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The Color Pink Might Not Help Causes

| Filed under: Etc.

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This can’t be right… Who knew the color pink wasn’t that popular?

A recent study published in the Harvard Business Review reveals that the pink ribbons used for Breast Cancer Awareness might not be all that effective simply because of the color.

The color pink is a gender cue which can trigger a "defensive response" among women.

The study reports:

“When women wrote an essay about gender, just 42% of them said they would donate to ovarian cancer research. When they wrote a gender-neutral essay, 77% did. And those who saw a pink ad about breast cancer were significantly less likely to say that they’d contract the disease than those who saw an ad with neutral colors. We thought, “This can’t be right.” So we kept running studies.

We looked at the effects of gender cues on women’s recall. We put breast cancer banner ads on a website we showed the subjects but never mentioned them. When the site was geared to women, 33% of women recalled the ads. When it was gender-neutral, 65% remembered. It’s been three years, and we have duplicated the same basic finding 10 times. It keeps happening.”

Though to be clear, the study found that it’s not the color itself but the fact that the color is a gender cue that triggers the response.

[Image via Lia Toby/WENN.]

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