Study documents ethnic and gender differences in youths' developing gender identityNovember 14, 2017
The extent to which youths feel typical of their gender and the pressure they feel to conform to traditional gender roles are related to adolescents' well-being. Because many gender-related expectations are culturally based, a new longitudinal study examined how French middle school adolescents' feelings about the development of gender identity differed across groups of teens from different ethnicities, cultures, and genders.
The study was conducted by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Nimes University, Montpellier University, Universite Savoie Mont Blanc, and Aix-Marseille Universite. It appears in the journal Child Development.
"Our study-one of the first to examine these issues longitudinally and outside of the United States-shows that boys experience greater pressure than girls to conform to gender expectations, which most likely places nonconforming adolescent boys at higher risk than girls for psychological distress," according to Adam J. Hoffman, a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Michigan who coauthored the study when he was at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Researchers examined youths' developing gender identity in survey responses from French adolescents over four years, starting in sixth grade and following them each year until ninth grade. Surveys were collected from 570 students of European origin ("European French") and 534 students of North African origin ("North African French"). Youths were asked in the surveys about their feelings related to "gender typicality" (how much they felt typical of their gender) and "felt pressure," the pressure they felt from parents, peers, or themselves to conform to traditional gender roles. All the European French youths were born in France, while the North African French youths were of Algerian, Moroccan, or Tunisian ancestry, with 78% born in France. Most adolescents were from low-income households and attended urban schools.
In sixth grade, girls in both the European French and North African French groups reported lower levels of gender typicality and felt pressure than boys; contrary to expectations, the two ethnic groups did not differ in this respect at the beginning of middle school. Over the four years of middle school, European French girls and boys, and North African French girls reported a decrease in how much they felt typical for their gender, while North African French boys did not change in this respect.
Girls in both groups reported declining pressure to conform to gender norms over the four years, European French boys did not change on this measure, and North African French boys reported increasing felt pressure.
"Cultural differences in gender norms provide North African French boys less freedom to deviate from traditional gender roles and norms than that experienced by European French boys," explains Isabelle Regner, professor of psychology at Aix-Marseille Universite and the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), who coauthored the study. "The greater pressure to conform to gender roles that North African French boys feel may be a response to contrasting messages about social status they are exposed to-one from their ethnic and cultural groups that says masculinity has greater power and prestige, the other from the broader social context that says their ethnic and cultural groups have lower status and are discriminated against."
Given the important role of culture in shaping the development of aspects of gender identity, the authors point to the need for parents, teachers, and others who interact with youths to be aware of cultural differences in gender norms. For example, teachers should talk with parents to gain a better understanding of how individuals from different cultural backgrounds think about gender and the importance of gender to different cultures.
Summarized from Child Development, Development of Gender Typicality and Felt Pressure in European French and North African French Adolescents by Hoffman, AJ (formerly at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, now at the University of Michigan), Dumas, F (Nimes University), Loose, F (Montpellier University), Smeding, A (Universite Savoie Mont Blanc), Kurtz-Costes, B (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), and Regner, I (Aix-Marseille Universite and National Center for Scientific Research). Copyright 2017 The Society for Research in Child Development, Inc. All rights reserved.
Society for Research in Child Development
Related Gender Identity Articles:
Transgender patients feel it is more important for health care providers to know their gender identity (GI) than their sexual orientation (SO), but are willing to disclose SO/GI in general.
A new study from Uppsala University in Sweden has indicated that the norm-conscious practices used by teachers at preschools termed 'gender-neutral' are associated with reductions in children's tendencies to make gender-stereotypical assumption.
At the IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy this week, researchers from MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory are presenting a new system that uses Bitcoin's security machinery to defend against online identity theft.
The Trump/Pence Administration's recent removal of sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) questions from a national aging survey and omission of a sexual orientation category and a transgender identity field from a national disability survey threaten to set back years of advances in collecting and using SOGI data to understand and intervene in the health disparities experienced by LGBT people.
Young mongooses may conceal their identity -- even from their own parents -- to survive.
Gender may be the earliest identity and social category to emerge in development, research suggests, and acquiring knowledge about one's gender is considered a critical part of early childhood development.
A new study demonstrates that gender dysphoria in individuals with coexisting psychotic disorders can be adequately diagnosed and safely treated with gender affirming psychological, endocrine, and surgical therapies.
This special section of Child Development, edited by Drs. Eleanor Seaton, Stephen Quintana, Maykel Verkuyten and Gilbert Gee, adds important information to the research in this area.
Kids often seek answers from parents, friends and media to better understand their racial identity.
It is now possible to reprogram cells from the liver into the precursor cells that give rise to the pancreas by altering the activity of a single gene.
Related Gender Identity Reading:
The Gender Quest Workbook: A Guide for Teens and Young Adults Exploring Gender Identity
by Rylan Jay Testa PhD (Author), Deborah Coolhart PhD LMFT (Author), Jayme Peta MA MS (Author), Arlene Istar Lev LCSW-R CASAC (Afterword), Ryan K Sallans MA (Afterword)
This one-of-a-kind, comprehensive workbook will help you navigate your gender identity and expression at home, in school, and with peers.
If you are a transgender and gender-nonconforming (TGNC) teen, you may experience unique challenges with identity and interpersonal relationships. In addition to experiencing common teen challenges such as body changes and peer pressure, you may be wondering how to express your unique identity to others. The Gender Quest Workbook incorporates skills, exercises, and activities from evidence-based therapies—such as cognitive... View Details
You and Your Gender Identity: A Guide to Discovery
by Dara Hoffman-Fox (Author), Zinnia Jones (Foreword), Sam Dylan Finch (Foreword), Zander Keig (Foreword)
Are you wrestling with questions surrounding your gender that just don’t seem to go away? Do you want answers to questions about your gender identity, but aren’t sure how to get started?
In this groundbreaking guide, Dara Hoffman-Fox, LPC―accomplished gender therapist and thought leader whose articles, blogs, and videos have empowered thousands worldwide―helps you navigate your journey of self-discovery in three approachable stages: preparation, reflection, and exploration.
In You and Your Gender Identity, you will learn:
Why understanding your gender... View Details
Who Are You?: The Kid's Guide to Gender Identity
by Brook Pessin-Whedbee (Author), Naomi Bardoff (Illustrator)
What do you like?
How do you feel?
Who are you?
This brightly illustrated children's book provides a straightforward introduction to gender for anyone aged 5+. It presents clear and direct language for understanding and talking about how we experience gender: our bodies, our expression and our identity. An interactive three-layered wheel included in the book is a simple, yet powerful, tool to clearly demonstrate the difference between our body, how we express ourselves through our clothes and hobbies, and our gender identity. Ideal for use in the classroom or at home, a short... View Details
A Guide to Gender (2nd Edition): The Social Justice Advocate's Handbook
by Sam Killermann (Author)
The first edition was featured as #1 best-seller in Gender on Amazon, and is being used by gender studies & sociology professors on 3 continents. Now with a new foreword by the author, brand new chapters, fixed tpyos, and more gender!
100% of royalties from this edition go directly to hues, a global justice collective.
Where do we start, when it comes to learning about something that's everywhere, infused into everything, and is often one of the primary lenses through which we see ourselves and others? When it comes to understanding gender, it's best to begin... View Details
Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity (Routledge Classics) (Volume 36)
by Judith Butler (Author)
One of the most talked-about scholarly works of the past fifty years, Judith Butler’s Gender Trouble is as celebrated as it is controversial.
Arguing that traditional feminism is wrong to look to a natural, 'essential' notion of the female, or indeed of sex or gender, Butler starts by questioning the category 'woman' and continues in this vein with examinations of 'the masculine' and 'the feminine'. Best known however, but also most often misinterpreted, is Butler's concept of gender as a reiterated social performance rather than the expression of a prior... View Details
Gender Identity: The Ultimate Teen Guide (It Happened to Me)
by Cynthia L. Winfield (Author)
Contrary to popular education, gender is no longer an either "male" or "female" proposition. Today, it is increasingly important, especially for those coming into adulthood, to go beyond the concepts of gay, lesbian, straight, and bisexual when examining gender: the way we feel about ourselves and our roles in society. Gender Identity: The Ultimate Teen Guide examines what is meant by "sex" and "gender"―from typical gender roles and stereotypes, through those who transcend the usual categories of "male" and "female."
Author Cynthia Winfield encourages readers to "think... View Details
The Gender Identity Workbook for Kids: A Guide to Exploring Who You Are
by Kelly Storck LCSW (Author), Noah Grigni (Illustrator), Diane Ehrensaft PhD (Illustrator)
The Gender Identity Workbook for Kids offers fun, age-appropriate activities to help your child explore their identity and discover unique ways to navigate gender expression at home, in school, and with friends.
Transgender and gender-nonconforming (TGNC) children need validation and support on their journey toward self-discovery. Unfortunately, due to stigma and misinformation, these kids can be especially vulnerable to bullying, discrimination, and even mental health issues such as anxiety or depression. The good news is that there are steps you can... View Details
The Conscious Parent's Guide to Gender Identity: A Mindful Approach to Embracing Your Child's Authentic Self (The Conscious Parent's Guides)
by Darlene Tando (Author)
If your child is questioning their gender identity, you may have questions of your own. The Conscious Parent's Guide to Gender Identity helps answer those questions, providing a relationship-oriented approach to supporting your child's journey. Conscious parenting means being present with your children and taking the time to understand their point of view. Using this mindful method, you can support and guide your children as they discover their authentic selves.
With this easy-to-navigate guide, you'll learn how to...
Communicate openly with your child about gender... View Details
Gender Stories: Negotiating Identity in a Binary World
by Sonja K. Foss (Author), Mary E. Domenico (Author), Karen A. Foss (Author)
Essential for anyone who seeks to understand the contemporary gender landscape, Gender Stories defines gender as the socially constructed meanings that are assigned to bodies. The book helps readers navigate issues of gender by introducing them to the ubiquitous gender binary, the problems with much of the research on gender differences, and the variety of gender stories in popular culture.
At the heart of the book is a description of the process of becoming a gendered person through crafting and performing gender stories. Because each gender performance is unique, a virtually... View Details