Our natural tendencies to pick up a blue shirt for a little boy and a pink skirt for a girl may not be (completely) at the mercy of the marketing gods, this according to a study publsihed in Current Biology. The study examined British and Chinese volunteers -- both men and women -- to assess whether certain colour preferences were culturally shaped. And although both sexes tend to prefer blue, women picked the redder shades of blue -- more purple hues, while the men picked a blue-green shade. Maybe this is the reason why men that wear pink shirts often give off a certain "vibe."
Ling speculates that the color preference and women's ability to better discriminate red from green could have evolved due to sex-specific divisions of labor: while men hunted, women gatherered, and they had to be able to spot ripe berries and fruits. Another theory suggests that women, as caregivers who need to be particularly sensitive to, say, a child flushed with fever, have developed a sensitivity to reddish changes in skin color, a skill that enhances their abilities as the “emphathizer.”