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Androgyne

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Androgyne is a non-binary gender identity category. Androgynes may possess traits that are simultaneously feminine and masculine, or neither. Some androgynes have adopted an androgynous psychological gender identity, while some may still be questioning their gender or live with the social gender identity assigned to them at birth. Western society currently recognizes no set gender roles for androgynes.

Because androgynes are gender non-conforming, they are genderqueer. Genderqueer is sometimes categorized as 'trans', and sometimes seen as a separate category entirely. Androgynes are not typically crossdressers, however they may use some clothes of either sex to communicate their mixed-gender status. The term mixed-gender is used by some to avoid a reference to the gender binary, while others may use similar terms such as multigender, gender fluid, polygender, intergender and pangender.

Some androgynes may also identify as genderqueer or gender benders, particularly if they participate in social activism against the gender binary.

While androgynes may express more femininity or masculinity from day to day due to mood or societal expectations, they generally don't switch between distinct masculine and feminine personas in the way that bigenders do. An androgyne is someone with a single gender that combines femininity with masculinity, while bigenders have two separate genders (one feminine, one masculine). An androgyne is a third gender distinct from a man or a woman, which can still encompass both man and woman.

Androgynes can be of any physical sex, including male, female or intersex

Transition and Social RolesEdit

Some androgynes are comfortable with their natural body, but some may wish to change it with hormones, surgery, or other technological means just as transsexual people do. But more often than not, androgynes accept their natural body and only wish to have had the body of the other sex as well or specific parts of it. This wish sometimes can be severe and can lead to periods of intense gender dysphoria or transsexual feelings. Some androgynes may proceed with transsexual transition and most happily live with their new body, although a few may regret it later, and not all who transition choose to adopt all characteristics of their new social gender role.

In terms of social gender roles, most androgynes feel various degrees of discomfort with the social expectations of the gender binary. Androgynes usually want to have a social role which reflects their combination of femininity and masculinity.

Androgynes are pretty diverse, and their particular mix of femininity and masculinity can be categorized as falling into four ranges, though not all androgynes use these terms: femandrogynes are androgynes who have more femininity than masculinity (say, 75%-25%), butchandrogynes have more masculinity than femininity (say, 25%-75%), and versandrogynes (versatile androgynes) or neutrandrogynes (neutral androgynes) have an equal mix of femininity and masculinity (say, 50%-50%). These neologisms can be shortened to femandro, butchandro, and versandro or neutrandro.

SexualityEdit

The sexuality of androgynes is also very diverse: some are gynephiles (they like women), some are androphile (they like men), some are bisexual or pansexual and a few can be asexual or aromantic. Those who like women may identify as lesbians, even if their body is male (see also: male lesbian). Some androgynes may have a sexual or romantic preference for other androgynes, either of the same, of the other sex, or of either sex. While a male lesbian femandrogyne may be mistaken for a heterosexual man (if their sexuality is obvious) they are in fact out of heteronormativity since they're to a large degree same-gender loving: that is, they like people of the other sex (females) but of a gender very similar to them (women), and if they are fully same-gender loving they may seek female femandrogynes who like males. 

Legal IssuesEdit

The legal gender of androgynes is usually that assigned to them based on their body type (so male androgynes are legally recognized as men, and female androgynes as women).

Social IssuesEdit

Androgynes, like transgender people and transsexuals who have not undergone surgery (pre-op or non-op), may feel uncomfortable using gender-segregated toilets: while a transsexual identifies as a gender in the gender binary (even if they're not legally recognized as such) and therefore psychologically accept the toilet that matches their gender identity, an androgyne feels different from men and women and therefore no toilet facility fully matches their gender identity, albeit they usually go to the toilet assigned to their legal gender due to social pressure.

Androgynes and HealthEdit

There is no inherent corellation between mental health problems and androgyny (the state of being an androgyne), but many androgynes may suffer from depression or other issues because of the negative experiences associated with social rejection. Androgynes may sometimes be mistaken for gay men or lesbian women and may face homophobia or even violent attacks. Some androgynes who are stigmatized due to social rejection may become asocial and feel lonely, to the point of refusing to hold a job (since it's impossible to separate gender from social interaction at work, and some employers may discriminate against androgynes in hiring), or may refuse to enter into sexual or romantic relationships which they may perceive as a threat to their gender identity since their significant other(s) would probably expect them to live up to the social expectations of their legal gender.

PresentationEdit

The gender expression and fashion tastes of androgynes can be very diverse: normally an androgyne doesn't feel fully man or fully woman but a mix of two and therefore it would be reasonable to expect androgynes to combine men's with women's clothes or masculine with feminine fashion styles. However, social pressure may force an androgyne to adopt only the wardrobe of men or women. Androgynous fashion and unisex fashion is not the same as androgyny or being an androgyne: people of any gender may wish to adopt the androgynous fashion, but this doesn't make them androgynes in terms of gender.

Being an androgyne is different than being a cross-dresser or a transvestite, but many androgynes may combine clothes of both sexes to express their androgyny, while a few androgynes may also be cross-dressers, transvestites, drag kings or drag queens but this status is not inherently associated with their androgyny.

Scientific research on androgyny and neurological basis of gender identity is -- apart from Sandra Bem's original work on psychological androgyny in the 70ies -- inconclusive and scarce. The notion that gender is not necessarily dichotomous and maybe not even a continuum between certain endpoints has not yet had any noticeable impact on the scientific community as a whole. Although it is commonly accepted in the medical field that there are many phenotypic as well as genotypic intersex conditions, the determining mechanisms of gender perception and identity are unknown and seemingly not of much interest... though one could speculate that if intersexed genitalia exist (e.g. in relation to gene dose of SRY) then the existence of an "intersexed brain" might be an equally reasonable assumption (additionally shaped by environmental influences, i.e. "nature AND nurture").

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