Peer socialization has been proposed to elicit gender norm adherence through: a) rebuke for exhibiting gender nonnormative characteristics and b) engagement in same-sex interactions. However, there is little evidence supporting these assumptions. Accordingly, the current study examined the unique and interactive contributions of negative peer treatment and same-sex and cross-sex friendships to gender conformity over one school year. Children from the upper-Midwest of the USA (196 girls; 170 boys; M age = 9.34 years) participated. Data included peer-ratings of harassment, friendship nominations, and teacher-ratings of gender atypicality. Peer harassment predicted decreased gender atypicality for children with many male friends and increased gender atypicality for boys with many female friends and few male friends. Implications for theories of gender development are discussed.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 6, 2010
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