Investigating the Relation between Gender Typicality and Pressure to Conform to Gender Norms

Matthew G. Nielson, Kingsley M. Schroeder, Carol Lynn Martin, Rachel E. Cook

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


Previous research suggested that gender typicality and pressure to conform to gender norms were unrelated; however, this may have been due to how gender typicality was assessed (i.e., by only comparing the self to one’s own gender collective). In the present study, we used a dual identity approach (comparing oneself to both gender collectives: to own-gender and other-gender individuals) to create typologies of gender typicality to examine how similarity to own and other gender collectives might differentially associate with pressure to conform to gender norms. The potentially unique influence of pressure sources (parents, peers, or the self) was also analyzed. Participants were 378 U.S. 6th grade students (48% female; Mage = 11.44 years, range = 10–13). Results indicated that male early adolescents felt more pressure than did female early adolescents and that those who felt more similar to own-gender (and less similar to other-gender) felt significantly higher levels of pressure and that the highest source of pressure was the self rather than peers or parents. We discuss how the present research provides insights into who experiences the highest levels of felt pressure to conform to gender norms and suggests that self-socialization plays a strong role in gender development for many early adolescents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalSex Roles
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2020


  • Early adolescence
  • Felt pressure
  • Gender identity
  • Gender typicality
  • Parents
  • Peers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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