Gendered Norms About Romantic Engagement Early in Adolescence

The Gendered Norms about Romantic Engagement Early in Adolescence scale consists of 10 items in two sub-scales including sexual double standards and adolescent romantic expectations. The scale was developed from the Global Early Adolescents Study (GEAS), a study that focuses on gender norms and related health outcomes amongst very young adolescents (ages 10-14 years old) in fourteen countries. This scale is a shorter, validated version of the items here.


Geographies Tested: Belgium,Bolivia,Burkina Faso,China,Democratic Republic of the Congo,Ecuador,Egypt,India,Kenya,Malawi,Nigeria,South Africa,United Kingdom,United States of America,Vietnam

Populations Included: Female, Male

Age Range: Adolescents


Sexual Double Standard
1. Boys have girlfriends to show off to their friends
2. Adolescent boys fool girls into having sex
3. Boys tell girls they love them when they don’t
4. Adolescent boys lose interest in a girl after they have sex with her
5. Adolescent girls should avoid boys because they trick them into having sex
6. Girls are the victims of rumors if they have boyfriends

Adolescent Romantic Expectations
1. It’s normal for a boy your age to want a girlfriend
2. A boy should be able to have a girlfriend if he wants to
3. A girl should be able to have a boyfriend if she wants to
4. It’s normal for a girl to want a boyfriend at your age

Response Options:
Disagree a lot - 1
Disagree a little - 2
Neither agree nor disagree - 3
Agree a little - 4
Agree a lot - 5

Scoring Procedures

The mean of each subscale is calculated, resulting in a score than ranges from 1-5. Higher value of Sexual Double Standard scale indicates more gender unequal perspective of imbalanced roles of adolescent boys and girls in romantic relationship engagement, whereas higher score from Adolescent Romantic Expectations scale suggests more gender equal view toward adolescent romantic relationship engagement.

Original Citation

Moreau, C., Li, M., De Meyer, S., Vu Manh, L., Guiella, G., Acharya, R., Bello, B., Maina, B., & Mmari, K. (2019). Measuring gender norms about relationships in early adolescence: Results from the global early adolescent study. SSM Population Health, 7, 014-014.

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Formative Research

Qualitative Research

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Field Expert Input

Cognitive Interviews / Pilot Testing








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