To better understand contextual influences on gender segregation in emerging adulthood, we examined the extent to which college students (N = 285; 178 females, 107 males) from the Mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. nominated same-gender peers when listing their close friends, preferred workmates for projects in English and math classes, and preferred partners for “hanging out.” We used an established, self-report measure to examine the relation between preferences to affiliate with same-gender peers and students’ gender-typed activity involvement (i.e., involvement in activities stereotypically associated with one’s own gender). The majority of close friends nominated by both women and men were same-gender peers, but men nominated relatively more same-gender friends than did women. Workmate nominations for class projects followed gender stereotypes. Women were least likely to nominate same-gender workmates for a math project compared to an English project or to “hang out.” Men were least likely to nominate same-gender workmates for a project in English compared to a math project or to “hang out.” For both women and men, nominating more same-gender friends and workmates was associated with less involvement in activities stereotypically associated with the other gender. The stability of emerging adults’ preferences for same-gender peers across contexts is discussed.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 13, 2013
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