Androgyny - this is a demonstration by a man of simultaneously female and male features, not necessarily equivalent to one another. This phenomenon reveals itself both in the physical aspect, when the feminine and masculine are combined in physical, and in the psychological aspect, when a significant coefficient of femininity and masculinity, individual female characteristics and masculine are manifested. The concept of androgyny is an indicator of the gender role of the individual, and is not characterized by belonging to the nature of the female or male. Androgyne is an individual, the designation of the gender role of which does not fit the unambiguous definition of either femininity or masculinity.

What is androgyny?

In today's society, the traditional gender roles of women and men are very mixed. Often, even in appearance it is difficult to distinguish a boy from a girl. What remains to be said about the behavior, character, choice of profession, or other factors in the life of an individual?

The concept of androgyny in itself carries the understanding of the individual in the aspect of two sexes. Early under the word "androgin" meant the interpretation of the term "hermaphrodite." In ancient Greece, androgyny meant that the individual had both male features and female features in the external image.

Today androgyny is not a phenomenon that describes only the physiological and anatomical aspect of the personality, it refers to the psychosocial characteristics. Man is a social being, from childhood he absorbs stereotypes of sex-role behavioral characteristics of a boy or a girl. So the boy should or is inclined to be powerful, aggressive, risky, assertive, strong, leader, independent, ambitious. Stereotypes of upbringing a girl are soft, gentle, passive, quiet, calm, shy, emotional. In modern man, these stereotypical sex-role characteristics are mixed, erased.

Signs of androgyny in men and women have the opportunity to see in some disregard for role stereotypes that have integrated into their own lives the features of male masculinity and female femininity. Androgyne is a person who has male and female appearance or does not have such features at all, translated from Greek means "man-woman".

For a long time, a person was considered mentally healthy, provided that her gender characteristics corresponded to her biological essence, in other cases this was a deviation from the norm. The present men are gentle with children, sensitive, romantic in relationships, but powerful, tough in business, and women, having ambition, remaining the leader in working relationships, are gentle, tender with children, husband. It is precisely the concept of androgyny that reflects such flexible behavior of a man and a woman, a mixture of their sex-role characteristics.

There are negative and positive aspects to androgynous behavior. The positive is that androgyne has the ability to easily adapt to circumstances, relationships, situations, its behavior is more labile than that of individuals, which are subject to stereotypical principles, traditional understandings of male-female roles.

A person with androgyny can better realize his sensitivity, emotionality, and attractiveness. His intimate behavior is more relaxed, has a positive disposition towards sex, such a person is less inclined to criticize others.

What is the negative androgyny behavior? The main problem of androgyny is the difficulty in dealing with the personalities of traditional views. Such people are often lonely, since it is very difficult for people with androgyny to find a pair among individuals of the opposite sex.

A “courageous” woman or a “feminine” man will not have attractiveness for the opposite sex, they are less likely to have a close relationship, get married, start a family. Also about androgynous behavior in society is formed the opinion, as a deviation from the normal, a violation of sexual orientation, a deviation from gender identity. But it should be understood that androgyny is not homosexuality or transsexuality, it is a form of non-standard behavior of individuals of the female and male sex in a social format.

Theory of Androgyny

There is an ancient Greek myth about androgynous people. The philosopher Plato described them as ideal bisexual creatures who had the audacity to encroach on the power of the gods and in order to protect themselves from the attacks of androgens Zeus separated them into different parts. Thus, a woman and a man appeared in the world, and they will not be able to feel full-fledged until they find their soul mate.

Psychologist Sandra Bem is considered to be the founder of the theory of androgyny, although Carl Jung was interested in this issue before her. According to Jung's works, the human psyche is naturally androgynous. The idea of ​​the unity of the anima and animus, female in male and male in female was key to the archetypical view of psychological bisexuality. The archetype "anima-animus" is manifested in the unlived, repressed qualities and traits of the individual, which have in themselves considerable energy and potential for self-realization of the individual. Awareness of the inner man is a woman, and the man of the inner woman is an important step towards a full harmonious life and personal quality growth.

Sandra Bem insisted that androgyny improves the chances of full-fledged adaptation in the social world. In 1970, the psychologist developed the concept of androgyny, according to which beliefs about opposing and mutually exclusive gender roles fell into question. S. Bem developed a questionnaire for diagnosing people according to their sex role functions. Individuals with androgyny have a significant coefficient of male and female properties. “Feminine” personalities have more feminine traits and less masculine ones, “masculine” - more masculine characteristics and less feminine ones, those who have equally low femininity and masculinity coefficients are called “undifferentiated”.

According to this theory, Bem emphasized the importance of harmonizing masculine and feminine indicators for the full socialization of the individual. Masculinity and femininity do not confront each other, but are equally important and attractive to the social environment. And the personality, which has the characteristics of only its natural gender, seems to be less adapted to life. Over time, S. Bem agreed that the theory of androgyny was imperfect and not quite adequate to reality. Since the problem of androgyny is not so much in the change of individual characteristics, as public.

Psychological androgyny

Modern psychologists interpret androgyny as combining social gender functions belonging to both women and men to one person. Today, it has already been proved that gender functions and sex-role characteristics are formed rather in the family sphere adequately to the features of education of a boy or a girl, the development of the society also has on their formation, and gender differences laid down by nature have a lesser significance. Although one cannot ignore the importance of the child’s biological development from conception, its impact on the difference in the psychological formation of men and women.

In the course of the study of androgyny, S. Bem, an American psychologist, developed a questionnaire of gender roles and classified all individuals into four categories.

The first group of people - masculine individuals, have clearly identified male traits: independence, assertiveness, ambition, riskiness, etc ... The second group - feminine individuals, they have the traditional characteristics of a woman: gentleness, tenderness, ability to sympathize, tact, emotion, flexibility and the like traits Androgins are the third group, they have signs of androgyny: features corresponding to the feminine and masculine types. The fourth group is people of an indefinite type of sexual psychological identity, and they have no feminine or masculine features.

An individual has the ability to possess feminine and masculine character traits regardless of the individual gender. So a woman can have stereotypical masculine features: to be aggressive, firm, independent, and a man to be gentle, romantic, sympathetic. S. Bem substantiated that femininity and masculinity are not mutually exclusive personal qualities. According to the beliefs of many psychologists, individuals who have significant, equally designated male and female individual characteristics, i.e. androgynous traits are full and complete personalities. And individuals with an uncertain gender identity, having a low coefficient in both categories, are considered immature personalities.

Psychological androgyny does not mean by itself only a set of qualities of femininity and masculinity, the manifestation of these qualities in social behavior, it is also the ability to be flexible in the choice of behavioral forms, depending on the pop-up tasks, current situations, circumstances.

Androgyny, as a psychological characteristic, has a significant function in adaptive socialization in today's society. It gives a person the ability to change and adapt to changing life circumstances, and not act stereotypically, submitting to her sex role. Androgins are highly resistant to stress, due to the presence of male and female features of the nature of their ability to self-realization in different spectra of activity increase.

In conclusion, it is appropriate to note that androgyny is not a deviation from the developmental standard; the owner of androgynous qualities is more harmonious and conscious in accepting himself fully, through personal behavior and external image he tries to translate his inner world into society: feelings, feelings, perceptions, himself. Androgyny is a mentally normal phenomenon.