(noun) Combining masculine and feminine characteristics in regards to appearance, gender identity or sexual identity.

Example: Musicians David Bowie (1947) and Annie Lennox (1954) incorporated androgyny into their stage personae.

Audio Pronunciation: (an·drog·y·ny)

Download Audio Pronunciation: androgyny.mp3

Usage Notes:

  • Plural: androgynies
  • Androgyny is sociologically problematic because it does not fit into the binary of male and female and what “male” and “female” characteristics are varies by culture and society, and therefore complicates data accumulation and analysis. However, gender differences and expression are important to acknowledge as to not dismiss an individual’s unique experience.
  • Biological androgyny is called intersexuality, a congenital condition in which external genitalia and internal sex organs have both male and female characteristics. Intersexuality was once called hermaphroditism (also called hermaphrodism) but this term is now considered offensive.
  • Also called:
    • ambigender
    • androgynism,
    • polygender
  • An individual displaying androgyny is an (noun) androgyne and is (adverb) androgynously or (adverb) (androgenously) expressing (adjective) androgynous behavior.
  • Androgyny used in sentence: David Bowie expressed androgyny through the persona of Ziggy Stardust.

Additional Information:

Related Terms: 


Works Consulted

Encyclopædia Britannica. (N.d.) Britannica Digital Learning. (

Farlex. (N.d.) Dictionary, Encyclopedia and Thesaurus. Farlex. (

Merriam-Webster. (N.d.) Merriam-Webster Dictionary. (

Oxford University Press. (N.d.) Oxford Dictionaries. (

Princeton University. 2010. WordNet. (

Taylor & Francis. (N.d.) Routledge Handbooks Online. (

Thompson, William E., and Joseph V. Hickey. 2012. Society in Focus: An Introduction to Sociology. 7th ed. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.) Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation. (

Wiley. (N.d.) Wiley Online Library. (


How to Cite the Definition of Androgyny

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “androgyny.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved July 18, 2019 (

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

androgyny. (2013). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from

Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “androgyny.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed July 18, 2019.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“androgyny.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2013. Web. 18 Jul. 2019. <>.