Androgyny is the combination of masculine and feminine characteristics into an ambiguous form. Androgyny may be expressed with regard to gender identity, sexual identity, or sexual lifestyle. In the case of gender identity, terms such as genderqueer (or non-binary) or gender neutral are more commonly used. The intention of androgyny is to be indeterminate with binary terms. (i.e neither boyish nor girly).

Androgyny is also found in media and fashion.


Androgyny as a noun came into use c. 1850, nominalizing the adjective androgynous. The adjective use dates from the early 17th century and is itself derived from the older French (14th Century) and English (c. 1550) term androgyne. The terms are ultimately derived from Ancient Greek: ἀνδρόγυνος, from ἀνήρ, stem ἀνδρ- (anér, andr-, meaning man) and γυνή (gunē, gyné, meaning woman) through the Latin: androgynus,[1] The older word form androgyne is still in use as a noun with an overlapping set of meanings.


Androgyny among humans – physical, psychological, and cultural – is attested to from earliest history and across world cultures. In ancient Sumer, androgynous and hermaphroditic men were heavily involved in the cult of Inanna.[2]:157–158 A set of priests known as gala worked in Inanna's temples, where they performed elegies and lamentations.[2]:285 Gala took female names, spoke in the eme-sal dialect, which was traditionally reserved for women, and appear to have engaged in homosexual intercourse.[3] In later Mesopotamian cultures, kurgarrū and assinnu were servants of the goddess Ishtar (Inanna's East Semitic equivalent), who dressed in female clothing and performed war dances in Ishtar's temples.[3] Several Akkadian proverbs seem to suggest that they may have also engaged in homosexual intercourse.[3] Gwendolyn Leick, an anthropologist known for her writings on Mesopotamia, has compared these individuals to the contemporary Indian hijra.[2]:158–163 In one Akkadian hymn, Ishtar is described as transforming men into women.[3]

The ancient Greek myth of Hermaphroditus and Salmacis, two divinities who fused into a single immortal – provided a frame of reference used in Western culture for centuries. Androgyny and homosexuality are seen in Plato's Symposium in a myth that Aristophanes tells the audience.[4] People used to be spherical creatures, with two bodies attached back to back who cartwheeled around. There were three sexes: the male-male people who descended from the sun, the female-female people who descended from the earth, and the male-female people who came from the moon. This last pairing represented the androgynous couple. These sphere people tried to take over the gods and failed. Zeus then decided to cut them in half and had Apollo repair the resulting cut surfaces, leaving the navel as a reminder to not defy the gods again. If they did, he would cleave them in two again to hop around on one leg. Plato states in this work that homosexuality is not shameful. This is one of the earlier written references to androgyny. Other early references to androgyny include astronomy, where androgyn was a name given to planets that were sometimes warm and sometimes cold.[5]

Philosophers such as Philo of Alexandria, and early Christian leaders such as Origen and Gregory of Nyssa, continued to promote the idea of androgyny as humans' original and perfect state during late antiquity.”[6] In medieval Europe, the concept of androgyny played an important role in both Christian theological debate and Alchemical theory. Influential Theologians such as John of Damascus and John Scotus Eriugena continued to promote the pre-fall androgyny proposed by the early Church Fathers, while other clergy expounded and debated the proper view and treatment of contemporary “hermaphrodites.”[6]

Western esotericism’s embrace of androgyny continued into the modern period. A 1550 anthology of Alchemical thought, De Alchemia, included the influential Rosary of the Philosophers, which depicts the sacred marriage of the masculine principle (Sol) with the feminine principle (Luna) producing the “Divine Androgyne,” a representation of Alchemical Hermetic beliefs in dualism, transformation, and the transcendental perfection of the union of opposites.[7] The symbolism and meaning of androgyny was a central preoccupation of the German mystic Jakob Böhme and the Swedish philosopher Emanuel Swedenborg. The philosophical concept of the “Universal Androgyne” (or “Universal Hermaphrodite”) – a perfect merging of the sexes that predated the current corrupted world and/or was the utopia of the next – also plays a central role in Rosicrucian doctrine[8][9] and in philosophical traditions such as Swedenborgianism and Theosophy. Twentieth century architect Claude Fayette Bragdon expressed the concept mathematically as a magic square, using it as building block in many of his most noted buildings.[10]

Fashion history

Throughout most of twentieth century Western history, social rules have restricted people's dress according to gender. Trousers were traditionally a male form of dress, frowned upon for women.[11] However, during the 1800s, female spies were introduced and Vivandières wore a certain uniform with a dress over trousers. Women activists during that time would also decide to wear trousers, for example Luisa Capetillo, a women's rights activist and the first woman in Puerto Rico to wear trousers in public.[12]

Gabrielle Chanel en marinière
Coco Chanel wearing a sailor's jersey and trousers. 1928

In the 1900s, starting around World War I traditional gender roles blurred and fashion pioneers such as Paul Poiret and Coco Chanel introduced trousers to women's fashion. The "flapper style" for women of this era included trousers and a chic bob, which gave women an androgynous look.[13] Coco Chanel, who had a love for wearing trousers herself, created trouser designs for women such as beach pajamas and horse-riding attire.[11] During the 1930s, glamorous actresses such as Marlene Dietrich fascinated and shocked many with their strong desire to wear trousers and adopt the androgynous style. Dietrich is remembered as one of the first actresses to wear trousers in a premiere.[14]

Yves St Laurent le smoking at deYoung Museum San Francisco
Yves Saint Laurent, the tuxedo suit "Le Smoking", created in 1966

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, the women's liberation movement, sexual liberation and the Stonewall riots that were happening at that time are likely to have contributed to ideas and influenced fashion designers, such as Yves Saint Laurent.[15] Yves Saint Laurent designed the Le Smoking suit and first introduced in 1966, and Helmut Newton’s erotized androgynous photographs of it made Le Smoking iconic and classic.[16] The Le Smoking tuxedo was a controversial statement of femininity and has revolutionized trousers.

Elvis Presley, however is considered to be the one who introduced the androgynous style in rock'n'roll and made it the standard template for rock'n'roll front-men since the 1950s.[17] His pretty face and use of eye makeup often made people think he was a rather "effeminate guy",[18] but Elvis Presley was considered as the prototype for the looks of rock'n'roll.[17] The Rolling Stones, says Mick Jagger became androgynous "straightaway unconsciously" because of him.[18]

However, the upsurge of androgynous dressing for men really began after during the 1960s and 1970s. When the Rolling Stones played London's Hyde Park in 1969, Mick Jagger wore a white 'man's dress' designed by British designer Mr Fish.[19] Mr Fish, also known as Michael Fish, was the most fashionable shirt-maker in London, the inventor of 'the Kipper tie', and a principal taste-maker of 'the Peacock revolution' in men's fashion.[20] His creation for Mick Jagger was considered to be the epitome of the swinging 60s.[21] From then on, the androgynous style was being adopted by many celebrities.

Eurythmics 06101986 02 270
Annie Lennox was known for her androgyny in the 1980s

During the 1970s, Jimi Hendrix was wearing high heels and blouses quite often, and David Bowie presented his alter ego Ziggy Stardust, a character that was a symbol of sexual ambiguity when he launched the album 'The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and Spiders from Mars'.[22] This was when androgyny entered the mainstream in the 1970s and had a big influence in pop culture. Another significant influence during this time included John Travolta, one of the androgynous male heroes of the post-counter-culture disco era in the 1970s, who starred in Grease and Saturday Night Fever.[23]

Continuing into the 1980s, the rise of avant-garde fashion designers like Yohji Yamamoto,[24] challenged the social constructs around gender. They reinvigorated androgyny in fashion, addressing gender issues. This was also reflected within pop culture icons during the 1980s, such as David Bowie and Annie Lennox.[25]

Power dressing for women became even more prominent within the 1980s which was previously only something done by men in order to look structured and powerful. However, during the 1980s this began to take a turn as women were entering jobs with equal roles to the men. In the article “The Menswear Phenomenon” by Kathleen Beckett written for Vogue in 1984 the concept of power dressing is explored as women entered these jobs they had no choice but to tailor their wardrobes accordingly, eventually leading the ascension of power dressing as a popular style for women.[26] Women begin to find through fashion they can incite men to pay more attention to the seduction of their mental prowess rather, than the physical attraction of their appearance. This influence in the fashion world quickly makes its way to the world of film, with movies like "Working Girl" using power dressing women as their main subject matter.

Androgynous fashion made its most powerful in the 1980s debut through the work of Yohji Yamamoto and Rei Kawakubo, who brought in a distinct Japanese style that adopted distinctively gender ambiguous theme. These two designers consider themselves to very much a part of the avant-garde, reinvigorating Japanism.[27] Following a more anti-fashion approach and deconstructing garments, in order to move away from the more mundane aspects of current Western fashion. This would end up leading a change in Western fashion in the 1980s that would lead on for more gender friendly garment construction. This is because designers like Yamamoto believe that the idea of androgyny should be celebrated, as it is an unbiased way for an individual to identify with one's self and that fashion is purely a catalyst for this.

Also during the 1980s, Grace Jones's a famous singer and fashion model gender-thwarted appearance in the 1980s which startled the public, but her androgynous style of heavily derivative of power dressing and eccentric personality has inspired many, and has become an androgynous style icon for modern celebrities.[28] This was seen as controversial but from then on, there was a rise of unisex designers later in the 1990s and the androgynous style was widely adopted by many.

In 2016, Louis Vuitton revealed that Jaden Smith would star in their womenswear campaign. Because of events like this, gender fluidity in fashion is being vigorously discussed in the media, with the concept being articulated by Lady Gaga, Ruby Rose, and in Tom Hooper's film The Danish Girl. Jaden Smith and other young individuals, such as Lily-Rose Depp, have inspired the movement with his appeal for clothes to be non-gender specific, meaning that men can wear skirts and women can wear boxer shorts if they so wish.[29]

Symbols and iconography

Chambers 1908 Caduceus
The Caduceus

In the ancient and medieval worlds, androgyny and hermaphrodites were represented in art by the caduceus, a wand of transformative power in ancient Greco-Roman mythology. The caduceus was created by Tiresias and represents his transformation into a woman by Juno in punishment for striking at mating snakes. The caduceus was later carried by Hermes/Mercury and was the basis for the astronomical symbol for the planet Mercury and the botanical sign for hermaphrodite. That sign is now sometimes used for transgender people.

Another common androgyny icon in the medieval and early modern period was the Rebis, a conjoined male and female figure, often with solar and lunar motifs. Still another symbol was what is today called sun cross, which united the cross (or saltire) symbol for male with the circle for female.[30] This sign is now the astronomical symbol for the planet Earth.[31]

Mercury symbol
Mercury symbol derived from the Caduceus
Rebis Theoria Philosophiae Hermeticae 1617
A Rebis from 1617
Earth symbol A
"Rose and Cross" Androgyne symbol
Wheel cross
Alternate "rose and cross" version

Gender identity

An androgyne is a person who does not fit neatly into the typical masculine and feminine gender roles of their society. Many, but not all, androgynes identify as being mentally between woman and man. They may identify as "gender-neutral", genderqueer", or "non-binary". [32] A person who is androgynous may engage freely in what is seen as masculine or feminine behaviors as well as tasks. They have a balanced identity that includes the virtues of both men and women and may disassociate the task with what gender it may be socially or physically assigned to.[33] People who are androgynous disregard what traits are culturally constructed specifically for males and females within a specific society, and rather focus on what behavior is most effective within the situational circumstance.[33]

Bem Sex-Role Inventory

The Bem Sex-Role Inventory (BSRI) was constructed by the early leading proponent of androgyny, Sandra Bem (1977).[34] The BSRI is one of the most widely used gender measures. Based on an individual's responses to the items in the BSRI, they are classified as having one of four gender role orientations: masculine, feminine, androgynous, or undifferentiated. Bem understood that both masculine and feminine characteristics could be expressed by anyone and it would determine those gender role orientations.[35]

An androgynous person is a female or male who has a high degree of both feminine (expressive) and masculine (instrumental) traits. A feminine individual is ranked high on feminine (expressive) traits and ranked low on masculine (instrumental) traits. A masculine individual is ranked high on instrumental traits and ranked low on expressive traits. An undifferentiated person is low on both feminine and masculine traits.[34]

Gender and behavior

Lesbians who do not define themselves as butch or femme may identify with various other labels including "androgynous" or "andro" for short. A few other examples include "tomboy" and "tom suay", which is Thai for 'beautiful butch'. Some lesbians reject gender performativity labels altogether and resent their imposition by others. Note that androgynous and butch are often considered equivalent definitions, though less so in the butch/femme scene.

The recently coined word genderqueer is often used to refer to androgyny, but the terms "genderqueer" and "androgyny" (or "androgynous") are neither equivalent nor interchangeable. "Genderqueer" is not specific to androgynes. It does not denote gender identity and may refer to any person, cisgender or transgender, whose behavior falls outside conventional gender norms. Furthermore, "genderqueer", by virtue of its ties with queer culture, carries sociopolitical connotations that androgyny does not carry. For these reasons, some androgynes may find the label "genderqueer" inaccurate, inapplicable, or offensive. "Androgneity" is a viable alternative to "androgyny" for differentiating internal (psychological) factors from external (visual) factors.[36]

Terms such as "bisexual", "heterosexual", and homosexual have less meaning for androgynes who do not identify as men or women to begin with. Infrequently the words gynephilia and androphilia are used, and some describe themselves as androsexual. These words refer to the gender of the person someone is attracted to, but do not imply any particular gender on the part of the person who is feeling the attraction.

Louise Brooks exemplified the flapper. Flappers challenged traditional gender roles, had boyish hair cuts and androgynous figures.[37]

According to Sandra Bem, androgynous men and women are more flexible and more mentally healthy than either masculine or feminine individuals; undifferentiated individuals are less competent.[34] More recent research has debunked this idea, at least to some extent, and Bem herself has found weaknesses in her original pioneering work. Now she prefers to work with gender schema theory.

To a degree, context influences which gender role is most adaptive. In close relationships, a feminine or androgynous gender role may be more desirable because of the expressive nature of close relationships. However, a masculine or androgynous gender role may be more desirable in academic and work settings because of the demands for action and assertiveness.

One study found that masculine and androgynous individuals had higher expectations for being able to control the outcomes of their academic efforts than feminine or undifferentiated individuals.[38]


To say that a culture or relationship is androgynous is to say that it lacks rigid gender roles and that the people involved display characteristics or partake in activities traditionally associated with the other sex. The term "androgynous" is often used to refer to a person whose look or build make determining their gender difficult, but is generally not used to describe actual intersexuality, transgender, or two-spirit people. Occasionally, people who do not actually define themselves as androgynes adapt their physical appearance to look androgynous. This outward androgyny has been used as a fashion statement and some of the milder forms (women wearing men's trousers/men wearing skirts, for example) are not perceived as transgender behavior.

Physical traits

Anasyromenos statuette, Rome art market
A statuette of Aphroditus in the anasyromenos pose. The ancient Greeks and Romans believed the pose had apotropaic magical power.

Androgynous traits are those that either have no gender value or have some aspects generally attributed to the opposite gender. Physical androgyny. Some intersex and non-intersex people may exhibit androgynous physical traits. This is distinct from androgyny, which concerns personal and social anomalies in gender, and is also distinct from psychological androgyny, which is a matter of gender identity.[32]


An alternative to androgyny is gender-role transcendence: the view that individual competence should be conceptualized on a personal basis rather than on the basis of masculinity, femininity, or androgyny.[39]

In agenderism, the division of people into women and men (in the psychical sense), is considered erroneous and artificial.[40] Agendered individuals are those who reject genderic labeling in conception of self-identity and other matters.[41] [42][43][44] They see their subjectivity through the term "person" instead of "woman" or "man".[41]:p.16 According to E. O. Wright, genderless people can have traits, behaviors and dispositions that correspond to what is currently viewed as "feminine" and "masculine", and the mix of these would vary across persons. Nevertheless, it doesn't suggest that everyone would be androgynous in their identities and practices in the absence of gendered relations. What disappears in the idea of genderlessness is any expectation that some characteristics and dispositions are strictly attributed to a person of any biological sex.[45]

Contemporary trends

Jennifer Miller Bearded Woman by David Shankbone
Jennifer Miller, bearded woman
Yoshiki Hayashi
X Japan founder Yoshiki is often labelled androgynous, known for having worn lace dresses and acting effeminate during performances[46]
G-Dragon in 2012
South Korean pop star G-Dragon is often noted for his androgynous looks[47][48]

Androgyny has been gaining more prominence in popular culture in the early 21st century.[49] Both fashion industries[50] and pop culture have accepted and even popularised the "androgynous" look, with several current celebrities being hailed as creative trendsetters.

The rise of the metrosexual in the first decade of the 2000s has also been described as a related phenomenon associated with this trend. Traditional gender stereotypes have been challenged and reset in recent years dating back to the 1960s, the hippie movement and flower power. Artists in film such as Leonardo DiCaprio sported the "skinny" look in the 1990s, a departure from traditional masculinity which resulted in a fad known as "Leo Mania".[51] This trend came long after musical superstars such as David Bowie, Boy George, Prince, Pete Burns and Annie Lennox challenged the norms in the 1970s and had elaborate cross gender wardrobes by the 1980s. Musical stars such as Brett Anderson of the British band Suede, Marilyn Manson and the band Placebo have used clothing and makeup to create an androgyny culture throughout the 1990s and the first decade of the 2000s.[52]

While the 1990s unrolled and fashion developed an affinity for unisex clothes there was a rise of designers who favored that look, like Helmut Lang, Giorgio Armani and Pierre Cardin, the trends in fashion hit the public mainstream in the 2000s (decade) that featured men sporting different hair styles: longer hair, hairdyes, hair highlights. Men in catalogues started wearing jewellery, make up, visual kei, designer stubble. These styles have become a significant mainstream trend of the 21st century, both in the western world and in Asia.[53] Japanese and Korean cultures have featured the androgynous look as a positive attribute in society, as depicted in both K-pop, J-pop,[54] in anime and manga,[55] as well as the fashion industry.[56]

See also


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  3. ^ a b c d Roscoe, Will; Murray, Stephen O. (1997). Islamic Homosexualities: Culture, History, and Literature. New York City, New York: New York University Press. pp. 65–66. ISBN 0-8147-7467-9.
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  12. ^ Valle-Ferrer, Norma (1 June 2006). Luisa Capetillo, Pioneer Puerto Rican Feminist: With the collaboration of students from the Graduate Program in Translation, The University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras, Spring 1991. Peter Lang Publishing Inc. ISBN 9780820442853.
  13. ^ Köksal, Duygu; Falierou, Anastasia (10 October 2013). A Social History of Late Ottoman Women: New Perspectives. BRILL. ISBN 9789004255258.
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  31. ^ "Solar System Symbols". Solar System Exploration: NASA Science. Retrieved December 31, 2018.
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  33. ^ a b Woodhill, Brenda; Samuels, Curtis (2004). "DESIRABLE AND UNDESIRABLE ANDROGYNY: A PRESCRIPTION FOR THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY". Journal of Gender Studies.
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  38. ^ Choi, N. (2004). Sex role group differences in specific, academic, and general self-efficacy. Journal of Psychology, 138, 149–159.
  39. ^ Pleck, J. H. (1995). The gender-role strain paradigm. In R. F. Levant & W. S. Pollack (Ed.s), A new psychology of men. New York: Basic Books.
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  41. ^ a b Galupo, M. Paz; Pulice-Farrow, Lex; Ramirez, Johanna L. (2017). ""Like a Constantly Flowing River": Gender Identity Flexibility Among Nonbinary Transgender Individuals": 163–177. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-55658-1_10.
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External links


In Jewish tradition, the term androgynos (אנדרוגינוס in Hebrew, translation "intersex") refers to someone who possesses both male and female sexual characteristics. Due to the ambiguous nature of the individual's sex, Rabbinic literature discusses the gender of the individual and the legal ramifications that result based on potential gender classifications. In traditional observant Judaism, gender plays a central role in legal obligations.

Androgyny (song)

"Androgyny" is a 2001 hybrid rock/pop/funk song released by alternative rock group Garbage as the lead single from their third studio album, Beautiful Garbage. Released worldwide in September 2001, "Androgyny" represented a shift in the group's style, overtly embracing current music elements into their repertoire.

While a moderate success in many markets across the globe, such as in Australia, Canada and New Zealand, promotion for "Androgyny" and its parent album were put on hold in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks. The mixed reaction from both critics and Garbage's fanbase to "Androgyny" also contributed to its underperformance on Garbage's home markets of the United Kingdom, where "Androgyny" stalled outside the top twenty, and in United States, where it failed to register on any Billboard charts.

Bearded lady

A bearded lady or bearded woman is a woman who has the ability to grow a visible beard. These women have long been a phenomenon of legend, curiosity, or ridicule.


Bishōnen (美少年, also transliterated bishounen ) is a Japanese term literally meaning "beautiful youth (boy)" and describes an aesthetic that can be found in disparate areas in East Asia: a young man whose beauty (and sexual appeal) transcends the boundary of gender or sexual orientation. It has always shown the strongest manifestation in Japanese pop culture, gaining in popularity due to the androgynous glam rock bands of the 1970s, but it has roots in ancient Japanese literature, the homosocial and homoerotic ideals of the medieval Chinese imperial court and intellectuals, and Indian aesthetic concepts carried over from Hinduism, imported with Buddhism to China.

Today, bishōnen are very popular among girls and women in Japan. Reasons for this social phenomenon may include the unique male and female social relationships found within the genre. Some have theorized that bishōnen provide a non-traditional outlet for gender relations. Moreover, it breaks down stereotypes surrounding feminine male characters. These are often depicted with very strong martial arts abilities, sports talent, high intelligence, dandy fashion, or comedic flair, traits that are usually assigned to the hero/protagonist.

Boi (slang)

Boi (plural: bois) is slang within LGBT and butch and femme communities for a person's sexual or gender identities. In some lesbian communities, there is an increasing acceptance of variant gender expression, as well as allowing people to identify as a boi. The term boi may be used to denote a number of other sexual orientations and possibilities that are not mutually exclusive:

A submissive butch in the BDSM community, or a younger butch in the butch-femme community.

A young trans man, or a trans man who is in the earlier stages of transitioning.

A term of endearment for butches by femmes.

It may also be used in the gay community to refer to a younger person – bisexual or gay – who may have effeminate characteristics. The term can also be used by anyone who wishes to distinguish from heterosexual or heteronormative identities.Boi may also refer to someone assigned female at birth, who generally does not identify as, or only partially identifies as feminine, female, a girl, or a woman. Some bois are trans or intersex people.

Some "bois" identify as one or more of these, but they almost always identify as lesbians, dykes, or queer. Many trans bois are also genderqueer/nonbinary (in itself a trans/transgender group), or might identify as cis persons or trans men, and yet practice genderfuck in which they do not fit in either masculine or feminine binary gender presentation. Bois may prefer a range of pronouns, including "he", "she", or non-binary and gender-neutral pronouns such as "they".


Ecdysia (from Greek ἑκδύω "to undress") was a ritual involved sacred ceremonies and celebrations at Phaistos, Crete which were held in honor of Leto Phytia, mother of Apollo and Artemis.

The legend is about the story of Galatea, daughter of Evritios and wife of Lambros. Because her husband had warned her that if she gave birth to a daughter he would kill her, Galatea, wanting to save her, was forced to conceal the child’s gender and raise her as a boy, naming her Leucippus. When the young girl grew up and it was now impossible to hide her gender, Galatea desperately resorted as a supplicant to the sacred temple of Leto and asked her to transform her daughter to a son, in order to stay alive. The goddess felt sorry for her and accepted her prayers. Thus, the young girl abdicated her maiden veil and by Leto’s divine intervention was transformed into a man. Thus, the feast “Ekdysia” was named after this incident.


Epicenity is the lack of gender distinction, often specifically the loss of masculinity. It includes androgyny – having both masculine and feminine characteristics

The adjective gender-neutral may describe epicentity (and both terms are related to the terms gender-neutral language, gender-neural pronoun, gender-blind, and unisex).


Fop became a pejorative term for a foolish man excessively concerned with his appearance and clothes in 17th-century England. Some of the many similar alternative terms are coxcomb, fribble, popinjay (meaning 'parrot'), fashion-monger, and ninny. Macaroni was another term, of the 18th century, more specifically concerned with fashion.

A modern-day fop may also be a reference to a foolish person who is excessively concerned about his clothing, luxuries, minor details, refined language and leisurely hobbies. He is generally incapable of engaging in conversations, activities or thoughts without the idealism of aesthetics or pleasures.


Futanari (ふたなり, seldom: 二形, 双形, literally: dual form; 二成, 双成, literally: [to be of] two kinds) is the Japanese word for hermaphroditism, which is also used in a broader sense for androgyny.Beyond Japan, the term is used to describe a commonly pornographic genre of eroge, comics, and anime which includes characters that show both primary sexual characteristics. In today's language it refers almost exclusively to characters who have an overall feminine body, but have both female and male genitalia (although testicles are not always present). In that case, the term is also often abbreviated as futa(s), which is occasionally also used as a generalized term for the works itself.

Glam rock

Glam rock is a style of rock music that developed in the United Kingdom in the early 1970s performed by musicians who wore outrageous costumes, makeup, and hairstyles, particularly platform shoes and glitter. Glam artists drew on diverse sources across music and throwaway pop culture, ranging from bubblegum pop and 1950s rock and roll to cabaret, science fiction, and complex art rock. The flamboyant clothing and visual styles of performers were often camp or androgynous, and have been described as playing with nontraditional gender roles. "Glitter rock" was another term used to refer to a more extreme version of glam.The UK charts were inundated with glam rock acts from 1971 to 1975, with glam also manifesting in all areas of British popular culture during this period. The March 1971 appearance of T. Rex frontman Marc Bolan on the BBC's music show Top of the Pops, wearing glitter and satins, is often cited as the beginning of the movement. Other British glam rock artists include David Bowie, Freddie Mercury of Queen, Mott the Hoople, Sweet, Slade, Elton John, Mud, Roxy Music and Gary Glitter. In the US the scene was much less prevalent, with Alice Cooper and Lou Reed the only American artists to score a hit. Other US glam artists include New York Dolls, Iggy Pop and Jobriath. It declined after the mid-1970s, but influenced other musical genres including punk rock, glam metal, New Romantic, and gothic rock and has sporadically revived since the 1990s.

It's Pat

It's Pat is a 1994 American comedy film directed by Adam Bernstein and starring Julia Sweeney, Dave Foley, Charles Rocket, and Kathy Griffin. The film was based on the Saturday Night Live (SNL) character Pat, created by Sweeney, an androgynous misfit whose sex is never revealed.

Dave Foley plays Pat's partner, Chris, and Charles Rocket, another SNL alumnus, plays Pat's neighbor, Kyle Jacobsen.


Metrosexual is a portmanteau of metropolitan and heterosexual, coined in 1994 describing a man (especially one living in an urban, post-industrial, capitalist culture) who is especially meticulous about his grooming and appearance, typically spending a significant amount of time and money on shopping as part of this.While the term suggests that a metrosexual is heterosexual, it can also refer to gay or bisexual men.


Onnagata or oyama (Japanese: 女形・女方, "woman-role"), are male actors who played women's roles in Japanese Kabuki theatre.

Sandra Bem

Sandra Ruth Lipsitz Bem (June 22, 1944 – May 20, 2014) was an American psychologist known for her works in androgyny and gender studies. Her pioneering work on gender roles, gender polarization and gender stereotypes led directly to more equal employment opportunities for women in the United States.

Special Collection (Garbage EP)

Special Collection is an extended play released in 2002 only in Japan by Garbage. It contained a number of b-sides, remixes and a live track released internationally before the release of Special Collection.

The release of Special Collection coincided with band spending eleven days promoting their third studio album Beautiful Garbage in Japan, performing four headline shows in Tokyo and Osaka; and appearing on variety show Pa-Pa-Pa-Pa-Puffy performing "Androgyny" and "Cherry Lips". The cover art for the EP is a still from the "Cherry Lips" music video.


Séraphîta (French pronunciation: ​[seʁafita]) is a French novel by Honoré de Balzac with themes of androgyny. It was published in the Revue de Paris in 1834. In contrast with the realism of most of the author's best known works, the story delves into the fantastic and the supernatural to illustrate philosophical themes.

In a castle in Norway near the fjord Stromfjord, Séraphitüs, a strange and melancholic being, conceals a terrible secret. Séraphitüs loves Minna, and she returns this love, believing Séraphitüs to be a man. But Séraphitüs is also loved by Wilfrid, who considers Séraphitüs to be a woman (Séraphîta).

In reality, Séraphitüs-Séraphîta is a perfect androgyne, born to parents who by the doctrines of Emanuel Swedenborg have transcended their humanity, and Séraphitüs-Séraphîta is the perfect example of humanity.

Ruggero Leoncavallo wrote a symphonic poem based on the story.

An early drawing of Paul Gauguin's Oviri ceramic sculpture bears the inscription Et le monstre, entréignant sa créature, féconde de sa semence des flancs généreux pour engendrer Séraphitus-Séraphita ("And the monster, embracing its creation, filled her generous womb with seed and fathered Séraphitus-Séraphita"), referring to the novel.In 2010–2011 Ouriel Zohar staged Seraphita, his adaptation with Barbara Heman, performed in Paris at the "Théâtre de l'Île Saint-Louis", Brussels, Greece, and Republic of Congo. In 2012 he staged it in the Maison de Balzac, Paris, Haifa, Greece, Switzerland, Istanbul and "Theatre Darius Milhaud" in Paris. In 2014, his theater went to India with his two shows: Message to Materialistes and Seraphita.


A tomboy is a girl who exhibits characteristics or behaviors considered typical of a boy, including wearing masculine clothing and engaging in games and activities that are physical in nature and are considered in many cultures to be unfeminine or the domain of boys.

Tumtum (Judaism)

Tumtum (טומטום in Hebrew, meaning "hidden") is a term that appears in Jewish Rabbinic literature and usually refers to a person whose sex is unknown, because their genitalia are covered or "hidden". Although they are often grouped together, the Tumtum has some halachic ramifications distinct from those of the Androgynos (אנדרוגינוס), who has both male and female genitalia.It is not clear what the actual anatomy of a Tumtum is; however, it would seem that according to medieval commentator Rashi, a Tumtum may have exposed testicles and an unexposed penis.The Mishnah (Zavim, 2, 1) says that Tumtum and Androgynos have both men's and women's Chumras, meaning that where the law is stricter towards men than women, they are treated as men, but where the law is stricter towards women, they are treated as women.

Tumtum is not defined as a separate gender, but rather a state of doubt. A Tumtum must be either male or female, but since we do not know which one, the strictest gender-dependent obligations or prohibitions are taken on. To this end, positive commandments from which women are exempted are considered binding on a Tumtum.Nathan ben Jehiel says on his book Aruk (on ערך טם) that the word Tumtum came from the word Atum which means blocked or covered.


Unisex refers to things that are not sex-specific, being suitable for any sex. It can also be another term for gender-blindness.

The term was coined in the 1960s and was used fairly informally. Though the combining form uni- is from the Latin unus meaning one, the term seems to have been influenced by words such as united and universal where the uni- prefix takes on the sense of shared. In this sense, it can be seen as meaning shared by sexes.Hair stylists and beauty salons that serve both men and women are often referred to as unisex. This is also typical of other services and products that had traditionally been separated by sexes, such as clothing shops or beauty products. A facility that is usually sex segregated but is not so designated may be referred to as unisex, such as a public toilet. Unisex clothing includes garments like T-shirts; versions of other garments may be tailored for the different fits depending on one's sex, such as jeans. The sharing of a pool, beach or other water or recreational facility by swimmers and others of various sexes is commonly referred to as mixed bathing. 'Mates' was the first unisex store created by Irvine Sellar in England. When a school admits students of various sexes, it may be called coeducational or a mixed-sex school.

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