If you thought that “pink is for girls, blue is for boys” was mere gender stereotyping, you’ll be surprised by research results that show women really do prefer colors with more pink in them. Anna Hulbert, a neuroscientist at Newcastle University and the leader of the study, thinks the preference may date to our hunter-gatherer days when women were responsible for selecting ripe fruit. Overall, both men and women had a preference for blue colors.

In the study, the researchers asked a group of men and women to look at about 1,000 pairs of colored rectangles on a computer screen in a dark room and pick the ones they liked best as quickly as possible.

Afterwards, Hurlbert and colleagues plotted the results along the color spectrum and found that while men prefer blue, women gravitate towards the pinker end of the blue spectrum.

The brief report we saw at MSNBC.com, Women really do prefer pink, study finds didn’t explain how the researchers ruled out cultural factors. Presumably, unless the subjects were raised in a bubble, most of them have been bombarded by color messages for years, ranging from pink baby clothes for girls, pink product packaging for women, and so on. The “ripe fruit” explanation sounds a bit speculative as well. Nevertheless, marketers can profit from the conclusion of the study – everyone like blue, but women skew toward the pinkish blues.