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Androgyny is the state of indeterminate gender, or characteristics of gender. Androgenous traits are those that either have no gender value, or have some aspects generally attributed to the opposite gender. Physiological androgyny, dealing with physical traits, is distinct from behavioral androgyny which deals with personal and social anomalies in gender.

The word androgyny was coined in 1974 by Sandra Bem[?]. The andro- prefix means related to men, and the -ogyny affix means related to women.

Gender roles are the different social roles of men and women, which vary with changes in culture. Its important to understand the difference between social characteristics of gender and separate these from sexual physiology and sexual behaviours.

As people gradually became aware of their facility for self-determination, gender, and the established roles within society, began to be tested with this newfound concept of self.


  • Bem, Sandra L. (1974). The measurement of psychological androgyny. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. 42, 155-62

See also: intersex, transgender, Bem Sex Role Inventory[?]

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