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Pink girl and blue boy

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Future President Franklin D. Roosevelt in If we were to play a word association game where I said a word and you had to yell out the first color that came to mind, it would probably go something like this: Banana- Yellow; Apple- Red; Boy- Blue; Girl- Pink. We can all understand why yellow and red are associated with bananas and apples, but boys are not blue and girls are not pink. So why are these colors so very much associated with these genders? Gender identification by color began in the early 20th century in the Western world.

SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: How did pink become a girly color?

SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: The Real Reason Behind Blue For Boys & Pink For Girls

Pink Girl, Blue Boy

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When you receive the information, if you think any of it is wrong or out of date, you can ask us to change or delete it for you. Gina Rippon. Edited by Pam Weintraub. The topic of this rampant pinkification has been frequently criticised, in books such as this and many others, so I had thought that I might not have to cover the pink issue again.

But unfortunately for us all, this is a whack-a-mole problem and it shows little evidence of disappearing any time soon. There are two versions, and both are a marketing dream. In version 1, you decide to remain in ignorance, and instruct your ultrasound technician to put the exciting news in a sealed envelope and send it to your gender-reveal party organiser of choice. In version 2, you find out for yourself but decide to break the news at the party.

So, 20 weeks before little humans even arrive into it, their world is already tucking them firmly into a pink or a blue box. And it is clear from the YouTube videos yes, I became obsessed that, in some cases, different values are attached to the pinkness or blueness of the news. And what is it that our Engineer Barbie can build?

A pink washing machine, a pink rotating wardrobe, a pink jewellery carousel. Y ou might wonder why any of this matters. What it all comes down to is the debate over whether pinkification is signalling a natural biological divide or reflecting a socially constructed coding mechanism.

If it is really the sign of a biological imperative, then perhaps it should be respected and supported. Perhaps we should ask whether the power of the pink tide has a biological basis. An extension of this was the suggestion that pinkification is also the basis of empathy — aiding our female caregivers to pick up those subtle changes in skin tone that match emotional states.

However, three years later the same team carried out a similar study in four- to five-month-old infants, using eye movements as a measure of their preference for the same coloured rectangles. They found no evidence of sex differences, with all babies preferring the reddish end of the spectrum. This finding was not accompanied by the media flurry that greeted the first one. The study with infants, where no sex differences were found, has been cited 61 times.

Children as young as three will allocate genders to toy animals based on their colour; pink and purple ones are girl animals, and blue and brown ones are boy animals. Surely, there must be a biological driver behind the emergence of a preference this early and this determined? But a telling study from the American psychologists Vanessa LoBue and Judy DeLoache tracked more closely just how early this preference emerges.

Nearly children, aged seven months to five years, were offered pairs of objects, one of which was always pink. The result was clear: up to the age of about two, neither boys nor girls showed any kind of pink preference. After that point, though, there was quite a dramatic change, with girls showing an above-chance enthusiasm for pink things, whereas boys were actively rejecting them.

This became most marked from about three years old onwards. This tallies with the finding that, once children learn gender labels, their behaviour alters to fit in with the portfolio of clues about genders and their differences that they are gradually gathering.

Gender-related colour-coding was established years ago, and seems to vary with fashion. Why and when pink became linked to girls and blue to boys has been a matter of earnest academic debate. One side has claimed that this used to be the other way round, and that, until the s, blue was actually seen as the appropriate colour for girls, possibly because of its links with the Virgin Mary.

But the evidence for some kind of cultural universality for pink as a female colour is not that powerful either. In terms of understanding the significance of pinkification for our journeying brains, the key issue is not, of course, pink itself but what it stands for.

Pink has become a cultural signpost or signifier, a code for one particular brand: Being a Girl. T he whole issue of the increased gendering of toys and the contribution that this is making to the sustaining of stereotypes has been the focus of much concern in recent years, even to the extent of the White House holding a special meeting to discuss it in Might toy choice be a major chicane for our journeying brains?

Or have they already been set on this route before birth? Do toy choices reflect what is going on in the brain? Or do they determine what is going on in the brain?

These sex differences are present in infants, are seen in nonhuman primates, and relate, in part, to prenatal androgen exposure.

From a fairly young age, possibly as young as 12 months, it appears that boys and girls show preferences for different kinds of toys. Given the choice, boys are more likely to head for the truck or gun box, whereas girls can be found with dolls or cooking pots. This has been adopted as evidence for several different arguments. This would suggest a link between the emergence of gender labelling and the emergence of gendered toy choice. And there are yet other arguments about the consequences of toy preference.

If you spend your formative years playing with dolls and tea sets, will that steer you away from the useful skills that playing with construction kits or playing target-based games might bring you? Or might these different activities just be reinforcing your natural abilities, offering you appropriate training opportunities and enhanced talents for the occupational niche that will be yours? Looking particularly at the 21st century, if the toys you play with carry the message that appearance, and quite often sexualised appearance at that, is the defining factor of the group you belong to, does that have different consequences from playing with toys that offer the possibility of heroic action and adventure?

And might any of these consequences be found not only at the behavioural level but also at the brain level? As ever, the causes and consequences issues are entangled. Specifically for researchers, it would mean that sex differences in toy preference could be a very useful index of sex differences in underlying biology, a genuine brain-behaviour link.

On the other hand, if gendered toy preference is actually a measure of different environmental input, it would be possible to measure the different impacts of that input and, perhaps more importantly, the consequences of changing it. However, before we launch into the pros and cons of the various theories attached to toy preference, we need to look at the actual characteristics of these differences. Is it a robust difference, reliably found at different times, in different cultures or even just in different research studies?

Is it the children who play with them or the adults that supply them? In other words, whose preferences are we actually looking at? A mong adults, there appears to be pretty widespread agreement as to what constitutes male-typed, female-typed and neutral toys. Based on these ratings, they generated five categories: strongly masculine, moderately masculine, strongly feminine, moderately feminine, and neutral.

There were ratings disagreements about only nine of the toys, with the largest difference concerning a wheelbarrow rated as strongly masculine by men and moderately masculine by women ; similarly, there was a bit of arm-wrestling over toy horses and hamsters rated moderately feminine by men and neutral by women , but there were no incidences of cross-gendering.

And do children agree with these ratings? Do all boys choose boy toys, all girls choose girl toys? To find out, she tested three groups of children, aged nine to 17 months identified as the age when children first start to engage in independent play , 18 to 23 months when children show signs of acquiring gender knowledge , and 24 to 32 months when gender identities become more firmly established.

And they then noticed that there were an uneven number of toys in their two categories, so they also dropped the ball even though it actually showed a sex difference, with boys playing with it more than girls. So now it was the car and digger versus the doll and cooking pot — this meant the odds were stacked in favour of the most gender-targeted toys.

Interestingly, there was a little twist in the overall picture. For boys, a steady increase in play with boy toys paralleled a decrease in play with girl toys, but the story was different for girls. In fact, girls showed an increase in the amount of time they played with boy toys as they got older. Girls heading for the toy trucks? No problem! Boys selecting a tutu? Hold on a second.

Perhaps the matter might be settled by a recent research article that reports a combination of a systematic review and a meta-analysis of studies in this area. The article looked at 16 different studies, encompassing 27 groups of children boys and girls overall. If anything could confirm the reliability, universality and stability of toy preference, might this be it?

The overall conclusion was that boys played with male-typed toys more than girls, and girls with female-typed toys more than boys. Nor were we given any information about whether the children had siblings, and what kind of toys were found in their home environment. But even if they are supposedly given free rein, it is not necessarily symmetrical.

Boys selecting a tutu from the dressing-up box? Even if there is an overtly egalitarian message, children are pretty astute at picking up the truth. A small-scale study by Nancy Freeman, a teacher-education expert from South Carolina, illustrated this neatly. There was agreement about which toys were which, divided along predictably gendered lines, with further agreement of parental approval for playing with matched-gendered toys: tea sets and tutus for the girls; skateboards and baseball mitts for the boys yes, some of these children were only three years old.

This was tested on another group of three- to five-year-olds; 15 girls and 27 boys. Children were asked how much they liked the toys and who they thought would like and play with them. Boys were much less affected by either the colour or the labels, rating them all as just about equally interesting.

Girls, however, were much more gender-label compliant at one level, quite strongly rejecting the blue boy toys and approving of the pink girl toys.

Why Is Pink for Girls and Blue for Boys?

I know a lot of parents who insist that they would like their daughters to wear something different, but pink seems to hold an irresistible allure for them. But is that really true? Is it inevitable that girls are born to grow up to prefer pink?

This feature is part of Colorscope , an award-winning series exploring our perception of color and its use across cultures, one shade at a time. CNN When you think about the color pink, you are probably conjuring up images of little girls in pink dresses, with pink toys like Barbie or a Disney princess in a pretty gown.

An award-winning team of journalists, designers, and videographers who tell brand stories through Fast Company's distinctive lens. Leaders who are shaping the future of business in creative ways. New workplaces, new food sources, new medicine--even an entirely new economic system. Pink is for girls.

The real reason behind blue for boys and pink for girls

Cabinet of Curiosities is a series meant to explain some of the most prevailing mysteries out there. A lot of these "curiosities" involve seriously confusing scientific studies, so we're trying to break it down into layman's terms. Because nobody has time to decipher an entire science experiment when looking for a quick explanation online. Walk into a Babies"R"Us and you might as well walk into two stores sharing the same retail space. On one side, there's the Blue Store, filled with clothes, toys, diapers and pacifiers in various shades of pale blue. Cross the aisle and you've seemingly entered the Pink Store, jam packed with the same stuff, just in pastel pink shades with some frills for good measure. Never mind babies couldn't give a wet diaper about the clothes on their bodies; us adults can't stand not knowing if the cute baby across from us at the grocery store is a boy or a girl, so we've constructed this random rule that baby boys wear blue and baby girls get to dress in pink. But why is it that way? Why not green and yellow?

List of historical sources for pink and blue as gender signifiers

Blue is for boys and pink is for girls, we're told. But do these gender norms reflect some inherent biological difference between the sexes, or are they culturally constructed? It depends on whom you ask. Decades of research by University of Maryland historian Jo Paoletti suggests that up until the s, chaos reigned when it came to the colors of baby paraphernalia. Because the pink-for-a-girl, blue-for-a-boy social norms only set in during the 20th century in the United States, they cannot possibly stem from any evolved differences between boys' and girls' favorite colors , Paoletti has argued.

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Five week old twins newborn wearing pink and blue — boy or girl? To understand this concept, we have to go back to a time before colors were associated with gender at all. As revealed by Jo B.

Pink and blue tsunami

By Maleigha Michael. It was a color rule that has stayed with me since and helped me understand the relationship of colors. This is something we all heard growing up. Why though?

Earlier, we discussed the theory that the "pink is for girls, blue is for boys" binary is foisted on children by society. In baby photos from the late s, male and female tots wear frilly white dresses — so how did pink onesies with "Princess" emblazoned on the butt infiltrate American girls' wardrobes? According to Smithsonian. For centuries, all children had worn practical white dresses, which could easily be pulled up to change diapers, and bleached when said diapers inevitably exploded. Pastel baby clothes were introduced in the midth century, but according to University of Maryland historian Jo B.

The complicated gender history of pink

In fiction, and sometimes in Real Life , we tend to differentiate between "girly colors" and boyish ones. It is clearer with babies, when we are prone to see girls dressed in pink and boys in light blue. Prior to the industrial revolution and the development of synthetic dyes, colors were limited and the high costs rarely spent on children's clothing outside the upper classes. The main colors closer to natural hues. However, by the 's it was established that pink was generally for girls, while blue was for boys in Anglo-Saxon countries [1].

Jan 12, - "If you go back to the 18th century, little boys and little girls of the upper classes both wore pink and blue and other colors uniformly," said.

I have a hard time remembering faces. Person in the red shirt, person with the blue hat. We have a societal expectation that babies will reliably be identifiable by color. Blue quickly becomes less important for boys, but pink is for girls is perpetuated throughout childhood and beyond.

Here’s Why it All Changed: Pink Used to be a Boy’s Color & Blue For Girls

Since the 19th century, the colors pink and blue have been used as gender signifiers, particularly for infants and young children. The current tradition in the United States and an unknown number of other countries is "pink for girls, blue for boys". Prior to , two conflicting traditions coexisted in the U.

Pink=Girl Blue=Boy: The Relatively Recent History of Gendered Baby Colors

It's one of the undeniable truths of children. Whether you're having a child of your own or you're shopping for someone else, you're bound to be frustrated or puzzled by the idea that in the 21st century we still seem to be bound by the idea that pink is for girls and blue is for boys. Finding gender-neutral clothes, accessories and toys can still be a challenge, and if you dress a little girl in blue?



When Did Girls Start Wearing Pink?


Cabinet of Curiosities: Why Baby Boys Wear Blue and Baby Girls Wear Pink


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