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Beyond Pink and Blue: A Look at Gender Colors

True Colors

It goes beyond culture. There is science behind the gender-relationships when it comes to colors. A study by John Hallock compares the color preferences among various demographics and takes into account information collected from 22 countries.

Our friends at KissMetrics put together this informative infographic that tears down the gender barriers to reveal what really goes on in visualizations.

Click any portion to enlarge.

Colors by Gender

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The Color Purple – The most notable gender difference can be seen in the color purple. The study reported that 23% of female participants chose purple as their favorite. No males chose purple.

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    Blue Reigns Supreme – Both males and females like the color blue, which receives favor with 35% of female respondents and more than half of the male respondents. Tomes could be written about the color blue and why people like it so much. Blue is universally associated with clean water, clear skies, authority, truth, tranquility, etc. – making it a perennial favorite among all ages groups and genders.

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      A Closer Look

      In 2007, Doctor Anya Hurlbert and Yazhu Ling created an experiment to explore how men and women differ in their perceptions of color.

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      Results of the Experiment

      The experiment showed that men and women both preferred blue out of the sets of colors. When asked to choose from mixed colors, women liked colors that are closer to the red end of the spectrum, where shades of pink are found.

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      Color Naming: Men Keep It Simple

      What may be simply “purple” to a man could be grape, plum, or any other fruit-like variant to a woman.

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      1. 1. The introduction of this infographic claims that it “goes beyond culture,” claiming that responses from 22 different countries were collected. While this is true, it’s misleading – 80% of the actual study’s responses were from the US, with the remaining 20% being divided up among 21 different countries.

        2. The final image in the infographic is misleadingly presented as something that’s actually true, when it’s just a sexist joke (its origins are cited at the bottom from the humor site In fact, XKCD author Randall Munroe conducted his own survey to determine the validity of that very graphic – and it turns out there’s not a huge difference between how men and women name colors (also, nobody can spell “Fuchsia”).

      2. Another shit “science” article. How much money were these morons paid, to figure out something both useless if it were right, and still wrong anyhow?

        (yes I like purple, and I’m a guy).

      3. This is absolutely cultural, not at all scientific? Why? Because there is no way to remove the bias that has been taught to us our whole lives. Also, in the 19th century pink was a color for ‘boys’. If our preferences are biological and not cultural why would this have changed?

        1. All research contains bias. That doesn’t make it not scientific. Of course culture comes into play and I don’t think the researchers would disagree with that. Regardless, this study shows that genders tended to favor and not favor the same colors, which really seems to imply that girls do not tend to favor the color that is culturally associated with their gender. Furthermore, I don’t really see the authors of this article or the researchers of this study saying that our preferences are entirely biological and not cultural. They are simply pointing out that their study seems to debunk the myth that boys like blue and girls like pink.

        2. Your logic is flawed by saying it isn’t science. You are sorely mistaken to believe that analyzing cultural trends is not scientific.

          I think there is an assumption that what is science must always be steadfast in it’s conclusions and without variation. Under the same premise, although slightly more extreme, one could say that analyzing eating patterns of a nation would not provide scientific data because it will change in a few generations. Clearly in this example the data is still relevant to today. Therefore, one could assume that the conclusions theorized here are still pertinent, as they apply to our current culture.

      4. (In reference to the last bit) This is clearly not accounting for all the male graphic designers or lighting designers 😛

        1. Those are just a minority.
          Myself and all my friends fit into this articles and these findings almost perfectly. It’s like nothing’s new… 🙂

      5. You know what, if you’re going to look at gender, you have to look at the other genders outside male and female. The title is misleading and the infographic is complete bullshit.

        1. “The other genders outside male and female”?

          Which genders are we talking about here specifically? Transvestites?

      6. These people failed to use the color pink in this study… why not exclude blue too..?
        also I am a male with the favorite color… PURPLE

        1. we don’t really know if they excluded pink because there is no information about how the study was conducted. Did they simply ask people to list their favorite and least favorite color or did they give them a list and ask them to choose? Your assumption is that they gave them a list of colors which did not include pink; my assumption would be that they simply asked them to give their favorite and least favorite.

        1. Hi Doug (if you are the Doug Cox I know). A marketing tactic would definitely explain a lot. I do think there are cultural influences but they don’t say which 22 countries which would affect the results.

      7. How can you say that it’s a true study when you included blue but left out pink? Seems a bit odd, don’t you think?

      8. Poor orange! I love orange, yellow and gray! I think of blue as cheap, especially the shade of blue that is in the pie chart (that and baby blue). haha! I don’t like purple at all and I’m female.

      9. But there is a historic reason why baby boy = blue and baby girl = pink. Have they consider that in the study?

      10. Gender bias, gender bias everywhere. I’ll bet that these people that think women use various “fruity” colors for color names also think all women use too much makeup each day. I’m a girl, I prefer bright colors, and I fit neither of the male/female color-naming patterns. (it’s useless to name colors after fruits because fruits being part of nature vary in shade)

        although, to be fair, commenters say that pink was excluded, and it wasn’t. “When asked to choose from mixed colors, women liked colors that are closer to the red end of the spectrum, where shades of pink are found.”

      11. The only use for this data is to further perpetuate the same garbage advertisers try to manipulate. Nothing about this is inherent.

      12. what about men and wemon who have varied gender and sexual orientation…oppose from just hetero men and wemon?

      13. This is so freaking stupid i’m a guy my favorite color is purple stupid freaking world

      14. I like purple… Also, women preferred soft colors which are pretty much darker than bright colors, but in one of the further down studies, women preferred tints over shades, which means they liked brighter colors. That makes little to no sense.

      15. Thanks guys, I like purple and bought a cabin baggage with purple color. WTF, Every survey mostly conducted by American companies misleads the World.

        They want to convince us that purple is for Girls and its purely another marketing technique, might be.

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