April 12, 2012
Human Sexuality Prof. Just Introduced a Concept That I Love

I was already aware of this as a Thing, but it’s never something I’ve really spelled out in my head.

As I’m sure you’re all aware, the societies we live in try and define masculinity and femininity as a dichotomous spectrum

masculinity <—————————> femininity

that everyone falls somewhere on. According to this model, anyone who’s more masculine is less feminine, vice versa, and androgyny is not having a huge number of masculine or feminine traits.

He points out that that doesn’t actually describe most real people very well, and it’s more accurate if you flip the thing on its side and give masculinity and femininity their own spectra, which I can’t depict well on here using only text because of Tumblr’s tendency to automatically .5-space everything. Just grab a Post-It, draw two vertical lines, label one “masculinity” and one “femininity”, and tape it to your screen in the space provided.

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This model allows for the fact that people can have high or low levels of masculine and feminine traits without those levels being inverse (or even related), which is another thing of which I’m sure you’re all aware, but it’s nice to have a concise way to articulate that concept!