Monday, November 23, 2009

Scientists demonstrate that girls are genetically predisposed to pink

Scientists demonstrate that girls are genetically predisposed to pink

We all know that women like pink and men prefer blue, but we have never really known why. Now it emerges that parents who dress their boys in blue and girls in pink may not just be following tradition but some deep-seated evolutionary instinct. Researchers have found that there could be sound historical reasons why women have developed a heightened appreciation of reds and pinks, while men are drawn to blue.

The scientists from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, who were led by Dr Hurlbert and Yazhu Ling, averaged people's overall preferences. The male favourite was a pale blue while the female favourite was a lilac shade of pink. The participants in the study were Chinese and British. The Chinese students showed a marked preference for red. As red symbolises luck and happiness in China, this indicates that cultural norms are also involved. In the study, which is published in the journal Current Biology, the scientists showed pairs of colours to 208 volunteers aged between 20 and 26, who had to select which they preferred by clicking with a computer mouse. Both groups showed similar sex-related preferences, with women liking blues and pinks while men liked mainly blues.

There is already evidence that human's ability to see in colour is likely to have evolved because of the usefulness of being able to distinguish red fruits from green backgrounds. The female role as gatherers while males hunted could have favoured a particular preference for reds and pinks, the scientists said. Dr Ling said the team was now seeking to investigate further the extent to which these preferences are innate. Her own favourite colour? “A very paleish pink,” she said.


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