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The well-being of gender-divergent adolescents: does the school context matter?

Author
Organization
Abstract
Schools are often heteronormative environments that push toward traditional gender binaries and heterosexuality. This negatively influences the well-being and academic functioning of LGB-students. Less is known about the impact on gender-divergent adolescents. Hence, this study investigates the well-being of gender-divergent students —as evidenced by their gender (a)typicality and pressure for gender conformity— in different school cultures —as evidenced by the level of traditional gender ideology and homonegativity—. We examine these context-dependent associations in a sample of 4987 Flemish students, who were questioned three times in the course of 2012-2014. Results from multilevel regression analyses show that both gender typical and atypical adolescents feel worse in heteronormative than liberal schools. Furthermore, the social acceptance of boys seems to be more conditional on displaying gender-conforming behavior in heteronormative than liberal schools. Overall, the results suggest that liberal schools ensure higher well-being for all students (regardless of gender-divergence or sex) and that student-teacher relationships seem to be central in explaining these school differences. Implications for school policy, as well as research considering heteronormativity and gender divergence are discussed.
Keywords
Pressure for gender conformity, Early adolescence, Gender typicality, Education, Heteronormativity, School culture, Well-being

Citation

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Chicago
Vantieghem, Wendelien, and Mieke Van Houtte. 2015. “The Well-being of Gender-divergent Adolescents: Does the School Context Matter?” In Society for the Study of Social Problems Conference, Abstracts.
APA
Vantieghem, W., & Van Houtte, M. (2015). The well-being of gender-divergent adolescents: does the school context matter? Society for the Study of Social Problems Conference, Abstracts. Presented at the Society for the Study of Social Problems Conference.
Vancouver
1.
Vantieghem W, Van Houtte M. The well-being of gender-divergent adolescents: does the school context matter? Society for the Study of Social Problems Conference, Abstracts. 2015.
MLA
Vantieghem, Wendelien, and Mieke Van Houtte. “The Well-being of Gender-divergent Adolescents: Does the School Context Matter?” Society for the Study of Social Problems Conference, Abstracts. 2015. Print.
@inproceedings{6987877,
  abstract     = {Schools are often heteronormative environments that push toward traditional gender binaries and heterosexuality. This negatively influences the well-being and academic functioning of LGB-students. Less is known about the impact on gender-divergent adolescents. Hence, this study investigates the well-being of gender-divergent students —as evidenced by their gender (a)typicality and pressure for gender conformity— in different school cultures —as evidenced by the level of traditional gender ideology and homonegativity—. We examine these context-dependent associations in a sample of 4987 Flemish students, who were questioned three times in the course of 2012-2014. Results from multilevel regression analyses show that both gender typical and atypical adolescents feel worse in heteronormative than liberal schools. Furthermore, the social acceptance of boys seems to be more conditional on displaying gender-conforming behavior in heteronormative than liberal schools. Overall, the results suggest that liberal schools ensure higher well-being for all students (regardless of gender-divergence or sex) and that student-teacher relationships seem to be central in explaining these school differences. Implications for school policy, as well as research considering heteronormativity and gender divergence are discussed.},
  author       = {Vantieghem, Wendelien and Van Houtte, Mieke},
  booktitle    = {Society for the Study of Social Problems Conference, Abstracts},
  keywords     = {Pressure for gender conformity,Early adolescence,Gender typicality,Education,Heteronormativity,School culture,Well-being},
  language     = {eng},
  location     = {Chicago, USA},
  title        = {The well-being of gender-divergent adolescents: does the school context matter?},
  year         = {2015},
}