Androgynous – Androgyny


an·drog·y·nous ( P ) Pronunciation Key (n-drj-ns)
adj. Biology. Having both female and male characteristics; hermaphroditic. [intersexual]
Being neither distinguishably masculine nor feminine, as in dress, appearance, or behavior.

[From Latin androgynus, hermaphrodite, from Greek androgunos : andro-, andro- + gun, woman; see -gynous.]

an·drogy·nous·ly adv.
an·drogy·ny (–n) n.


\An*drog”y*nous\, Androgynal \An*drog”y*nal\, a. [L. androgynus, Gr. ?; ‘anh`r, ‘andro`s, man + gynh` woman: cf. F. androgyne.] 1. Uniting both sexes in one, or having the characteristics of both; being in nature both male and female; hermaphroditic.

The truth is, a great mind must be androgynous. –Coleridge.

2. (Bot.) Bearing both staminiferous and pistilliferous flowers in the same cluster.


adj : having both male and female characteristics [ant: male, female]


For the purposes of this discussion I will be addressing the androgynous look.
Intersex and hermaphrodite information is displayed elsewhere on the tzone.
“He looks like a girl!” “She looks very butch!”
What is it that makes us think like this and is it a biological reaction within the viewer or is it simply down to social programming?

Gender is a dimension of face recognition.

Baudouin JY, Tiberghien G.
J Exp Psychol Learn Mem Cogn. 2002 Mar;28(2):362-5.
Institut des Sciences Cognitives, Bron, France.
In an experiment, the authors investigated the impact of gender categorization on face recognition. Participants were familiarized with composite androgynous faces labeled with either a woman’s first name (Mary) or a man’s first name (John). The results indicated that participants more quickly eliminated faces of the opposite gender than faces of the same gender than the face they were looking for. This gender effect did not result from greater similarity between faces of the same gender. Rather, early gender categorization of a face during face recognition appears to speed up the comparison process between the perceptual input and the facial representation. Implications for face recognition models are discussed.

Depersonalization, self-esteem and body image in male-to-female transsexuals compared to male and female controls.

Wolfradt U, Neumann K.
Arch Sex Behav. 2001 Jun;30(3):301-10.

Department of Psychology, Martin-Luther-University, D-06099 Halle, Germany.
Whether postoperative male-to-female transsexuals differ in regard to measures of self- and body image from a nontranssexual control group was investigated. A group of 30 postoperative male-to-female transsexuals and control groups of 30 males and 30 females completed self-report measures (depersonalization, self-esteem, gender identity traits, body image). Results showed that transsexuals and males scored higher on self-esteem and dynamic body image than the females did. No differences between the groups were found in terms of depersonalization and satisfaction. Transsexuals and females described themselves as more feminine than males. Regarding sex-role orientation, more androgynous subjects were found among transsexuals than in the control groups. General satisfaction is associated with feminine and masculine traits in transsexuals. Results are discussed in context of the function of these personality features for the identity development of male-to-female transsexuals.

Further work is currently being undertaken on the page and will be added soon!