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gender bender

1. One who dresses and/or behaves in a manner or style associated with another gender. Tom works as an accountant during the week, but he has a performance routine as a gender bender on the weekend.
2. One who challenges, denies, or explores the borders or limitations of gender identity by various means. Some of the leading academic gender benders are gathering this week for a summit on transgender rights.
3. In electronics, an adapter that has either two male or two female connectors and is used to change the gender of a plug. If that's a male connector, we'll need to get a gender bender to finish this job.
See also: bender, gender

gender bending

1. adjective Causing a change in the sex assignment of a person or animal. This meaning can be considered imprecise especially in technical use due to conflating gender and sex. Often hyphenated. Scientists are developing a gender-bending chemical to induce artificial changes in the sex of mosquitoes.
2. adjective Assuming the roles, appearance, or manner associated with another gender. Often hyphenated. This novel features a gender-bending protagonist who, at various stages in the story, moves between gender identities.
3. noun The discourse or practice of challenging, denying, or exploring the borders or limitations of gender identity by various means. Some of the leading academics in gender bending are gathering this week for a summit on transgender rights.
See also: bend, gender

play the gender card

To introduce the issue of gender discrimination, especially against the gender one identifies as, in order to gain an advantage in or dismiss or discredit an argument. There you go playing the gender card again. I don't care who you are—I still think it's a bad policy! I hate it when casual misogynists try to brush off legitimate criticism by claiming that you're just "playing the gender card."
See also: card, gender, play

gender gap

A phrase that can be applied to any socioeconomic difference that exists between men and women. I really hope Maureen's big raise helps to lessen the gender gap in wages at this company.
See also: gap, gender


1. Not giving an indication of someone or something's gender. Our campus is trying to settle on a gender-neutral term to use for students who don't identify as male or female.
2. Applicable to any gender. My daughters have so many dolls—I wish they had more gender-neutral toys to play with.


Describing one who does not consider gender as a binary of two exclusive options (male and female) and who identifies as neither male nor female, or as a combination of genders. I want to talk to a genderqueer person to try to better understand their views on gender. My friend Sal doesn't identify as exclusively female—they consider themself genderqueer.


(Describing) one who identifies as the gender that corresponds to their sex at birth; (describing) one who is not transgender. If you were born male and identify as man, then you're cisgender. Just because someone is cisgender doesn't mean they can't support trans rights.


(Describing) one whose gender identity does not correspond to their sex at birth. This can but does not necessarily include those who have undergone medical intervention. I knew I was transgender as a child—I was born male but that never felt like who I truly was. Actor Laverne Cox is a prominent transgender person.

gender binary

The idea that there are only two distinct genders (male and female). Many people don't believe in the gender binary because they don't identify as solely male or female.
See also: binary, gender

gender fluid

Not strictly identifying as one distinct gender, perhaps identifying as a different gender at different times, or identifying as more than one gender at once. My sex is male, but I'm gender fluid, and I feel more feminine than masculine some days.
See also: fluid, gender

gender fluidity

The state of not strictly identifying as one distinct gender, perhaps identifying as a different gender at different times, or identifying as more than one gender at once. Gender fluidity means that some people's gender identity may fluctuate.
See also: gender

gender gap

A broad difference between men and women, as in There is still an enormous gender gap in the wages of unskilled labor. This expression at first referred to the difference between men and women in voting preferences. It has since been extended to other areas. [1970s]
See also: gap, gender


1. n. a device that changes electrical plugs or sockets to the opposite gender—male to female, female to male. You need what’s called a gender-bender to match those plugs.
2. mod. having to do with something that obscures male/female distinctions. Those gender-bender hairstyles can be confusing.
References in periodicals archive ?
Jacobs, Thomas, and Lang (1997) used the word gender to refer to "cultural rules, ideologies, and expected behaviors for individuals of diverse phenotypes and psychosocial characteristics" (p.
Transgender is an umbrella term referring to people who move away from the gender assigned to them at birth, thus violating societal conceptualizations of what it means to be a man or a woman (Stryker, 2008).
To work with future teachers on approaching gender in more complex ways, teacher educators must develop a vocabulary of gender.
Gender expression, a second useful term, refers to "the manifestation of an individual's fundamental sense of being masculine or feminine through clothing, behavior, grooming, etc." (Wilchins, 2004, p.
There is ample evidence to suggest that traditional gender role characteristics are a result of widely practiced socialization patterns (Eagly, Wood, & Diekman, 2000).
She added that "In order to promote gender equality in the media, the Agency organized training sessions for about 50 male and female journalists aware of the basics of the concept of gender equality, legal regulations and reporting on cases of domestic violence".
Polysexual: Attraction to multiple genders or forms of gender expression, but not all.
In response to the direction of Shaikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union, Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation and President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, Shaikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of the UAE Gender Balance Council, President of Dubai Women Establishment (DWE) and wife of Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, has directed the establishment of the committee.
(2) While effeminate or unmanly boys were not artifacts of the twentieth century, the meaning attached to them shifted in conjunction with the politics of masculinity and transformations in child rearing, gender socialization, and the new sciences of human development.
"One of the greatest agonies one can experience is gender dysphoria," says transgender activist Jessica Xavier.
The Number of Gender Variant People in the UK-Update 2011.
As we established in our previous column, gender identity is an internal experience of gender that one feels to be a part of oneself.
While the psychological literature as a whole defines gender role ideology as beliefs about appropriate roles for men and women (McHugh & Frieze, 1997), studies that address Christianity and gender role ideology largely conflate biblical beliefs regarding gender with gender role ideology (Ali et al., 2008; Colaner & Giles, 2008; Colaner & Warner, 2005).
The purpose of this article is to gain a deeper understanding of the long-run impact of globalization on gender equality, the women's opportunity to engage in social participation, the influence of globalization on the formal and informal norms of behavior which shape gender roles and women's opportunities in social life, and the globalization-induced changes in the socio-economic status of women.