Peer groups influence male gender identities as shown in Burdsey’s study on young Asian footballers. The boys would rather try to fit in and follow the stereotype of a ‘lad’ instead of concentrating on education and their future. He found that ‘fitting in’ was an important factor in determining the extent to which the footballers were conscientiously prepared to ‘drop’ or hide their Asian identities and adopt the laddish behaviour of the rest of the lads. This shows males are influenced by their peers in copying them and wanting fit in. in Willis’s study 12 lads felt that school was a place to ‘have a laff’ which meant doing as little work as possible whilst disrupting lessons by ‘tut tutting’ when asked to do something by a teacher. Knowing that they were going into the labour market inhabited by their fathers or traditional manual work they didn’t mind not taking education seriously and following each other.
Peer groups influence female gender identities by the way peer groups act around each other can influence how our gender is socially constructed. Our biological make up of femaleness doesn’t necessarily lead to what might be stereotypically feminine. Stanley and Wise argue that the feminine behaviour being caring is connected to the way we are brought up and the influences of those around us being our peers. The way girls act around their group gives them strength and confidence to use their sexuality to challenge the schools male culture for male peers also. Blackman studied this and found this assertive femininity gave them more control and girls accept traditional ideas about how they should behave around their peers.