Victimization and Gender Identity in Single-Sex and Mixed-Sex Schools: Examining Contextual Variations in Pressure to Conform to Gender Norms
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- Drury, K., Bukowski, W.M., Velásquez, A.M. et al. Sex Roles (2013) 69: 442. doi:10.1007/s11199-012-0118-6
Contextual variations in the association between gender role conformity and victimization were studied in fourth-, fifth- and sixth-grade girls (N = 469) from same- and mixed-sex schools located in lower middle class neighborhoods in two cities (Bogotá and Barranquilla) in Colombia. Self-report questionnaires were used to measure peer victimization (i.e., when a child is the target of negative actions from her/his peers) and gender identity. We hypothesized a negative relationship between typicality and peer victimization in that more gender typical children would be less victimized. We also expected to find a stronger association between gender typicality and victimization in contexts with higher levels of pressure to conform to gender norms. Results indicated that the girls in the single-sex schools endorsed significantly higher levels of gender typicality and felt pressure to conform to gender norms than the girls in the mixed-sex schools. The girls in the mixed-sex schools reported significantly higher levels of peer victimization. Girls in the same-sex schools reported lower levels of peer victimization in classrooms with high levels of perceived pressure to conform to gender norms. Multilevel modeling revealed that gender typicality was negatively associated with peer victimization among the girls in the same-sex schools and was uncorrelated with victimization in the mixed-sex school. These findings add to the database indicating that peers relationships are affected by gender and that the effects of gender are moderated by group composition.