Previous research on how students’ acceptance of emotionally charged theories relates to their understanding is based on the measurement of acceptance and understanding as two separate variables. As an alternative, the present study takes a qualitative approach with the aim of exploring what 24 upper secondary school students accept when they come to understand the concept of gender and how to justify gender-related statements. The results show how the students accept ideas about social structures, power, and emancipation, as well as ideas about essences, individual independence, and a natural order. As for their justifications, they accept ideals of equality and objectivity. By assuming that the ideas have positive connotations for the students, it becomes possible to understand them as engaged in negotiating norms that are brought to the fore in the interviews.