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Introduction: in Mexico, in the last decade, the consumption of psychoactive substances has increased among teenagers, especially the female population (INPRFM et al., 2017). One of the conceptual lines to understand this change is the construction of gender.
Objective: we explored the relationship between gender stereotypes, traits and roles, and the use of illegal psychoactive substances in Mexican adolescents.
Method: cross-sectional, correlational study, with a sample of 145 high school students from the Veracruz state, Mexico. The participants answered the scales: Traits, Roles, and Gender stereotypes, along with some questions to explore drug use.
Results: we found similarities between men and women’s consumption of alcohol and tobacco; however, there was a higher use of illegal drugs in men. Men and women illegal drug users presented negative instrumental traits such as aggressiveness and impulsiveness. Men, both users and non-users, presented a higher score on the gender stereotypes scale, while women users had more negative instrumental roles with their peer group. Negative instrumental traits were predictors of illegal drug use.
Discussion and conclusion: findings suggest further analysis of substance use from a gender perspective.
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