Breakdown of Color Preferences by Gender

Recently a couple decided to raise their child non gender specific and let their baby decide for his or herself what toys, clothes and colors they preferred. This study shows how men and women differ on color preferences. So this begs the question, are our color preferences influenced by our gender?
From the day that babies are brought home and cradled in their pink or blue blankets, implications have been made about gender and color. While there are no concrete rules about what colors are exclusively feminine or masculine, there have been studies conducted over the past seven decades that draw some generalizations.


Newest 5
Newest 5 Comments

@Muzition and AntDude, the above graph shows females' least favourite colours. Blue was chosen most frequently by both genders as their favourite colour.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
I don't think forced choice paradigms like making people choose a favourite and least favourite colour has good ecological validity as many adults don't have favourite colours. I know I don't.

@ Ryan S, women can also have colour blindness but it is quite uncommon. Colour blindness is carried on the X chromosome. If males inherit an X chromosome with the mutation it will be displayed in the phenotype. If women inherit 1, she will be a carrier, however if she inherits the mutation from both X chromosomes, it will be displayed in the phenotype.

Also, you have a point about gender differences in the vocabulary of colour:
"Stecklers' study in 1990 concluded that women's ability of naming colors is far more precise than men's and also they have a broader vocabulary for color names such as ecru, aquamarine, lavender, and mauve."
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Interesting. Though I think the theory behind imprinting is cultural and culture bleeds together. I don't think blue is a distinctively male color because my parents bought me blue pajamas and a blue blankie, but because the entire culture associates blue with boys and pink with girls.

On another note, women cannot be color-blind and men cannot have super-color vision like some women. Whereas men will be color blind because they lack a third cone responding to the red range, women can have a fourth cone that bisects the red range and gives a richer spectrum of colors. Then there is achromatopsia which is the inability to see color and a really bad name for a baby girl.

Perhaps some of the difference is in the color-opponency cells in the occipital cortex and perhaps the associating of different colors. A part of me suspects women are trained by the culture to recognize a greater range of color names and men are basically not expected to. Wine-tasters also have a wider range of names for flavors, using terms like "earthy" that non-wine-tasters by and large don't use. I doubt the wide range of color names employed by women are innate. But like the wine-tasters, they learn to discriminate.

Even given all that, which is done to be fair, I think there might actually be some innate predilection, but devising a conclusive experiment for that is problematic.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Login to comment.

Email This Post to a Friend
"Breakdown of Color Preferences by Gender"

Separate multiple emails with a comma. Limit 5.


Success! Your email has been sent!

close window

This website uses cookies.

This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By using this website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

I agree
Learn More