Under pressure

differentiating adolescents’ expectations regarding stereotypic masculine and feminine behavior

Emma F. Jackson*, Kay Bussey

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The present study provided a novel way to compare the pressure felt by adolescents to engage in same gender behavior and other gender behavior. A new scale of felt pressure was developed which measured the reactions participants anticipated from others if they were to engage in masculine or feminine stereotyped behaviors. The scale was tested on a sample of 297 Australian adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17. Factor analysis indicated two factors which corresponded to Masculine-Typed and Feminine-Typed behaviors. Items related to feminine-typed behaviors were designated as same gender for young women and other gender for young men, and vice versa for masculine-typed items. Analyses indicated that young men reported higher felt pressure to conform to same gender behavior than did young women, and young women reported felt pressure to conform to other gender behavior whereas young men reported pressure to avoid other gender behavior. In addition, high same gender felt pressure was associated with higher self-perceived same gender typicality and lower other gender typicality. Conversely, high other gender felt pressure was associated with high levels of other gender typicality and lower levels of same gender typicality. The presence of same and other gender felt pressure encourages theorists and practitioners to be mindful of the impact of both these influences on adolescents’ gender identity development and psychosocial adjustment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-314
Number of pages12
JournalSex Roles
Volume83
Issue number5-6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2020

Keywords

  • adolescence
  • gender identity
  • masculinity
  • femininity
  • gender typicality
  • felt pressure
  • sex differences

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