Eli5: Is there a scientific reason why many young girls like like pink more than any other colour?



Eli5: Is there a scientific reason why many young girls like like pink more than any other colour?

In: Other


I don’t think that they do. I *think* that this ‘predisposition’ towards pink is a direct result of old thinking that ‘blue is for boys, pink is for girls’, one that’s pushed on children by their parents.

If you’re raised thinking pink is ‘your’ color, you’ll gravitate towards it.

It’s a learned behavior, like racism.

I’m also curious. It’s my son’s (2 year old) favorite as well. I don’t think we encouraged that in any way but didn’t discourage either. He’s pretty isolated due to the pandemic and doesn’t have many pink toys or clothes. Yet pink was the first color he could identify and he still loves it today.

Socialization. This preference emerges around 2-3 years old, but not before that. Kids are socialized at a *really* young age. There’s actual research that shows this. You can trawl through my back comments to find it but it’s a few months since I posted the link, lol.

Purely cultural. In many Asian countries it is black for boys and yellow for girls. Most people vastly underestimate how much cultural traits are transfered very early in a person’s life.

There is a scientific reason! But it’s not what you might think.

Sociology is a science, and therefore the effects of socialization should be considered scientific.

Young girls get socialized in many different ways to love pink. Advertisements tell them that toys made for them tend to be pink. Their parents will buy them pink clothes and tell them they look cute in pink. Their friends will also like pink for the same reasons which reinforces it. They will hear again and again through so many different people that pink is girly. It all adds up to making pink part of their identity.

The reason is that they grow up in a culture that keeps telling them “girls like pink” and see that reinforced everywhere.

Girls = pink and boys = blue is a relatively recent idea, like the start of the 20th century. Before that, pink was seen as a masculine colour, and young girls having a fascination with pink wasn’t a thing

Scientific, but sociological, not biological. For some reason western society decided that blue would be a boy colour and pink a girl colour. There are various theories on why that is, but none of them have been proven. Turns out companies make more money when they market specific toys to each gender, so they brand their toys boy toys and girl toys and then encourage parents to get the toy appropriate to their child’s gender. This means many girls in the west grow up with a whole bunch of pink stuff everywhere. This doesn’t actually make most of them *like* it though. It’s extremely common for teenage girls to start hating pink because they’ve been forced to like it for so long.

Also, pink is objectively the best colour. All humans should like it more than any other colour, but because pink is the girl colour a lot of men are afraid to admit it and a lot of women are afraid to embrace it.

They aren’t. It’s just that, in America, at least, pink is for girls, blue is for boys, and the mass marketing for such imprints on them.

It’s kind of like how my ex-wife always wanted her hamburgers plain and didn’t like ketchup, and since I was away a lot during my son’s early development he imprinted that “ketchup is nasty.” It took me *years* to get that out of his head. He wouldn’t eat anything that had the color red on it, because it might be ketchup. Kid didn’t like burgers because he insisted on them being plain, because that’s how his mother liked them. Wouldn’t eat pizza, any red sauce pasta, etc. *Finally* managed to trick him one time, and he realized that tomato sauce wasn’t the devil (doesn’t help that he is autistic) and now he eats “normally,” although he still prefers a white sauce pizza.

Anyway, got off topic. Young children are *extremely* impressionable, and imprint on things so fast it’ll blow your mind. And since modern American marketing covers little girls in pink from the day they’re born (a lot of hospital nurseries will put a pink knit cap on a girl and a blue one on a boy) it ends up being a familiar and comforting color.