Sociology Index

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ANDROGYNY

What is an androgynous personality? A personality style in which an individual displays both stereotypical masculine and stereotypical feminine psychological characteristics. Androgyny is a personality which holds a balance of feminine and masculine characteristics. An androgynous person would be comfortable displaying both characteristics and able to move back and forth between the two. Feminism writers believe gender androgyny as a source of liberation from polarized cultural ideas of masculine and feminine.

Androgyny represents a combination of personality characteristics traditionally associated with men and those associated with women. The term 'Masculine Female' identifies those of the female sex who demonstrate features of the masculine gender.

Virilization or Masculinization is the development of secondary male characteristics in women due to an excess of androgens or male hormones. A balance of negative feminine and negative masculine traits could also constitute a part of androgyny, creating the possibility of an undesirable or negative androgyny.

Androgyny Index And Androgynous Model

Body Contouring: The Success of the Androgynous Model
Carlo M. Oranges, MD, Andreas Gohritz, MD, Mathias Tremp, MD, and Dirk J. Schaefer, MD.
The pharaonic belief in androgynous nature of gods was the motivation for practicing female circumcision in ancient Egypt. Studies have reported a reemerging trend toward the androgynous model. An androgyny index, based on waist, bust, and pelvic width, was introduced in 2002 to investigate female body attractiveness. Analyzing temporal changes, a trend toward the success of a more androgynous appearance was observed in photograph models’ body shapes over the period of 50 years until 2001.

Androgyny index was further validated by studies published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Moreover, this evolution of aesthetical ideals was reflected by the increased preoccupation for specific parts of the body, leading to an increase in requests for related body contouring operations. Plato said that in the beginning, the androgynous human being was participating in both male and female natures. Zeus, the king of gods in Greek Olympus, divided the androgyne in man and woman to reduce the extraordinary power related to the androgynous nature. The philosophical beliefs oriented the aesthetical ideals of the Hellenistic period and were expressed in art by many sculptures representing Aphroditus.

The androgynous model represented the ideal reconciliation of the human being with the original Unity. Leonardo da Vinci’s drawing Androgynous is probably the most explicit representation of the androgynous model in this period. Androgynous characters can also be identified in the Leonardo’s most famous painting, Mona Lisa, and in St. John the Baptist. Jung postulated that both masculine and feminine components of the psyche are present in each individual. Androgyny was considered as expression of the unified self. Androgynous tendency can be recognized as a part of the popular culture.

Psychological Androgyny - A Review of the Research. This critical review provides an overview of basic assumptions, measures, research topics, and results of research in the androgyny literature. Psychological androgyny research on developmental perspectives emphasizes the importance of focusing upon how individuals systematically maintain and modify their perceptions and experiences as men and women over the life span.

Development of a Measure of Androgyny for Young Adolescents 
The construct of psychological androgyny or the co-presence of masculine and feminine traits, has been studied in college students as well as older adults. The ontogeny of androgyny has received limited empirical evidence attention, in part because of the lack of available instruments.

Desirable and undesirable androgyny: a prescription for the twenty-first century - Woodhill B.M.; Samuels C. - Journal of Gender Studies, Volume 13, Number 1, March 2004. Abstract: If femininity and masculinity are understood as consisting of both positive and negative traits and androgyny is a combination of feminine and masculine traits, then logically androgynous people could manifest any number and combination of positive and negative traits. The traditional notion of androgyny is as an identity that consists of a balance of positive feminine and positive masculine traits.

Training Men and Women for Androgynous Behaviors in Organizations 
Alice G. Sargent - Group & Organization Management, Vol. 6, No. 3, 302-311 (1981).
Organizational problems that arise from traditional sex-role behavior are discussed. Androgyny is presented as a concept that can be integrated with behavioral-science training programs, especially human-resource-management programs. Androgyny is viewed as an effective mixture of behaviors that traditionally have been termed "masculine" and "feminine."

Androgyny - Is it Really the Product of Educated, Middle-Class Western Societies 
Shashi Ravinder, University of Wollongong.
This article examines the sex role identity of college students in India and in Australia and empirically tests the validity of the prediction that androgyny is the product of educated, middle-class, Western societies. Results reveal that sex role transcendence, rather than androgyny, is the product of a Western society such as Australia. Androgyny, on the other hand, was found to be more predominant in certain traditional cultures, such as India, and was particularly predominant among Indian males.