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Beyond “Pink” and “Blue”: Gendered Attitudes Towards Robots in Society

Developing an improved understanding and awareness of how gender impacts perceptions of robots and interactions with them is crucial for the ongoing advancement of the human-robot interaction (HRI) field, as a lack of awareness of gender issues increases the risk of robot rejection and poor performance. This paper provides a theoretical grounding for gender-studies in HRI that illustrates potential dangers of “pink” versus “blue” dichotomous over-simplifications of women and men, and advocates for including potential users of both sexes. We further present the results from an exploratory survey of women and men’s attitudes toward robot development that demonstrates how real-world gender differences on attitudes toward robots go beyond simplistic generalizations. We envision that this work will provide HRI designers with a foundation and exemplary account of how gender can influence attitudes toward and interaction with robots, serving as a resource and a sensitizing discussion for gender studies in HRI.


Yan Wang and James E. Young (2014) Beyond "Pink" and "Blue": Gendered Attitudes Towards Robots in Society. Proceedings of Gender and IT Appropriation (GenderIT'14), Pages 49 -59

Bibtext Entry

author = {Wang, Yan and Young, James E.},
title = {Beyond "Pink" and "Blue": Gendered Attitudes Towards Robots in Society},
booktitle = {Proceedings of Gender and IT Appropriation. Science and Practice on Dialogue - Forum for Interdisciplinary Exchange},
series = {Gender IT '14},
year = {2014},
isbn = {978-1-4503-2105-1},
location = {Siegen, Germany},
pages = {49:49--49:59},
articleno = {49},
numpages = {11},
url = {http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=2670296.2670308},
acmid = {2670308},
publisher = {European Society for Socially Embedded Technologies},
address = {Siegen, Germany, Germany},
keywords = {Gender studies, human-robot interaction, robot design},


James E.Young

James E.Young

Associate Professor
Yan Wang

Yan Wang