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When gender stereotypes get male adolescents into trouble : a longitudinal study on gender conformity pressure as a predictor of school misconduct

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

School misconduct is a threat to educational careers and learning. The present study sheds light on why male adolescents in particular are prone to school misconduct. Qualitative research has argued that male adolescents' construction of masculinity is a factor driving their school misbehavior. We examined the role of felt pressure to conform to gender stereotypes in predicting school misconduct among male and female adolescents. Data were provided by a three-wave panel study encompassing more than 4200 Flemish early adolescents (ages 12-14). Three-level growth curve models showed that male adolescents misbehaved more in school than female adolescents did. Male adolescents also demonstrated a steeper increase in school misconduct than female adolescents. Furthermore, greater felt gender conformity pressure predicted an increase in school misconduct in male adolescents but not in female adolescents. We conclude that school misconduct forms part of an enactment of masculine gender identity with detrimental consequences for male adolescents' educational achievement.
Journal: Sex Roles
ISSN: 0360-0025
Issue: 1-2
Volume: 84
Pages: 61 - 75
Publication year:2021