The purpose of the research presented in this paper (or thesis) was to look at the correlation between color preference and gender socialization in children. The main research questions that were the focus of this study were the following, are traditionally gender-related colors, such as pink or blue still preferred by certain genders and rejected by others? What about gender-neutral colors, such as yellow, orange, grey? For children who may have preferences and identities beyond those expected of their sex, due to their gender identity, they often experience depression, anxiety, suicidality due to discrimination and bullying by their peers and others. Thus, to promote healthy development, we must support all children, regardless of their gender identity or preferences. With our increasing awareness of gender variance, it is important to see how gender schemas are formed to allow more open dialogue and acceptance for future generations. The present study examined these concepts in two groups: (1) college students about their own experiences and preferences based on their own gender and (2) parents of young children about their child’s experiences and preferences based on their child’s gender. According to the results, certain genders were positively correlated with certain colors, depending on their coding as masculine, feminine, and neutral, however, this was not the case for all color categories and genders. Findings suggest fairly traditional displays of color preference, which are consistent with studies from over twenty years ago, such as was shown in the first study’s childhood data and the second study’s clothing, bedroom colors, and masculine PSAI scores. This data hinted at the discrimination and fear many males feel when attempting to go outside of the gender binary. However, the first study’s results, concerning the college student data, as well as the toy data from the second study concerning the feminine PSAI scores and the male toy’s high feminine color percentages show gender preferences and norms in American society seem to be changing. Based on these findings, future research suggestions could use age, ethnicity, and race data, as well as nonbinary and transgender participants. Parental gender socialization of participants could also be investigated in future research.
Breslin, Carly, "Gender and Color Associations Through Children’s Views" (2021). Psychology Honors Papers. 87.
The views expressed in this paper are solely those of the author.