06-11-2020 | Empirical Research
Popularity and Gender Prototypicality: An Experimental Approach
Gepubliceerd in: Journal of Youth and Adolescence | Uitgave 1/2021Log in om toegang te krijgen
Despite the growing scientific understanding of peer popularity, there are few theories that explicitly address the development of peer popularity in adolescence. The studies reported here present a preliminary test of the theory that popularity is associated with gender prototypicality. Popularity is associated with physical attractiveness, as well as with attributes (e.g., athletic involvement for boys, having stylish clothes for girls) that often reflect gender-based expectations. After being exposed to either a high school popularity priming condition or a neutral control condition, 1st-year college students rated photographs (Study 1, N = 368, 34% male, 66% female; Mage = 19.30, SD = 1.78, range 17–35), vignettes (Study 2, N = 249, 16.4% males, 83.2% females, 0.4% other; Mage = 18.71, SD = 2.31, range 17–40), and social media profiles (Study 3, N = 218, 30.3% male, 69.3% female, 0.5% other; Mage = 19.40, SD = 2.31, range 18–39) depicting gender-typical and gender-atypical adolescents’ appearance and interests on a number of popularity-related characteristics. These results indicated that gender prototypicality in both appearance and interests is associated with popularity.