I read a lot of blog posts last week about the new research study that somehow PROVED that women intrinsically prefer pink. I didn’t bother looking at any of the news articles on the study, though, because I mostly got the gist from the blogs. Today, however, I came across an article about it in my hometown paper, and decided to click the link. My oh my. It’s worse reporting than I could have imagined. Mind you that the subjects of this study were grown adults, not babies — people who’ve had years to internalize which colors are for girls and which are for boys. How does it possibly make sense for a reporter to offer up this explanation for the study results —
Hurlbert surmised that women might have evolved an interest in red because of their primary role as gatherers in early human history.
— without even mentioning the fact that, you know, cultural factors just might have made a difference?
I know this probably doesn’t seem like anything to get worked up about. So the study says women like pink? Women do like pink! So what? But this isn’t about women liking pink. I like pink okay (though I much prefer navy blue, mustard yellow, pistacio green, eggplant, and bright orange). I’m not bothered in some way by a lot of women liking pink. What I care about is dubious research studies getting widespread media attention by purporting to offer hard evidence that men and women’s brains are “hard-wired” in different ways. Because while being hard-wired for a color preference may seem pretty innocuous, when you concede that, it’s not a far leap to men’s brains being more “hard-wired” to do math or science or participate in politics, and women being more “hard-wired” to be awesome grocery shoppers.