Color and Female Gender Stereotypes: What They Are, How They Came About and What They Mean

Topics: Gender, Color, Color blindness Pages: 6 (2048 words) Published: April 16, 2013
Robert Pietrzak2/27/13


1 Introduction
a The purpose of this investigation is to understand what are the color stereotypes for females, how they contrast with color stereotypes for males, how these stereotypes have come about and how they are reinforced. 2 Body 1:

b discuss what is currently accepted as “femanine colors/femanine quality of colors” c lean more towards the quality of color: how the color is softer, lighter, with more variety of shade. the reason for this could be due to scientific reasons. d Femanine colors are generally seen as softer, lighter, more variety in shade. i A possible reason for this characterization could be due to how the perception of color is different for females than it is for males. females have a wider range of color perception than males. (refer to diagram) (females can more easily percieve more subtle shades of color than males can. because of this refinement these kinds of “softer colors” with “off-primary shades” are precieved as more femanine like. this scientific reason could be why colors are precieved this way. e why have these qualities been ascribed to females

3 Body 2
f Contrasting evidence also suggests that certain femanine colors are seen this way due to baby gender identification and due to advertsing g Advertising: strong evidence suggests that advertising plays a large role in determining these kinds of color stereotyping. ii show articles displaying this kind of advertising. iii explain that in the past color stereotypes were actually reversed: pink was considered a boys color and blue was considered a girl color. iv when advertisers changed their minds about this stereotyping in the 1920s people began to dress differently. This mindset has continued into today. But this change in thought suggests that advertising plays a significant role in what people consider a “boy’s color” and a “girls color”

Robert Pietrzak2/27/13

Female Gender Stereotypes in color: What they are, how they came about and what they mean.

There have been a of scientific studies that have looked for how gender affects color disposition and how colors relate to gender. While they have looked at different factors and come to different conclusions, there has been a consensus that color stereotypes exist and for females differ from those of men. These can be attributed to physiological color dispositions that differ between genders due to evolutionary reasons. While there may be a color disposition the existance of stereotypes have its roots in other factors such as the influence of media upon what is accepted as a stereotype, the actions of gender identification by consumers, and the influence of gender disposition from a young age. In their preliminary research Hurbert and Ling stated that within the “long history of color preference studeis...there is a definite predisposition for certain colors that differs across genders” (Hurlbert and Ling). Hurlbert and Ling were two social scientists that attempted to more accurately determine what these color dispositions were. They conducted a multi-step experiment to try to find out what kinds of colors were favored by males and females. They found that females prefered soft, bright colors such as pink, yellow, and purple. Males prefered darker, harder colors such as red, blue, and green. Females additionally gravitated towards more non-primary colors with variety in shade than males (Hurbert and Ling). This disposition was attributed to a physiological reason: that it has to do with how the two genders perceive color differently. Females are able to better detect and identify a more wide range of colors than males can. Due to this they gravitate towards colors with more variety than males do. (Hurbert and Ling) Additionally it was suggested in their research that females possibly have this color disposition due to evolutionary...

Cited: 1 Brooks, David. "Pink and Blue." New York Times Blogs. New York Times, 22 Apr. 2011. Web. 27 Feb. 2013. <>.
2 Paoletti, Jo Barraclough. Pink and Blue: Telling the Boys from the Girls in America. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 2012. Print.
3 LoBue, Vanessa and Judy S. DeLoache. "Pretty In Pink: The Early Development Of Gender-Stereotyped Colour Preferences." British Journal Of Developmental Psychology 29.3 (2011): 656-667. Academic Search Premier. Web. 27 Feb. 2013.
4 Del Giudice, Marco. "The Twentieth Century Reversal Of Pink-Blue Gender Coding: A Scientific Urban Legend?." Archives Of Sexual Behavior 41.6 (2012): 1321-1323. Academic Search Premier. Web. 27 Feb. 2013.
5 Pomerleau, Andree, Daniel Bolduc, and et al. "Pink Or Blue: Environmental Gender Stereotypes in the First Two Years of Life." Sex Roles 22.5-6 (1990): 359-. ProQuest Education Journals; ProQuest Psychology Journals; ProQuest Social Science Journals. Web. 27 Feb. 2013.
6 Advertiser Advocation for Different Color Stereotypes in 1927." Chart. Time Magazine. N.p.: n.p., n.d. N. pag. Pink Is for Boys. 11 Nov. 1927. Web. 27 Feb. 2013. <>
7 Anya C. Hurlbert, Yazhu Ling. “Biological components of sex differences in color preference”. Print. Current Biology, 17.16 (2007), Pages R623-R625.
Thurs. 21 March 2012
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