Values for gender roles and relations among high school and non‐high school adolescents in a Maya community in Chiapas, Mexico

Adriana M. Manago
Published Online:
11 Dec 2014
Volume/Issue No:
Volume 50 Issue 1

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In the current study, I describe values for gender roles and cross‐sex relations among adolescents growing up in a southern Mexican Maya community in which high school was introduced in 1999. A total of 80 adolescent girls and boys, half of whom were attending the new high school, provided their opinions on two ethnographically derived vignettes that depicted changes in gender roles and relations occurring in their community. Systematic coding revealed that adolescents not enrolled in high school tended to prioritise ascribed and complementary gender roles and emphasise the importance of family mediation in cross‐sex relations. Adolescents who were enrolled in high school tended to prioritise equivalent and chosen gender roles, and emphasised personal responsibility and personal fulfillment in cross‐sex relations. Perceptions of risks and opportunities differed by gender: girls favourably evaluated the expansion of adult female role options, but saw risks in personal negotiations of cross‐sex relations; boys emphasised the loss of the female homemaker role, but favourably evaluated new opportunities for intimacy in cross‐sex relations.

© 2014 International Union of Psychological Science