Effects of Gender and Color Choice on Preschoolers’ Art Production

By Linda A Morin and Constance Chan

Background

Abstract

Research suggests that boys and girls produce different kinds of drawings according to their gender. This study examined whether male and female preschoolers differed in their spontaneous paintings and responses top color. Thirty predominantly white preschoolers (12 boys, 18 girls) from Gorse Child Study Center at Mount Holyoke College painted with chromatic (red, blue, and yellow) and achromatic paint (black, white, and gray) paints. Time spent painting and space covered on the page were measured. There were no differences in time spent painting or amount of space covered for boys and girls or for chromatic and achromatic paints. Time spent painting and amount of space covered on the page may not be the appropriate measures to identify gender differences in this context. Previous studies have shown significant differences in the content of boys’ and girls’ art productions.

Hypothesis

It was hypothesized that girls, whether using chromatic or achromatic paint, would cover more of the paper with paint than boys in their spontaneous art productions. It was also expected that children would spend more time painting with chromatic than achromatic paint. An interaction was expected between color type and gender in terms of time. Specifically, girls would spend more time painting than boys would when using achromatic paint.

Independent Variables:

1. Gender

2. Colors:

Dependent Variables:

    1. Time
    2. Space

Methods

Participants

Materials

 

Procedure

Results

Mixed-design ANOVA used to test for differences in time spent painting by girls and boys overall, and to test for differences in children’s time spent painting with chromatic versus achromatic paint:

F(1,28)=2.330, Mse=38979.211, p=.138

 

Mixed design ANOVA used to test for differences in space covered on the page by boys and girls overall, and to test for differences in children’s paint coverage when using chromatic versus achromatic paint:

F(1,28)=.456, Mse=195.600, p=.505

 

 

Discussion