Reviving Androgyny: A Modern Day Perspective on Flexibility of Gender Identity and Behavior

Reviving Androgyny: A Modern Day Perspective on Flexibility of Gender Identity and Behavior Bem’s conceptualization of psychological androgyny introduced a new way of thinking in which crossing gender boundaries was seen as an adaptive form of flexibility that promoted better psychological adjustment. However, the research linking androgyny and adjustment was mixed, and unfortunately, flexibility was not adequately measured and was seldom investigated. Because of the failure to assess flexibility, the underlying issue remains unresolved—is flexibility healthy or not? In the first section, we review Bem’s original idea of psychological androgyny and then describe how assessing capabilities and functional flexibility more closely match the original idea of flexibility than do earlier measures. The second section describes research from the United States that illustrates new ways to measure gender identity and explains how these studies might help resolve the link between identity and adjustment. Specifically, we discuss research on “identity androgyny” in which judgments of gender identity involve considering how the self relates to both genders. This dual-identity approach provides a nuanced view of the identity–adjustment link by suggesting that identifying with one’s own gender is important for mental health but identifying with the other gender provides additional social benefits and may relate to flexibility. Next, we describe research that used a dynamical system approach and methods to assess children’s behavioral flexibility and how it relates to adjustment. By carefully revisiting the issue of flexibility associated with androgyny, our intention is to provide a convincing case that the idea of androgyny has potential to motivate new research on gender development. Sex Roles Springer Journals

Reviving Androgyny: A Modern Day Perspective on Flexibility of Gender Identity and Behavior

Loading next page...
Springer US
Copyright © 2016 by Springer Science+Business Media New York
Psychology; Gender Studies; Sociology, general; Medicine/Public Health, general
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site


You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.

DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 12 million articles from more than
10,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Unlimited reading

Read as many articles as you need. Full articles with original layout, charts and figures. Read online, from anywhere.

Stay up to date

Keep up with your field with Personalized Recommendations and Follow Journals to get automatic updates.

Organize your research

It’s easy to organize your research with our built-in tools.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

Monthly Plan

  • Read unlimited articles
  • Personalized recommendations
  • No expiration
  • Print 20 pages per month
  • 20% off on PDF purchases
  • Organize your research
  • Get updates on your journals and topic searches


Start Free Trial

14-day Free Trial

Best Deal — 39% off

Annual Plan

  • All the features of the Professional Plan, but for 39% off!
  • Billed annually
  • No expiration
  • For the normal price of 10 articles elsewhere, you get one full year of unlimited access to articles.



billed annually
Start Free Trial

14-day Free Trial