Pretty in pink: The early development of gender-stereotyped colour preferences

Vanessa LoBue, Judy S. DeLoache

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


Parents commonly dress their baby girls in pink and their baby boys in blue. Although there is research showing that children prefer the colour blue to other colours (regardless of gender), there is no evidence that girls actually have a special preference for the colour pink. This is the focus of the current investigation. In a large cross-sectional study, children aged 7 months to 5 years were offered eight pairs of objects and asked to choose one. In every pair, one of the objects was always pink. By the age of 2, girls chose pink objects more often than boys did, and by the age of 2.5, they had a significant preference for the colour pink over other colours. At the same time, boys showed an increasing avoidance of pink. These results thus reveal that sex differences in young children's preference for the colour pink involves both an increasing attraction to pink by young girls and a growing avoidance of pink by boys.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)656-667
Number of pages12
JournalBritish Journal of Developmental Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Developmental Neuroscience

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