Androgyny And Gender Analysis

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Androgyny and the third gender are present in many cultures and each combination of masculine and feminine qualities make it a unique phenomenon that is on an individual basis. Since ancient times to present day, the idea of the third gender has been discussed by many scholars, as well as how to truly define gender. It is undeniable that androgyny has become more mainstream as of recent, especially with help from the fashion industry in the early 2000s when they began to employ androgynous models as well as designing androgynous clothing. Since this third gender is finally receiving more recognition, it is important to understand where the term comes from, and how it exists in many cultures. In this paper, I intend on exploring the history…show more content…
She created the Bem Sex-Role Inventory, or BSRI, which measures an individual’s level of masculinity, femininity, and androgyny. Though many people may identify as highly masculine and not highly feminine, or vice-versa, Bem believes a person can also both highly masculine and feminine, which is what she considers androgyny. Furthermore, individuals may also be low in both masculinity and femininity, and Bem considers these people “undifferentiated” (Dea 2016, 81). The BSRI has been used in many studies, for example in a study by Mary Wulff and Jean Steitz uses this test in order to investigate the “psychological androgyny among 40 high school girls from a college preparatory upper-level mathematics class and from a vocational track cosmetology class” (Wulff & Steitz, 1997). The study hypothesized that “the choice of curricular track would correspond to traditional sex-role stereotypes and that there would be a significant difference between the two groups in terms of feminine orientation” (Wulff & Steitz, 1997). However, neither hypothesis was supported and in fact the cosmetology group was significantly more androgynous. Thus, this demonstrates how a stereotypical view on sex-roles is perhaps incorrect, since there is the possibility that many deviate from either a male or female…show more content…
Androgyny is often exploited because of the ability to have a duality of both genders, giving the allure of non-defined mystery. The rise of androgyny has grown in fashion over the decades beginning the in the 1960s with beginnings of the gender equality movement. Many clothing styles are marketed as being a combination of genders, for example boyfriend jeans or cardigans, showing how “the notion of gender neutrality is being gradually accepted at retail” (Ferla 2015). Additionally, a number of companies have begun to use androgynous models, some examples being Balenciaga’s 2011 fashion show and Acne Studios’ 2015 gender neutral campaign. This change in the industry has become more prevalent because of changes in the younger generation, with “‘the lines between male and female have become increasingly blurred’” it seems that collections have reflected this (Ferla 2015). Thus, androgyny through this means has become more prevalent and mainstream, though somewhat through capitalism. Anastasia Niedinger, who has created a projected titled “Gender in Utero” comments on how the industry has taken androgyny but has not showed how it can be helpful psychologically, giving benefits such as “creativity, empathy, and wellbeing” (Niedinger 2015). Her goal is to have androgyny be a quality everyone can embody and benefit from, rather than be simply for aesthetics. Ultimately, though
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