Gendered leisure activity behavior among Norwegian adolescents across different socio-economic status groups
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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The present paper explores gendered behavior based on participation patterns of leisure activities among adolescents across socio-economic status (SES) groups, aiming to increase knowledge and understanding of how gender socialization processes are expressed through boys’ and girls’ participation in leisure activities. Furthermore, the aim is to investigate whether such gendered behavior is associated with general levels of participation, and if there may be differences between low, middle, and high SES groups. The study used Norwegian nationally representative data of 15- and 16-year-olds from the World Health Organization's cross-sectional survey, Health Behaviour in School-aged Children 2005/06 (n = 3,273). Logistic regression analysis and propensity scores showed that adolescent boys and girls had clear gendered behavior patterns based on leisure activity participation in 27 different activities, and that boys and girls had about equal distributions on what was classified as typical (“boyish” or “girlish”), atypical, and neutral gender behavior. Furthermore, gendered behavior was correlated with higher levels of participation for both sexes, and it was more or less similar for boys and girls and for different socio-economic status groups. However, when investigating differences in distributions between SES groups, high SES girls were found to have a significantly higher prevalence of both “boyish” and “girlish” activity behavior, but less “gender-neutral” compared with girls in medium and low SES groups. There were no such differences for boys.