What steers them to the "wrong'' crowd? Genetic influence on adolescents' peer-group sexual attitudes

A1 Journal article (refereed)

Internal Authors/Editors

Publication Details

List of Authors: Westerlund M, Santtila P, Johansson A, Jern P, Sandnabba NK
Publication year: 2012
Journal: European Journal of Developmental Psychology
Journal acronym: EUR J DEV PSYCHOL
Volume number: 9
Issue number: 6
Start page: 645
End page: 664
Number of pages: 20
ISSN: 1740-5629


Sexual socialization refers to how, through social interaction, an individual acquires and internalizes culture-specific knowledge, values and attitudes about sexuality. Little, however, is known about how an individual's genetic characteristics modify this process, or if individuals gravitate towards specific environments according to their genetic characteristics. The aim was to explore whether adolescents' genetic predispositions modify environmental influences on peer-group sexual attitudes. Using a Finnish population-based sample of twins and their siblings (n = 9534), it was found that genetic effects influenced peer-group sexual attitudes in men (52%) and women (46%), thus offering evidence for gene-environment correlation. Men showed less restricted peer-group sexual attitudes than women. Some indications of different genes influencing environmental exposure in men and women were found.


Adolescents, Behaviour genetics, Gene-environment correlation, Peer-group sexual attitudes, Sexual socialization, Twin study

Last updated on 2019-13-12 at 03:26