Two Newcastle Uni researchers appear to have confirmed what the manufacturers of "My Little Pony" have known all along: that girls have a natural preference for pink while boys demonstrate a penchant for blue.
Anya C Hurlbert and Yazhu Ling of the seat of learning's Institute of Neuroscience and School of Biology and Psychology asked 208 young males and females to select as quickly as possible their colour of choice from coloured rectangles.
According to the Telegraph, "the universal favourite colour appeared to be blue", but when given a spectral choice ranging from "red through blue and green to yellow", women came down in favour of red.
Or rather, pink, as Hurlbert explained: "This shifts their colour preference slightly away from blue towards red, which tends to make pinks and lilacs the most preferred colours."
The bottom line of this ground-breaking probe is that girlie pink is a biological phenomenon, rather than cultural. Hurlbert said: "Everyone in today's western culture, from parents to toy manufacturers, seems to assume that little girls like pink. Culture may exploit and compound this natural female preference."
To back up her assertions, Hurlbert confessed to liking a bit of pink herself, admitting: "I am wearing a pink top today and once splurged on an incredible pink briefcase."
Hurlbert is, however, not entirely certain why she's biologically driven to sport pink clothing, but speculates the reason "could have its origins in the hunt for food on the African savannah millennia ago".
She offered the possibility that "evolution may have driven females to prefer reddish colours - reddish, ripe fruits, healthy, reddish faces". As for blokes' attraction to blue, Hurlbert said: "Here again, I would favour evolutionary arguments. Going back to our 'savannah' days, we would have a natural preference for a clear blue sky, because it signalled good weather. Clear blue also signals a good water source."
Biological components of sex differences in colour preference is published in the latest issue of Current Biology. ®