Femininity, Masculinity and Gender


Femininity and Masculinity deals with the ideologies constructed socially with in a society on its ethnic,cultural and norms base. Following is the further elaboration of the both terms.


It is a set of ideologies that develops socially and  forms womanly personality. This development remains continue from childhood to adulthood. It is an abstract quality which particular attributes are linked to women. Femininity is always constructed by society and that is why in patriarchal society women are considered to hug subordination to man. All and centric societies bear language of binary opposition. It may be rational or irrational, aggressiveness and politeness and dictate or subordinate. Even achievements of human are expressed in male perspective of language. Women are considered as soft, sympathetic, gentle and soft spoken.

“it is actually a social construct . It is womenness of women created discursively by language and culture. Skaggs believes that it occur with little ethnically, social, poetical worth”(Skaggs-1997-10).


It is  associated to the behavior of male constructed by society in terms of au do not bear this then authorities and power. Male is considered as brave, strong, aggressive, dominating, egoistic and independent. If he do not bear this then he is foppish and sissy. Glover and Kaplan (2000-p.60-61) views

“The differences between men and women has to be sharply emphasized and feminine traits has to be kept their proper place in men. They were a sign of weakness”.



Sexuality and gender both terms have dependence upon each other. The analysis of sexuality involves Gender as a whole. The whole since is reflective in vice versa.  Sexually men is considered more aggressive than women. Heterosexuality makes a men a real men a women true (Cameron& Kellick 2003,p 6-7).

Sexual impulses are developing right from childhood but society in itself force these impulses and mold the role of sex as per to gender. Sterling views (1995.p132)

“Genetics and hormones countless in making a man more a women.than does a socialization…..child born a male but raised a female becomes a heterosexual female”.

Oakley (1985) says “sex is a word that refers to the biological differences between male and female .the visible in genitalia  the related differences in procreative function. “Gender” however is a matter of culture. It refers to a social classification into a Masculine and Feminine”(cited in Colebrook,2004). So gender is in fact masculinity and femininity constructed by society while sex is chromosomal and biological attribute that is in shape of female or male.


It is a complex and debatable terminology. The issue of identity has its importance in the ideological world. It may be related to a particular place, location, or society indeed. But unfortunately, the matter is not yet resolved. It has state of flux. (Stroller,1968) worked a lot and developed the term “identity” and believes that identity develops from the conscious or unconscious knowledge and is a flux and complicated process.


Stoller 1968—Kapline & Glover, 2000 initially introduced and developed the term “Gender Identity” and “Gender Role”. It means development of child’s knowledge bearing one sex .it distinguishes one sex to the others or feminine from masculine. This awareness builds the identity.

           “Gender identity starts with the knowledge and awareness, whether conscious or unconscious, that one belongs to one sex not to others. Though as one develops, gender identity become much complicated so that, such as one may sense himself as a male but a masculine man or an effeminate men or even as men who fantasies being a women”


It has been got popular and introduced by psycho-linguists to describe the “Behavioral patterns”, appropriate to each sex. It may be describe through relations, clothing, and attitudes. This role is predetermined by sex. But Och, 1995 is opposite in thoughts and believes in construction and enactment via discourses. So as to interactionists approach roles are not fixed to Gender. It is vary to one country, culture, ethnicity and race.

Femininity Sexuality confusion
Sexuality confusion (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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