Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 36, Issue 3, pp 363–371 | Cite as

Adolescents’ Acceptance of Same-Sex Peers Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Expression

  • Staccy S. HornEmail author
Original Paper


This study investigated tenth- and twelfth-grade adolescents’ (N ≤ 264) judgments about the acceptability of same-sex peers who varied in terms of their sexual orientation (straight, gay or lesbian) and their conformity to gender conventions or norms in regard appearance and mannerisms or activity. Overall, the results of this study suggest that adolescents’ conceptions of the acceptability of their peers are related not just to sexual orientation but also conformity to gender conventions. Both straight and gay or lesbian individuals who were non-conventional in their appearance and mannerisms were rated as less acceptable than individuals who conformed to gender conventions or those who participated in non-conventional activities. Most surprisingly, for boys, the straight individual who was non-conforming in appearance was rated less acceptable than either the gay individual who conformed to gender norms or was gender non-conforming in choice of activity.


Peer acceptance Sexual orientation and gender conformity Social cognition 



The research reported in this article was supported, in part, by grants from the Wayne F. Placek Fund of the American Psychological Foundation and a University of Illinois at Chicago Campus Research Board awarded to the author and Larry Nucci.

I would like to thank Larry Nucci for his help and feedback on the manuscript. Additionally, I thank Jessica Rosenwein, Anna Kurtz, and Mary Kachiroubas for assistance with data collection and data entry.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Education (mc 147)University of Illinois at ChicagoChicagoUSA

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