Coded for Colour

A new study by scientists from Newcastle University gives substance to the old adage 'Pink for a girl, blue for a boy'. Evolution may have driven women's preference for pink, according to the published study.

The study, which is published in the latest issue of Current Biology, provides new scientific evidence in support of the long-held notion that men and women differ when it comes to their favourite colours. The study is the first to show that colour preference can be broken down into two elements: red-greenness and blue-yellowness. These are the biological mechanisms that underlie colour. Girls and boys differ in the emphasis they give to these two fundamental components.

In the test, young adult men and women were asked to select, as rapidly as possible, their preferred colour from each of a series of paired, coloured rectangles. While the test revealed that the universal favourite colour appears to be blue , the researchers found that females had a preference for the red end of the red-green axis.

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