The colour of gender stereotyping

Sheila J. Cunningham, C. Neil Macrae

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

  • 15 Citations

Abstract

Despite legislative attempts to eliminate gender stereotyping from society, the propensity to evaluate people on the basis of their sex remains a pernicious social problem. Noting the critical interplay between cultural and cognitive factors in the establishment of stereotypical beliefs, the current investigation explored the extent to which culturally transmitted colour–gender associations (i.e., pink is for girls, blue is for boys) set the stage for the automatic activation and expression of gender stereotypes. Across six experiments, the results demonstrated that (1) consumer choice for children's goods is dominated by gender-stereotyped colours (Experiment 1); (2) colour-based stereotypic associations guide young children's behaviour (Experiment 2); (3) colour–gender associations automatically activate associated stereotypes in adulthood (Experiments 3–5); and (4) colour-based stereotypic associations bias impressions of male and female targets (Experiment 6). These findings indicate that, despite prohibitions against stereotyping, seemingly innocuous societal practices may continue to promote this mode of thought.
LanguageEnglish
Pages598–614
Number of pages17
JournalBritish Journal of Psychology
Volume102
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2011

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Experiment
Stereotyping
Color
Stereotypes
Consumer Choice
Gender Stereotypes
Thought
Young children
Boys
Adulthood
Activation
Social Problems
Prohibition
Propensity
Child Behavior

Cite this

Cunningham, Sheila J. ; Macrae, C. Neil. / The colour of gender stereotyping. In: British Journal of Psychology. 2011 ; Vol. 102, No. 3. pp. 598–614
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The colour of gender stereotyping. / Cunningham, Sheila J.; Macrae, C. Neil.

In: British Journal of Psychology, Vol. 102, No. 3, 08.2011, p. 598–614.

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

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