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J Gen Psychol. 1997 Jan;124(1):91-104.

The development of gender schemata about heterosexual and homosexual others during adolescence.

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  • 1Institut National d'Etude du Travail et d'Orientation Professionnelle, Universit√© de Reims, France. pieron@vcnam.cnam.fr


Perceptions of heterosexual and homosexual individuals were investigated among 12-, 16-, and 20-year-old French adolescents. Participants described heterosexual and homosexual males and females with typical masculine and feminine personality traits. Overall, they perceived heterosexual males as having more masculine traits than homosexual males. The 16- and 20-year-olds perceived homosexual males as more feminine than heterosexual males, whereas the reverse was observed in 12-year-olds. Furthermore, the 12-year-olds perceived heterosexual females as more feminine than homosexual females, a difference that disappeared in the older age groups. Results support the view of early adolescence as a crucial period in the development of gender schemata about sexually significant others.

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