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

M Westerlund, Pekka Santtila, A Johansson, Patrik Jern, Kenneth Sandnabba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


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.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)645–664
Number of pages20
JournalEuropean Journal of Developmental Psychology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2012
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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

Cite this