Self-perceived gender typicality and the peer context during adolescence

Tara E. Smith, University of California, Santa Cruz
Campbell Leaper, University of California, Santa Cruz


This research examined adolescents' gender identity in relation to the peer context and their self-concept. Participants were 229 adolescents who completed questionnaire measures of self-concept and multidimensional gender identity. Regression analysis indicated peer acceptance partially mediated the relation between self-perceived gender typicality and self-worth. Cluster analysis revealed four groups of adolescents with differing profiles of self-perceived gender typicality, felt peer pressure for gender conformity, and peer acceptance. Findings highlight the inherently social and contextual nature of gender identity. Also, the pathologizing of gender-nonconforming youth is discussed. Copyright © 2005, Society for Research on Adolescence.