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Definition of Androgyny

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

Examples of Androgyny

  • Musicians David Bowie (1947–2016) and Annie Lennox (born 1954) incorporated androgyny into their stage personae.

Androgyny Pronunciation

Pronunciation Usage Guide

Syllabification: an·drog·y·ny

Audio Pronunciation

– American English
– British English

Phonetic Spelling

  • American English – /an-drAHj-uh-nee/
  • British English – /an-drOt-ji-nee/

International Phonetic Alphabet

  • American English – /ænˈdrɑdʒəni/
  • British English – /anˈdrɒdʒᵻni/

Usage Notes

  • Plural: androgynies
  • Androgyny is sociologically problematic because it does not fit neatly into the binary of male and female and what “male” and “female” characteristics are varies by culture and society. In this regard, androgyny poses problems for data accumulation and analysis. However, gender differences and expressions are important to acknowledge when inquiring into the unique experiences of individuals.
  • 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.

Additional Information

Related Terms

Works Consulted

Crooks, Robert, and Karla Baur. 2014. Our Sexuality. 12th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

Encyclopædia Britannica. (N.d.) Britannica Digital Learning. (https://britannicalearn.com/).

Oxford University Press. (N.d.) Oxford Dictionaries. (https://www.oxforddictionaries.com/).

Taylor & Francis. (N.d.) Routledge Handbooks Online. (https://www.routledgehandbooks.com/).

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. (https://en.wikipedia.org/).

Wiley. (N.d.) Wiley Online Library. (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/).

Cite the Definition of Androgyny

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “androgyny.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved July 18, 2024 (https://sociologydictionary.org/androgyny/).

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

androgyny. (2013). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/androgyny/

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

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “androgyny.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed July 18, 2024. https://sociologydictionary.org/androgyny/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“androgyny.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2013. Web. 18 Jul. 2024. <https://sociologydictionary.org/androgyny/>.