Monochrome males and colorful females: do gender and age influence the color and content of drawings?

Lynn Wright, Fiona Black

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    9 Citations (Scopus)
    99 Downloads (Pure)


    Influences of educational level and gender were examined through free drawings. A total of 216 participants were recruited ranging from nursery school to university students. Using an adaptation of Turgeon’s methodology, participants were given a standardized set of colored pens and asked to draw a picture. Pictures were analyzed for the area of the page covered, colors used, number of colors used, and content. Overall, females covered more of the page, and used more colors than males. Females drew significantly more sky, flowers/trees and buildings (in most cases houses), and males drew more people and vehicles. In relation to educational level, nursery children used fewer colors than the other groups and secondary school children used more colors than primary school children. It was concluded that gender differences in content, and color, of drawings exist and these differences remain stable into adulthood. Results are discussed in terms of social and evolutionary theory.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-9
    Number of pages9
    JournalSAGE Open
    Issue number4
    Early online date22 Oct 2013
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2013


    • Drawing
    • Gender
    • Age
    • Educational level


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