At what age do girls prefer pink?

Posted on February 21, 2018

The psychological field of gender development is split between those who see gender differences as learned via socially constructed ideas about gender, and those who believe many gender differences are actually “sex differences”, innate and biologically driven. In this aspect, previous understanding has been that children are predisposed by their gender to show preferences of colour, such as girls to pink and boys to blue.

A new study purports to show that girls only acquire their preference for pink, and boys their aversion to it, at around the age of two to three, just as they’re beginning to talk about and become aware of gender. Vannessa LoBue and Judy DeLoache say their finding undermines the notion of innate sex differences in colour preference. “If females have a biological predisposition to favour colours such as pink, this preference should be evident regardless of experience of the acquisition of gender concepts,” they said.

LoBue and DeLoache presented 192 boys and girls aged between seven months and five years with pairs of small objects (e.g. coasters and plastic clips) and invited them to reach for one. Each item in a pair was identical to the other except for its colour: one was always pink, the other either green, blue, yellow or orange.

At the age of two, but not before, girls chose pink objects more often than boys did, by age two and a half they demonstrated a clear preference for pink, picking the pink-coloured object more often than you’d expect based on random choice. By the age of four, this was just under 80 per cent of the time. As for boys, their selection of the pink object became progressively more rare, reaching about 20 per cent at age five.

“This research lends important information to when children develop gender-stereotyped colour preferences …” the researchers said. “Knowing exactly when children begin to demonstrate these tendencies can help lead to fuller understanding of the development of gender-stereotyped behaviour more generally and can be an important marker for future research in this domain.”

Category(s):Gender Identity disorder

Source material from Research Digest

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