Why women are seen as the fairer sex
People subconsciously associate lighter or fairer colours with female names and qualities and darker shades with more masculine attributes, according to Dutch psychologists.
In a study, Professor Gun Semin of Utrecht University showed a group of volunteers a selection of male and female names printed on a grey background. Some were in white text and others in black.
The men and women had only three-quarters of a second to decide whether each name was male or female.
The male names in black were processed significantly faster than those in white, said Semin.
The reverse was true for the female names. Those in the white typeface were processed much faster, the Professor stated.
The results were presented at the British Science Festival, the Daily mail reported.
In another experiment, volunteers were shown adjectives before the names flashed up.
The words 'soft', 'submissive' and 'weak' sped up the processing of female names, while 'assertive', 'strong' and 'weighty' aided the sorting of male ones.
When volunteers were asked to imagine a waiter bringing a couple's order to the table. Eighty per cent said that if he had a glass of red wine and one of white, he would give the red to the man and the white to the woman.
Similarly, most assumed an espresso would have been ordered by a man and a cappuccino by a woman.