Gender Nonconformity During Adolescence: Links with Stigma, Sexual Minority Status, and Psychosocial Outcomes

  • Alexa Martin-StoreyEmail author
  • Laura Baams


Both gender nonconformity and sexual minority status during adolescence are associated with elevated levels of victimization and harassment, experiences that have serious consequences for adolescent psychosocial outcomes. While gender nonconformity and sexual minority status reflect separate constructs, they are associated because (1) sexual minority youth report higher levels of gender nonconformity and (2) gender nonconformity is frequently used to attribute sexual minority status by others. Following from classic stigma theory, the current chapter focuses on the role of gender nonconformity in explaining variation in social exclusion and victimization among both sexual minority and sexual majority youth. Of particular interest is the potential for gender nonconformity to mediate or moderate the association between sexual minority status and individual mental health and wellbeing outcomes. Gender differences will also be discussed, focusing on differences between girls and boys in the links between sexual minority status, gender nonconformity, experiences of victimization, and negative psychosocial outcomes. Additionally, the emerging literature on conceptualizing gender nonconformity among trans and non-binary youth will be addressed. Finally, the current chapter will finish with a discussion of how and why gender nonconformity must be taken into consideration in the development of programs aimed at reducing homophobia among adolescent populations.


Adolescence Bisexual Discrimination Gay Gender nonconformity Gender diversity Gender development mediation models Gender differences Lesbian Psychosocial wellbeing Peer victimization Same-sex attraction Sexual minority 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Département de PsychoéducationUniversité de SherbrookeLongueuilCanada
  2. 2.Pedagogy and Educational SciencesUniversity of GroningenGroningenThe Netherlands

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