Androgyny And The Third Gender Essay

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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 what gender truly can be defined as. 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 of androgyny, discuss figures that have analyzed typical gender roles, present the multitude of cultures that have a third gender, and finally examine the fashion industry’s relationship with androgyny. The definition of androgyny is being partly male and partly female in appearance, and of indeterminate sex. The origin of the word comes from the Greek terms “andros” for man and “gyne” for woman. Individuals consider themselves androgynous usually either exhibit behavioral androgyny, where they adopt the roles or activities associate with the opposite gender or psychological androgyny, where they have ambiguity regarding gender or sexual identity. There are three distinct forms of this third identity. The first is biological sex,
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