blue skies, and women with pink because they provided food, such as berries. This seems pretty random to me, but hey I’m not a neuroscientist.

Overall, I think it is very interesting that colors are associated with genders. It’s even more interesting to me that it roots all the way back to mankind.

Picture: here

7 thoughts on “Gender Colors

  1. Jovian Ebony Osborne-pantlitz

    After attending a sociology course, i believe peoples behavior are socially constructed. The way humans think are solely based on advertising and social media. In the article it states, blue is masculine because in our “hunting & gathering era” men hunted during the day while the sky was blue to provide food while women prepared the food such as berries. In my opinion, the association of colors and genders are culturally constructed. People tend to forget that without “labels” men and women are actually very similar. Society continuously tries to differentiate/divide the sexes, races and classes to maintain societal structure. Therefore, this article was very interesting to hear from a scientific point of view since they believe in more so facts than logic. Here’s an article on social construction and its purpose: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_construction_of_gender

  2. Cassandra N Kearns

    I find this article really interesting because I never found myself questioning this. I definitely learned something from your blog today! To ask another question and span off from your original topic: do you think that members of the LGBTQ community have these same preferences? After considering this question, I found an article that explained it a little bit. Before the LGBTQ movements, pink was considered a color of shame to gay men, but now after the gay and transgender movements, pink has now shifted to a color representing pride to the LGBTQ community. The colors pink and blue were combined and the color purple is now used a lot in reference to gender identity in the LGBTQ community. Here is the article explaining this in much more detail. http://munsell.com/color-blog/why-that-color-gender/

  3. Grace Ellen Leibow

    Like a lot of the commenters above, I found this article so fascinating, because I have always wondered who actually assigned blue and pink to each gender. With recent gender controversy and progression by activists, I wonder if these associations will disappear entirely as people transition away from the idea that only two categories exist? Personally, my favorite color is blue, and I don’t consider myself a masculine girl. I found an article on favorite and least favorite color choices for men and women discovered in surveys conducted. The results are surprisingly similar to each other, as you can see if you follow the link below. http://www.techi.com/2011/03/beyond-pink-and-blue-a-look-at-gender-colors/

  4. dwd5373

    This is something I have thought for a long time but never really understood why. I think pink is a bright-girly color which is associated with women as for men, blue is used to show it is a manly, dark color. It definitely does make sense that women used to pick berries (mostly pink) while men hunted in the sea or when the skies were clear (blue).
    Here an article that reveals that 42 percent of mens favorite color is blue. http://www.livescience.com/34105-favorite-colors.html

  5. Samantha Francesca Sichenze

    This blog intrigued me as I was scrolling down the site. How come we always label the colors of blue and pink to correspond to the gender of male and female? If you walk into a baby shower, you can immediately tell what gender the baby is based off the decor. Is there pink balloons or blue balloons? The idea of the blue representing the males because of hunting and the pink representing the females because of the berries is very interesting. It is crazy to think how long ago that was and how it still has an affect on our culture today. In this article, http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20141117-the-pink-vs-blue-gender-myth, it goes into further detail on what age boys and girls start to like the opposite color they are “assigned” to. I wonder in the future if the colors will ever change. Guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

  6. Corbin Kennedy Miller

    This is a really interesting topic that brings up a lot of questions. I think that the thought that it was because of the hunter and gatherer mentality from long ago is very interesting and seems like it is probably the most logical reason. Although your idea about them being somehow related to human biology is also a solid idea. I found an article that goes into the history of the two colors being related to gender, it might help clear things up for you (http://www.smithsonianmag.com/ist/?next=/arts-culture/when-did-girls-start-wearing-pink-1370097/).

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