Adolescents' acceptance of same-sex peers based on sexual orientation and gender expression

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Abstract

This study investigated tenth- and twelfth-grade adolescents' (N ≤ 264) judgments about the acceptability of same-sex peers who varied in terms of their sexual orientation (straight, gay or lesbian) and their conformity to gender conventions or norms in regard appearance and mannerisms or activity. Overall, the results of this study suggest that adolescents' conceptions of the acceptability of their peers are related not just to sexual orientation but also conformity to gender conventions. Both straight and gay or lesbian individuals who were non-conventional in their appearance and mannerisms were rated as less acceptable than individuals who conformed to gender conventions or those who participated in non-conventional activities. Most surprisingly, for boys, the straight individual who was non-conforming in appearance was rated less acceptable than either the gay individual who conformed to gender norms or was gender non-conforming in choice of activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)363-371
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Youth and Adolescence
Volume36
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2007
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments The research reported in this article was supported, in part, by grants from the Wayne F. Placek Fund of the American Psychological Foundation and a University of Illinois at Chicago Campus Research Board awarded to the author and Larry Nucci.

Keywords

  • Peer acceptance
  • Sexual orientation and gender conformity
  • Social cognition

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