A study in Current Biology reports some of the first conclusive evidence in support of the long-held notion that men and women differ when it comes to their favorite colors. Indeed, the researchers found that women really do prefer pink–or at least a redder shade of blue–than men do.
So how is this explained?
The explanation might go back to humans' hunter-gatherer days, when women–the primary gatherers–would have benefited from an ability to key in on ripe, red fruits.
"Evolution may have driven females to prefer reddish colors–reddish fruits, healthy, reddish faces," Hurlbert said. "Culture may exploit and compound this natural female preference."
C'mon, this is just a classic example of a "just-so" story. The only thing the researchers actually measured is the biological difference between male and females. And that's where the science ended. There is nothing in the study that indicates "evolution may have driven females to prefer reddish colors–reddish fruits, healthy, reddish faces." Don't believe me? Just watch the imagination go wild some more:
About the universal preference for blue, "I can only speculate," said Hurlbert. "I would favor evolutionary arguments again here. Going back to our 'savannah' days, we would have a natural preference for a clear blue sky, because it signaled good weather. Clear blue also signals a good water source."
Why in the world does there have to be an adaptive explanation that supposedly accounts for such color preferences?