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HOME arrow Glossary arrow Gender diversity
Gender diversity
Masculinity is a behavioural response to particular conditions and situations in which men participate, different types of masculinity exist in school, the Youth group, the street, the family and the workplace. In other words, men do masculinity according to the social situation in which they find themselves.” (Messerschmidt 1993: 81, 83, in Spindler 2006: 83/84). Hegemonic masculinity (R. Connell, 1995) is the normative ideal of masculinity that men are supposed to aim for and women are supposed to want. Characteristics associated with hegemonic masculinity are aggressiveness, strength, drive, ambition, and self-reliance as well as whiteness, health, heterosexuality. Hegemonic and marginalised forms of masculinity are generated by competition and cause each other.
Femininity refers to qualities and behaviors judged by a particular culture to be ideally associated with or especially appropriate to women and girls. Femininity principally refers to social acquired traits and secondary sex characteritics. In Western culture femininity has traditionally included features such as gentleness and patience. In patriarchal cultures femininity and women are regarded as “the other” and subordinate, while male values define the norms.
The perpetual existence of intersexuals/hermaphrodites or societies with more genders than only men and women show, that Gender binarity is a social construction and gender itself is a field of permanent changes and fights.

Connell, R.W. (1995): Masculinities, Cambridge
Messerschmidt, J. W. (1993): Masculinities and Crime. Maryland
Spindler, S. (2006): Corpus delicti. Männlichkeit, Rassismus und Kriminalisierung im Alltag von jugendlichen Migranten, Münster
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