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gender, n.

Keywords:
Quotations:
Forms:  ME gendere, ME gendir, ME gendyr, ME–15 gendre, ME– gender, 15 18– gener (Sc.); also Irish English (north.) 19– gener. (Show Less)
Frequency (in current use): 
Origin: A borrowing from French, combined with an English element. Etymons: French gendre  , gender v.1
Etymology: < Anglo-Norman and Middle French gendre (Anglo-Norman and Middle French, French genre  ) kind, sort (c1125 in Old French), sex, quality of being male or female (second half of the 12th cent.; now obs.), race, people (c1200, originally and chiefly in Anglo-Norman and Old French, Middle French humain genre  , Middle French, French genre humain   ‘mankind’; second quarter of the 13th cent. used independently; obsolete after 1660), (in grammar) class of nouns and pronouns distinguished by different inflections (c1225) < classical Latin gener-  , genus   race, kind, also grammatical gender (see genus n.). In sense 2b   either influenced by, or perhaps independently < , either Anglo-Norman and Middle French gendre progeny, offspring (1265 in Old French; < gendrer  gender v.1) or gender v.1 Compare Old Occitan gendre   (1350), Catalan gènere   (13th cent. as †genre  ), Spanish género   (a1400), Portuguese gênero   (15th cent.), Italian genere   (end of the 12th cent.). Compare later genre n.
The English use in sense 1   follows the Latin use of genus  , which in its turn is a rendering of the equivalent ancient Greek γένος  genus n.   The formulation of the three grammatical genders (τὰ γένη τῶν ὀνομάτων, ἄρρενα καὶ θήλεα καὶ σκεύη  ) is ascribed by Aristotle ( Rhetorica 3. 5) to Protagoras.
 
In sense Phrases 2   after French genre nerveux (1645 or earlier).
 
On the development of use in sense 3a   (now the predominant sense) see the note at that sense.
 1. Grammar.

 a. In some (esp. Indo-European) languages, as Latin, French, German, English, etc.: each of the classes (typically masculine, feminine, neuter, common) of nouns and pronouns distinguished by the different inflections which they have and which they require in words syntactically associated with them; similarly applied to adjectives (and in some languages) verbs, to denote the appropriate form for accompanying a noun of such a class. Also: the fact, condition, or property of belonging to such a class; the classification of language in this way.Sometimes called grammatical gender, to distinguish this sense from natural gender: see grammatical gender at grammatical adj. 1a, natural gender n. at natural adj. and adv. Special uses 2. In most European languages, grammatical gender is now only very loosely associated with natural distinctions of sex.
 
English is regarded as possessing natural gender in that certain pronouns expressing natural contrasts in gender are selected to refer to nouns according to the meaning of the nouns, the contrasts being either between masculine (e.g. he, his, etc.) and feminine (e.g. she, her, etc.) or between personal (e.g. the abovementioned masculine and feminine pronouns and who, whoever, etc.) and non-personal (e.g. it, its, which, etc.). In recent times nouns incorporating gender suffixes (esp. those indicating females and formed on generic nouns, such as authoress, poetess, etc.) have become much restricted in use.
 
common, epicene, feminine, masculine, neuter gender, etc.: see the first element.

c1390  (▸?c1350)    St. Theodora l. 110 in C. Horstmann Sammlung Altengl. Legenden (1878) 36 (MED)   Hire name, þat was femynyn Of gendre, heo turned in to masculyn.
c1450   in D. Thomson Middle Eng. Grammatical Texts (1984) 32   How many thyngis falleth to a noun? Sixe..: qualite, comparison, gendre, noumbre, fygure, and case.
1509   S. Hawes Pastime of Pleasure v. xi   The Latyn worde whyche that is referred Unto a thynge whych is subtancyall, For a nowne substantyve is wel averred, And wyth a gender is declynall.
a1586   Sir P. Sidney Apol. Poetrie (1595) sig. L1v   Those cumbersome differences of Cases, Genders, Moodes, and Tenses, which I thinke was a peece of the Tower of Babilons curse.
1612   J. Brinsley Posing of Parts f. 4   What is a Gender? A. The difference of Nounes according to the sex..The difference whereby a word is noted to signifie the male, or female, or neither: that is, either hee or shee, or neither of them.
1634   L. Anderton Triple Cord xxi. 490   Hoc, is the neuter Gender, which agreeth with Body, which also is..in Latin, Corpus, the neuter Gender.
1676   tr. B. Lamy Art of Speaking i. ii. 32   The Nouns of all known Languages are distinguished by different Terminations, in two Genders.
1700   W. Salmon Pharmacopœia Bateana (ed. 2) i. ix. 323/1   Putting the adjective in the Neuter Gender.
1795   L. Murray Eng. Gram. 24   To substantives belong gender, number, and case... Gender is the distinction of sex. There are three genders, the masculine, the feminine, and the neuter.
1857   Danish Gram. 8   There are in Danish only two Genders for the Nouns, the Common Gender and the Neuter.
1887   J. Earle Philol. Eng. Tongue (ed. 4) vii. 369   In the English language as now current, the traditional Gender of ancient Grammar is entirely extinct.
1899   Mod. Lang. Q. 2 37/1   Japanese..is mainly a concrete language, naming acts and facts... There is no gender, person, number, case, or concord.
1948   M. Newmark Introd. to Mod. Lang. Teaching 277   A language consists primarily not of signs indicating gender, number, case, tense and mode, but of significant words.
1985   Slavic & East European Jrnl. 29 452   Even when women are speaking about themselves [in Polish], the presence of a single male in the group would change the gender of the verb.
2009   Christian Sci. Monitor (Nexis) 12 Aug. 18   The assignment of gender to nouns, irrespective of any direct connection with biology,..can affect people's view of the world.

c1390—2009(Hide quotations)

 

 b. In extended use. Esp. in non-European languages: any of several other analogous categories into which nouns may be divided (regardless of any connection with sex).

1819   Trans. Hist. & Lit. Comm. Amer. Philos. Soc. 1 368   In the Indian languages, those discriminating words or inflections which we call genders, are not, as with us,..intended to distinguish between male and female beings, but between animate and inanimate things.
1878   Jrnl. Royal Asiatic Soc. 10 3   In the Dravidian group there is a rational and an irrational gender of the nouns.
1884   Nature 9 Oct. 578/2   [In the Iroquoian language] there were two so-called genders, noble and ignoble; the former comprised God, men, and angels, and the latter demons, the lower animals, inanimate objects, and ‘women, children, and other chattels’.
1903   W. H. Stapleton Compar. Handbk. Congo Langs. 18   Gender in Bantu has no reference to the sex of the object; it simply marks that the noun belongs to a class distinguished by a certain prefix.
1945   B. L. Whorf in J. B. Carroll Lang., Thought, & Reality 79   We immediately turn to it [sc. the language] to see if it has a gender system that distinguishes living from nonliving things... We find that Hopi has no gender at all.
1999   R. L. Trask Language (ed. 2) 43   A second gender class contains many words for large things, and a third class many words for small things. After this, though, the assignment of gender in Swahili becomes rather arbitrary.

1819—1999(Hide quotations)

 
2.

 a. A class of things or beings distinguished by having certain characteristics in common; (as a mass noun) these regarded collectively; kind, sort. Obs.In earliest use: genus, as opposed to species (see note at genus n. 1).

a1398   J. Trevisa tr. Bartholomaeus Anglicus De Proprietatibus Rerum (BL Add. 27944) (1975) I. viii. xxix. 511   Byshinynge & liȝt ben diuers as species and gendir; for eueryche bischinynge is liȝt, but not aȝenwarde.
c1400  (▸?c1380)    Cleanness l. 434   Alle gendrez so ioyst wern ioyned wyth-inne.
c1450   J. Capgrave Life St. Augustine 29 (MED)   Off þis mater spekith þis same glorious doctour in a sermon whech he mad of iij gendres of munkys.
?c1450  (▸c1380)    Chaucer House of Fame (Pepys) (1880) l. 17   I..neuer thenke..To know of here significacions The gendres..ne þe causes [of dreams].
1532  (▸c1385)    Usk's Test. Love in W. W. Skeat Chaucerian & Other Pieces (1897) 96   After this maner manyfold good is sayd; that is to saye, good in kynde, and good in gendre.
a1616   Shakespeare Othello (1622) i. iii. 323   Supply it with one gender of hearbes, or distract it with many.
1643   W. Prynne Soveraigne Power Parl. App. 153   The Governour..is a servant of the Ship..neither differs he from a mariner in gender, but in kind.
1662   R. Mathews Unlearned Alchymist (new ed.) §22. 15   Diseases of this gender are for the most part incurable.
1727   P. Longueville Hermit 218   To strike in him that Terror which the Gender of Death he had fix'd upon could not.
1784   R. Bage Barham Downs I. 274   I..am a man of importance, a public man, Sir; of the patriotic gender.
1847   Graham's Amer. Monthly Mag. Nov. 470/1   Shawls... The rectangular shape is preferred for all articles of this gender, except for the India shawl, of which the double or oblong is sometimes preferred.

a1398—1847(Hide quotations)

 

 b. That which has been engendered (gender v.1 2b); product, offspring. Obs. rare.

a1425  (▸a1400)    Northern Pauline Epist. Phil. iii. 5 (MED)   I am..of þe gendre of israhel, of þe tribe of beniamyn, and Ebrue born of þe Ebrwes.
1637   J. Bastwick Letany ii. 9   Such a gender of filth that great frog left behind him.
1662   R. Mathews Unlearned Alchymist (new ed.) §57. 66   This is to shew how they have been, and may be abused, in doing of which a most accursed gender of hell is born into the World.

a1425—1662(Hide quotations)

 
 3.

 a. gen. Males or females viewed as a group; = sex n.1 1. Also: the property or fact of belonging to one of these groups.Originally extended from the grammatical use at sense 1   (sometimes humorously), as also in Anglo-Norman and Old French. In the 20th cent., as sex came increasingly to mean sexual intercourse (see sex n.1 4b), gender began to replace it (in early use euphemistically) as the usual word for the biological grouping of males and females. It is now often merged with or coloured by sense 3b.

1474   in C. L. Kingsford Stonor Lett. & Papers (1919) I. 142 (MED)   His heyres of the masculine gender of his body lawfully begoten.
a1500  (▸a1460)    Towneley Plays (1994) I. xxx. 408   Has thou oght writen there Of the femynyn gendere?
1580   W. Fulke Retentiue 92   For there is but one Lord..both of men and of Angels, which doth not onely exclude all other Lordes of the masculine gender, but much more all Ladyes.
1632   S. Marmion Hollands Leaguer iii. iv. sig. g4v   Here's a woman: The soule of Hercules has got into her. She has a spirit, is more masculine, Then the first gender.
1656   Earl of Monmouth tr. T. Boccalini Ragguagli di Parnasso 135   Strength..was a vertue attributed to the masculine gender.
1719   J. Harris Astron. Dialogues 141   I think the Poets make her change her Sex, and turn He-Thing, as if she could not be as useful when of our Gender, as of yours.
1723   Lady M. W. Montagu Let. 7 Dec. (1966) II. 33   Of the fair Sex..my only Consolation for being of that Gender has been the assurance it gave me of never being marry'd to any one amongst them.
1818   T. H. Bayly Parl. Lett. 32   The women adore you, and call you defender, And friend to the rights of the feminine gender.
1868   Radical 3 386   A very modest lady acquaintance of ours can bake bread, shoot a gun, ride a horse... Yet she is not an exception to the radical capacity of her gender.
1896   Daily News 17 July 6/4   As to one's success in the work one does, surely that is not a question of gender either.
1936   Mademoiselle Mar. 43/1   I find I belong to the wrong gender to take part in such confabulations.
1970   Sunday Times 29 Nov. 29/2   Adolescents of both genders strode along..with books and long flaxen unisexual hair.
2009   Daily Record (Glasgow) (Nexis) 21 Oct. 35   While the majority of paedophiles are male, there is a substantial minority who are women. But whatever their gender there is no excuse for their behaviour.

1474—2009(Hide quotations)

 

 b. Psychol. and Sociol. (orig. U.S.). The state of being male or female as expressed by social or cultural distinctions and differences, rather than biological ones; the collective attributes or traits associated with a particular sex, or determined as a result of one's sex. Also: a (male or female) group characterized in this way.

1945   Amer. Jrnl. Psychol. 58 228   In the grade-school years, too, gender (which is the socialized obverse of sex) is a fixed line of demarkation, the qualifying terms being ‘feminine’ and ‘masculine’.
1950   Amer. Jrnl. Psychol. 63 312   It [sc. Margaret Mead's Male and Female] informs the reader upon ‘gender’ as well as upon ‘sex’, upon masculine and feminine rôles as well as upon male and female and their reproductive functions.
1968   Life 21 June 89   When the separation of fashions according to gender began to vanish, retailers discovered a bonanza.
1978   D. Pearce in Urban & Social Change Rev. 11 i–ii. 35/1   The major implication for policy of both the feminization of poverty and the..labor-force participation of welfare mothers is that gender cannot be ignored.
1981   Heresies 3 67/3   Our ideology and practice of sex roles construct..two mutually exclusive categories, that is, genders.
2007   New Yorker 6 Aug. 13/2   There's no breaking news here—identity and gender have been on the contemporary-art docket for years.

1945—2007(Hide quotations)

 

 c. Electronics. The property of a connector being male or female. Frequently attrib. Cf. male adj. 6, female adj. 11.

1984   Microprocessors & Microsystems 8 265/1   Datafaker..contains a cable gender changer.
1990   M. Card Word Processor to Printed Page (ed. 2) v. 60   The user should..be equipped with 9 to 25 pin adaptors in both genders.
1999   Washington Post (Nexis) 5 Aug. e5   Plugging in a USB connector is as easy as plugging in a lamp. And you never have to worry about the orientation, number or gender of the pins.
2003   G. Avgerakis Desktop Video Studio Bible viii. 280   Don't forget to double-check your measurements including the gender of each cable connector you will need.

1984—2003(Hide quotations)

 

Phrases

 P1.

  general gender   n. now arch. and rare the common people.In later use after Shakespeare (quot. 1604).

1604   Shakespeare Hamlet iv. vii. 18   The great loue the generall gender beare him.
1845   Edinb. Rev. Oct. 318   The Helmskringla..has too little moral or imaginative attraction to be ever popular with the ‘general gender’.
1908   Caledonian 8 478/1   You can never believe it [sc. claret] an ordinary drink among the ‘general gender’. It cannot have been cheap enough or potent enough.

1604—1908(Hide quotations)

 
P2.

  nervous gender   n. Obs. rare the nervous system.

1698   Philos. Trans. (Royal Soc.) 20 432   In other sorts of Distempers where the nervous Gender is attack'd.

1698—1698(Hide quotations)

 

Compounds

 C1. General attrib.
 a. In sense 1.
 

 (a) General uses.

1855   Bibliotheca Sacra Oct. 716   The gender-forms of the demonstrative.
1869   Jrnl. Philol. 2 209   What more natural or simple means could be adopted to denote the subject of an action..than a gender-suffix.
1881   Amer. Jrnl. Philol. 2 368   Lepsius attributes a more decisive weight to the element of gender-distinction than most students of language are accustomed to do.
1898   J. B. Wisely New Eng. Gram. (1900) i. iv. 109   We distinguish masculine gender nouns from feminine gender nouns by some change in the form of the word.
1933   L. Bloomfield Language xvi. 272   Distinctions of number..are merged with the gender-classification.
1969   W. M. Erwin Basic Course in Iraqi Arabic (2004) xx. 194   A small group of words..may function as modifiers of nouns or pronouns..but have no gender inflection.
1994   S. Pinker Lang. Instinct viii. 233   In ‘classifier’ languages, nouns fall into gender classes like human, animal, inanimate, one-dimensional, two-dimensional, cluster, tool, food, and so on.
2002   Language 78 116   Despite the formal identity of the gender prefixes with four of the morphological class prefixes, there are good descriptive reasons to distinguish them.

1855—2002(Hide quotations)

 
 (b)
 

  gender form   n.

1855Gender-forms [see Compounds 1a(a)].
1890   C. C. Long Lessons in Eng. 71   Gender-forms of Nouns. Man, boy, brother, gentleman. Woman, girl, sister, lady, queen.
1988   L. Hutcheon Canad. Postmodern iii. 54   He begins by taking literally the gender form of McLuhan's general label: it is his men who are print-oriented.

1855—1988(Hide quotations)

 
 

  gender system   n.

1945   B. L. Whorf in Lang., Thought, & Reality 79   A gender system that distinguishes living from nonliving things.
1992   Sci. Amer. Nov. 62/3   The vowels i and u proposed for these masculine and feminine kinship terms coincide with the gender system in two major Amerind subgroups.

1945—1992(Hide quotations)

 
 b. In sense 3.
 

 (a) General uses.

1870   O. S. Fowler Sexuality Restored ii. 14 (heading)    Gender states as affecting the form, beauty, etc.
1906   J. E. Ayer Living by Nat. Law 127   Society practically teaches the male half to develop an excessive expression of the gender nature, while girls are taught an even more harmful..restraint in expression.
1931   Proc. Royal Soc. 108 401 (table)    Number of promycelia whose gender distributions were determined.
1971   Jrnl. Marriage & Family 33 597/2   Why is it no woman can escape gender oppression?
1978   Washington Post (Nexis) 7 July c14   Letters..from organizations to individuals, sometimes avoid the gender trap with salutations like ‘Dear Customer’.
1983   M. W. Ross Homosexuality & Social Sex Roles 2   Gender constructs endure because of their usefulness as symbols in society.
1987   N.Y. Times (Nexis) 5 Apr. vii. 26   Men had to undergo a conversion, sometimes expressed as symbolic gender reversal, in order to find out what submissiveness meant.
1996   Toronto Star (Nexis) 7 June b1   Gender warriors, draw your battle lines.
2002   S. Pinker Blank Slate (Book Club ed.) xviii. 342   Despite their visibility, gender feminists do not speak for all feminists, let alone for all women.
2008   Waterloo (Ont.) Region Record (Nexis) 22 Dec. b4   Masquerading was accompanied by dancing, gambling and gender-swapping.

1870—2008(Hide quotations)

 
 (b)
 

  gender bias n.

1975   Q. Rev. Biol. 50 226/2   I cannot understand how a book on human reproduction and sex..can be so consistently insensitive to the gender bias of the personal pronoun ‘he’ used in the context of any one person.
1996   F. Popcorn & L. Marigold Clicking ii. 181   Some schools in California and Virginia have started girls-only math, science, and computer classes to try to erase gender-bias.

1975—1996(Hide quotations)

 
 

  gender boundary   n.

1969   Jrnl. Sex Res. 5 78   The compulsive need to cross gender boundaries in dress.
2011   Denver Post (Nexis) 11 Feb. d1   To me, love has no gender boundaries.

1969—2011(Hide quotations)

 
 

  gender confusion   n.

1965   R. J. Stoller in J. Marmor Sexual Inversion xi. 206   Is passing indistinguishable from previously described continua of gender confusion?
2011   Sunday Express (Nexis) 30 Jan. 24   Shakespeare's plays are full of gender confusion.

1965—2011(Hide quotations)

 
 

  gender difference   n.

1892   Man. for Teachers 77   Some hint was given in Chart II. of the gender differences expressed by the third personal pronoun.
1972   A. Oakley Sex, Gender & Society viii. 189   Sex differences may be ‘natural’, but gender differences have their source in culture.
2005   Psychiatric Times (Nexis) 1 Aug. 74   A history of childhood sexual abuse may be an important risk factor for understanding the gender difference in depression rates.

1892—2005(Hide quotations)

 
 

  gender dynamic   n.

1981   Jrnl. Women Stud. 6 88/1   Her paper emphasized the importance of analyzing sexual harassment as ‘a social practice, a norm, a gender dynamic conditioned by male control over women's minds and bodies’.
2009   London (Ont.) Free Press (Nexis) 28 Aug. c4   The great romantic comedies are about gender dynamics.

1981—2009(Hide quotations)

 
 

  gender equality   n.

1971   Acta Sociologica 14 10   The interests of children as a group would be contradictory to..a combination of market economy and gender equality.
1982   E. Kallen Ethnicity & Human Rights in Canada x.257   The provisions of the proposed Canada clause would reaffirm Canada's constitutional commitment to racial and gender equality.
2003   D. Nicholls Starter for Ten viii. 67   What if she offers to go halvsies? Should I accept? I want her to know that I firmly believe in gender equality, but I don't want her to think I'm poor or, even worse, mean.

1971—2003(Hide quotations)

 
 

  gender equity   n.

1975   Family Coordinator 24 567/2   Intellectual acceptance of gender equity is coming somewhat reluctantly and grudgingly.
2001   N.Y. Times 13 June a24/6   Women's rights groups put the issue of gender equity in prescription drug coverage high on their agenda.

1975—2001(Hide quotations)

 
 

  gender identity   n.

1964   Valley News (Van Nuys, Calif.) 29 Nov. 22/2   She has for many years been interested in the field of psychology, particularly in the areas of gender identity and personality expression.
1968   R. J. Stoller Sex & Gender ii. 17 (heading)    The intersexed patient with normal gender identity.
2010   N.Y. Times (National ed.) 12 Sept. (Styles section) 6/2   This was in San Francisco, land of blurry gender identities, where it's common to pass as ‘other’ gendered—neither male nor female but elsewhere on the ‘queer’ spectrum.

1964—2010(Hide quotations)

 
 

  gender issue   n.

1974   Stevens Point (Wisconsin) Daily Jrnl. 2 Nov. 14/4 (heading)    California voters will decide gender issues.
1995   Independent 14 Feb. 12/7   Kimberley Leston's trademark was a wry and knowing take on sex and gender issues.

1974—1995(Hide quotations)

 
 

  gender model   n.

1970   Child Devel. 41 270   A sex-typing process based on imitation of an idealized gender model.
1985   Times Lit. Suppl. 5 Apr. 378/4   Without threatening gender models, she produced poetry good enough to praise.
2005   Courier Mail (Queensland, Australia) (Nexis) 12 Apr. (Features section) 15   It was an encouraging, wonderfully optimistic time, when..men and women alike recognised how strangely confining gender models had been.

1970—2005(Hide quotations)

 
 

  gender role   n.

1957   Arch. Neurol. & Psychiat. 77 333 (heading)    Imprinting and establishment of gender role.
1963   A. Comfort Sex in Society ii. 42   The gender role learned by the age of two years is for most individuals almost irreversible, even if it runs counter to the physical sex of the subject.
1995   Daily Tel. 8 Aug. 1/4   By five, girls and boys have already started to ‘self-limit’ their activities in line with their perceived notion of their gender role.

1957—1995(Hide quotations)

 
 

  gender sensitivity   n.

1983   B. G. Reed & C. D. Garvin Groupwork with Women/Groupwork with Men 7   Remaining sensitive to the differences in these definitions and our tendency to confuse them is an integral component in the development of gender-sensitivity in our work.
1994   USA Weekend 16 Jan. 18/3   Much to the frustration of many teachers, gender-sensitivity training soon may be a prerequisite for tenure or promotion.

1983—1994(Hide quotations)

 
 

  gender stereotype   n.

1966   L. Kohlberg in E. E. Maccoby Devel. Sex Differences 105   Our review of early gender stereotypes indicates that by age five-six, children award greater power, strength, and competence..to the male.
2008   Record (Bergen County, N.J.) (Nexis) 23 Apr. f3   Parents can't do much to get young children to ignore the cultural gender stereotypes they see around them.

1966—2008(Hide quotations)

 
 

  gender stereotyping   n.

1966   L. Kohlberg in E. E. Maccoby Devel. Sex Differences 102   Gender stereotyping of social power derives from highly visible differences in extra-familial roles as well as from connotations arising from body differences.
1998   Guardian 22 Jan. ii. 5/3   If you want regressive gender stereotyping, watch any Hollywood schlockbuster with its tit shots and bit parts and bitch/whore/good girl-friend formula.

1966—1998(Hide quotations)

 
 

  gender theory n.

1980   October 12 61   It is by no means accidental that Freud develops these same Aristophanic themes elsewhere, as in the allegory of his gender theory.
2010   N.Y. Times (Nexis) 22 Sept. a25   According to the gender theory that informs this bill, sexist attitudes led society to place a higher value on male-centered fields.

1980—2010(Hide quotations)

 
 

  gender war   n.

1971   Jrnl. Marriage & Family 33 414/2   Sex being one arena of the gender-war, I suspect far more men than women wake up their spouses during the night for intercourse.
2004   Independent 10 Mar. 33/1   For those of us on the front line of the gender war, the hot new issue of girlishness poses a ticklish problem.

1971—2004(Hide quotations)

 
 C2.
 

 a. With adjectives.

1888   Amer. Jrnl. Philol. 9 444   In the direct verbal regimen (as the article or other gender-bearing word shows), either the nominative or accusative may be used.
1898   H. Piatt Neuter in Old French 14   Wherever the lo-le..has a gender-containing antecedent, it will be called masculine.
1979   Feminist Rev. 2 41   An all-woman show would invite speculations as to gender-determined characteristics shared by the women exhibitors.
1982   Amer. Indian Q. 6 108   Mining, sawmill, construction, auto mechanic and railroad jobs are gender-allocated on Western models.
1987   K. Lette Girls' Night Out (1989) 128   You know I'm committed to less gender orientated relationships. But how can we ignore our naturally strong peno-vaginal-interactional rapport?
1991   E. K. Sedgwick How to bring your Kids up Gay in Tendencies (1993) 157   A relative deemphasis of the links between gay adults and gender-nonconforming children.
1997   R. Conner in K. Hall & A. Livia Queerly Phrased vii. 135   Information concerning lesbian and gender-variant women appears to have been suppressed even more successfully than that concerning their male counterparts.
2008   L. M. Diamond Sexual Fluidity ii. 32   Consider, too, the results of several ‘natural experiments’ with gender-reversed rearing that have occurred in different cultures.

1888—2008(Hide quotations)

 
 b. In sense 1.
 

  gender-bearing adj.

1888Gender-bearing [see Compounds 2a].
1912   Amer. Jrnl. Psychol. 23 314   Gender-bearing nouns became also the bearers of the secret of his soul and witnesses of his guilt. Every word denoting sex caused him to falter.
1994   M. Aronoff Morphol. by Itself (1996) iii. 72   The notion of an inflectional affix is not directly applicable to all gender-bearing words in Spanish.

1888—1994(Hide quotations)

 
 

  gender-marked adj.

1965   R. P. Stockwell et al. Grammatical Structures Eng. & Spanish iv. 103   Spanish uses gender-marked nominalizations for classes of people and neuter for concepts.
2006   I. Neumann-Holzschuh in A. Valdman & J. C. Clement Hist., Society & Variation iii. 254   In all French creoles, natural gender can be indicated either by certain lexicalized items with inherent gender or by the semantically transparent compounding of a gender-neutral noun with a gender-marked lexical item.

1965—2006(Hide quotations)

 
 c. In sense 3.
 

  gender-appropriate adj.

1961   J. L. Hampson & J. G. Hampson in W. C. Young Sex & Internal Secretions (ed. 3) II. xxiii. 1418/1   He found that boys and girls of the working-class group were not only earlier, but more clearly, aware of gender-appropriate behavior.
2009   Maryland Gaz. (Nexis) 19 Dec. a9   Other members of the..team took pictures of the children with Santa and raffled off age- and gender-appropriate toys.

1961—2009(Hide quotations)

 
 

  gender-based adj.

1972   M. L. Stackhouse Ethics & Urban Ethos i. 9   Women's liberationists cite the city as the primary example of aggressive and rationalistic male dominance while arguing that attitudinal and intellectual capacities are not gender-based.
1979   Newsweek (Nexis) 30 Apr. 68   The Court has refused to eliminate all gender-based distinctions.
2006   Irish Times (Nexis) 8 Mar. 16   Gender-based violence takes many forms: rape, trafficking, and domestic violence pervade every society in the world.

1972—2006(Hide quotations)

 
 

  gender-biased adj.

1974   Amer. Polit. Sci. Rev. 68 1707/1   Gender-biased law.
2001   J. B. Ruscher Prejudiced Communication ii. 40   At the grossest level, gender-biased language implies that people are male unless ‘proven’ to be female.

1974—2001(Hide quotations)

 
 

  gender-coded adj.

1968   Trans. 9th Internat. Congr. on Enlightenment (Stud. Voltaire & 18th Cent. No. 346) 1 470   Since dress is traditionally gender-coded, Eugenie's cross-dressing indicates an act of gender cross-coding.
1984   Pop. Music 4 239   It is at least difficult to maintain that the desires and rhythms of rock and roll are gender coded.
2007   Bitch Winter 74/1   It's absolutely amazing how gender-coded boys' and girls' costumes are.

1968—2007(Hide quotations)

 
 

  gender-forming adj.

1978   F. Donnelly Big Boys don't Cry vii. 171   There is frequently a discrepancy between gender-forming training in the home and the more permissive handling of sexual matters in the public media.
2001   Moscow News (Nexis) 7 Mar. (Science section) 10   The male bird has a pair of identical gender-forming Z chromosomes.

1978—2001(Hide quotations)

 
 

  gender-free adj.

1977   French Rev. 50 947   Partisans of gender-free sensibility may not wish to consider Moreau's femininity/feminism in an analysis of her film.
2009   Atlantic Monthly July 120/3   The Companionate Marriage, in which husband and wife..co-housekeep according to gender-free norms they negotiate.

1977—2009(Hide quotations)

 
 

  gender-friendly adj.

1988   Technol. Teacher Feb. 5/1   Technologies can be studied that are gender-friendly, culture-friendly.
2007   N.Y. Times (National ed.) 4 Mar. ii. 4/1   This Kings County Shakespeare Company production is billed as a ‘gender-friendly’ adaptation of ‘The Taming of the Shrew’.

1988—2007(Hide quotations)

 
 

  gender-inclusive adj.

1980   Jrnl. Amer. Acad. Relig. 48 422   The gender of maleficarum is feminine and not gender inclusive.
1991   Drew Mag. Nov. 5/1   We've had an opportunity to review goals that are already in place to create a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, gender-inclusive community.
2008   Africa News (Nexis) 8 Mar.   Fifty six per cent of women feel that their workplace does not have a gender inclusive culture.

1980—2008(Hide quotations)

 
 

  gender-normative adj.

1984   Contemp. Sociol. 13 414/1   She describes these functions of women's reformatories in the United States in both gender-normative and economic terms.
2005   M. Kackman Citizen Spy 182   She is only truly at ease when she can settle back into the comforting gender-normative relationships of her Felicity-meets-Friends home life.

1984—2005(Hide quotations)

 
 

  gender-oriented adj.

1975   Amer. Jrnl. Nursing 75 1001/3   The middle adult's expression of his or her attributes in relation to a set of socialized expectations is, on a broad level, gender-oriented.
2002   D. Lemieux & M. Möhle in Y. Lemel & H. N. Noll Changing Structures of Inequality (2003) 351   If some traditionally gender-oriented occupations have diminished, formerly integrated occupations seem to become gender-oriented.

1975—2002(Hide quotations)

 
 

  gender-related adj.

1967   Jrnl. Sex Res. 3 92   Gender-related imagery in play and daydreams.
1991   Lancet 9 Mar. 612/1   No gender-related..differences have been reported in epidemiological studies.

1967—1991(Hide quotations)

 
 

  gender-sensitive adj.

1983   PMLA 98 323/1   A gender-sensitive analysis, then, elucidates dominant as well as submerged or muted conventions by showing the operations of their reciprocal interactions.
2009   N. Fraser Scales of Justice (2010) vi. 114   Feminists must work with other progressive forces to create egalitarian, gender-sensitive social-welfare protections at the transnational level.

1983—2009(Hide quotations)

 
 

  gender-specific adj.

1968   Ann. Amer. Acad. Polit. & Social Sci. 376 18   The appearance, given names, and play of boys and girls have become less gender-specific since World War II.
2001   R. Hill Dialogues of Dead (2002) xxxv. 377   Hat..said, ‘Chairwoman , I think you mean. Or at least Chair-person.’ ‘That's what you think I mean, is it?’ said Dee pleasantly. ‘Yet man in its origins was never gender specific.’

1968—2001(Hide quotations)

 
 

  gender-typed adj.

1977   Child Devel. 48 511/1   The children's ordering of the jobs along a gender-typed ability continuum closely matched reality.
2007   Washington Post (Nexis) 8 Oct. c8   Call it gender-typed indoctrination, if you will, that impels me to hang fresh towels every day or to buy matching bedspreads for all my daughters.

1977—2007(Hide quotations)

 
 C3.
 

  gender-bender   n.  (a) slang a person who dresses and behaves in a manner characteristic of the opposite sex, or who combines attributes of both sexes; (also) something which challenges or defies traditional notions of gender; frequently attrib.  (b) Electronics an attachment which converts the gender (sense 3c) of a connector from male to female (or vice versa).In quot. 1975   apparently: something which challenges traditional roles and dress (perhaps with play on mind-bender).

1975   Kingsport (Tennessee) Times 26 Sept. 8 a/4   Why should anyone be made to feel guilty for having mistaken a boy for a girl?.. Thanks for a beautiful gender bender.
1977   Primo Times Aug. 35/1   The Sluts call themselves gender benders. The ten male members of the group spend several hours before an appearance laying on mascara, hairspray, earrings, [etc.].
1980   Economist 27 Dec. 48   The cult hallows ambiguous sexuality: Mr David Bowie, the rock star ‘gender bender’, is a key hero.
1986   N.Y. Times 5 Aug. c4/4   Inserting paper clips in the holes of two plugs creates an acceptable, if not elegant, gender bender.
1993   Time 22 Mar. 79/1   Riff-Raff was made a year before Neil Jordan's gender bender.
2003   Film Comment Mar. 31/1   She had gotten..beyond the image of the blousy beauty or the campy gender-bender, to a more strong-minded feminine ideal.
2003   R. Krikorian TiVo Hacks xxxiii. 64   You may also need a gender bender to get the end that attaches to your serial port to be female.

1975—2003(Hide quotations)

 
 

  gender-bending adj. and n.  [after gender-bender n.]  (a) adj. that defies or challenges traditional notions of gender, esp. in terms of dress or behaviour;  (b) n. gender-bending activity; the action or practice of dressing and behaving in a manner characteristic of the opposite sex.

1980   B. Larson Rock vii. 51   In spite of his gender-bending ways, Sylvester admits that his professional singing career started on the California gospel circuit.
1984   Observer 11 Mar. 47/1   This ‘gender-bending’, as it has been dubbed, is not news in the world of popular music.
1987   Herald (Melbourne) (Nexis) 11 Aug.   We will have to get used to the gender bending novelty of a lord mayor who is a woman and a lady mayoress who is a man.
1993   Esquire June 34/3   The English have always gone in for gender bending, whether of the old-fashioned music-hall variety (Benny Hill in a tutu) or something more with-it (the Kinks song ‘Lola’).
2009   MovieMail July 26/3   Theresa Russell cross-dresses as a doomed King in a gender-bending dreamy visualisation of Un ballo in maschera.

1980—2009(Hide quotations)

 
 

  gender-bent adj. characterized by or relating to a change of gender; dressing and behaving in a manner characteristic of the opposite sex; cf. gender-bender n.

1986   Toronto Star (Nexis) 31 Oct. d18   There I was, tripping over my French ballroom gown and smoothing the tresses of my platinum-blonde wig—looking for all the world like a gender-bent goofball from the court of Louis XIV.
1993   Vanity Fair (N.Y.) Feb. 56/1   Her rebellious teens, which she spent ‘coming out’ among the other gender-bent kids who snuck into Philadelphia's gay clubs.
2004   K. Mackendrick Word made Skin 136   These hearts burst out of the body.., defiantly glorious, inside out, genderbent, fucked up, queerly passionate and flamboyantly inexhaustible.

1986—2004(Hide quotations)

 
 

  gender blender   n. (usually attrib.) a person who dresses and behaves in a way that blends characteristics of both sexes; cf. gender-bender n.

1983   Washington Post 6 Mar. h6/3   Boy George, with his urban beachcomber look and gender-blender confusions, manages to fit in and stand out.
1985   TV Guide (Canada) 28 Sept. 12/1   Tootsie..is one gender-blender comedy with more going for it than the standard drag gags.
2008   South China Morning Post (Nexis) 7 Dec. (News) 2 (headline)    Just call me ‘hir’, says gender blender.

1983—2008(Hide quotations)

 
 

  gender-blending   n. dressing and behaving in a way that blends characteristics of both sexes; cf. gender-bending adj. and n.

1984   Washington Post 11 Mar. g1   Not to mention all those other socio-pop labels—gender-blending, drag, cross-dressing—that have sprung up in the wake of Michael Jackson, Boy George, [etc.].
1994   Amer. Spectator Apr. 73/1   Earhart was distinctly ‘androgynous’. Not surprisingly, Ware objects to this word, so she calls androgyny ‘gender blending’, which means the same thing.
2007   Townsville (Queensland) Bull. (Nexis) 7 July 205   Coco Chanel endorsed gender blending 80 years ago when she plucked a few pieces from the closet of her dapper lover, the Duke of Westminster.

1984—2007(Hide quotations)

 
 

  gender-blind adj. that does not distinguish or discriminate between the sexes; sex-blind.

1975   Educated Woman (Group for Advancement of Psychiatry) 143   Although there are times when policies, laws, services or attitudes can be appropriately gender-blind, women have some unique needs—for example gynecological services.
1992   T. S. Lebra in S. Kumon & H. Rosovsky Polit. Econ. Japan iii. 417   Their insistence on gender-blind equality is a natural result of their having made it in the predominantly male world through their personal ability and perseverance.
2004   Daily Tel. 14 Dec. 16/2   Lila contrives to put her father in moral danger from the tyrannical king, confusingly played, in a politically correct piece of gender-blind casting, by a woman.

1975—2004(Hide quotations)

 
 

  gender discrimination   n. discrimination on grounds of sex or gender; sexual discrimination.

1973   Notes 26 488   Men draw more money than women, even in comparable job situations... Music librarians share this unfortunate gender discrimination with other academic librarians.
2003   N.Y. Times (Washington Final ed.) 27 July 8/5   The commission successfully expanded laws against gender discrimination in the workplace.

1973—2003(Hide quotations)

 

  gender dysphoria   n. Psychiatry persistent dissatisfaction with or distress relating to one's anatomic sex; (also gender dysphoria syndrome) a condition characterized by this; cf. transsexualism n.

1973   Star-News (Pasadena, Calif.) 4 Apr. b7/4   Doctors call that pattern ‘gender dysphoria syndrome’.
1991   W. Roscoe Zuni Man-Woman i. 21   10 percent [of boys] wanted to be their sisters or mothers. Such a high percentage cannot be explained as an epidemic of gender dysphoria, but simply as a reflection of the prestige of female roles.
2005   N.Y. Mag. 7 Feb. 39/2   Precious Cox..grew up in Harlem with gender dysphoria. By age 3, she refused to wear dresses, play with dolls, or socialize with girls.

1973—2005(Hide quotations)

 

  gender dysphoric adj. and n. Psychiatry  (a) adj. characterized by or affected with gender dysphoria;  (b) n. a person with gender dysphoria.

1974   C. W. Schmidt et al. in J. R. Lion Personality Disorders x. 158   The sexual activities of gender dysphoric patients include the full range of practices of adult sexuality.
1976   D. H. Barrow & G. G. Abel in W. E. Craighead et al. Behavior Modification xix. 353   This behavior disorder is called transsexualism or the gender dysphoric syndrome and is the most severe problem among the sexual deviations.
1980   J. K. Meyer in T. B. Karasu & L. Bellak Specialized Techniques Individual Psychotherapy x. 207   A striking example of this phenomenon from the gender dysphorics, in whom almost everything stands out in bold relief.
1995   Guardian 22 July (Weekend Suppl.) 16/3   The deliberate wearing of facial hair is mostly confined to gender dysphorics, who are taking male hormones as they consider sex change operations.
2002   Church Hist. 71 606   In the 1950s, sex-change operations became available for gender-dysphoric people who could afford them.

1974—2002(Hide quotations)

 
 

  gender feminism   n. advocacy of the view that the differences between the male and female genders are social constructs upheld and exploited by men in order to exert dominance over women; cf. radical feminism n. at radical adj. and n. Special uses 2.

1991   N.Y. Mag. 21 Jan. 38/1   The central tenet of gender feminism is that Western society is organized around a ‘sex/gender system’.
2002   S. Pinker Blank Slate (Book Club ed.) xviii. 341   Gender feminism holds that women continue to be enslaved by a pervasive system of male dominance, the gender system.

1991—2002(Hide quotations)

 
 

  gender-fluid adj.  (a) (in early use) not clearly or wholly male or female; androgynous;  (b) designating a person who does not identify with a single fixed gender; of or relating to a person having or expressing a fluid or unfixed gender identity (now the usual sense).

1987   Christianity & Crisis 12 Jan. 463/1   The dispelling of a more fluid, androgynous imagery.., [the] driving out of metaphorical, mystical, and gender-fluid imagery for God in the mainline Reformation has promoted a number of revolts.
1993   Out June 22/1   Suede inspires Gender-fluid fans to storm the stage and shower ‘bisexual but celibate’ singer Brett Anderson with hugs and kisses.
1996   Re: Womyn born Womyn in soc.women.lesbian-and-bi (Usenet newsgroup) 13 May   I am not gender fluid, tho I can take on either *role* at times.
2015   Columbia Spectator (Columbia Univ., N.Y.) (Nexis) 13 Oct. 1   Science is also beginning to help us understand the neuroscience behind trans and genderfluid identities.

1987—2015(Hide quotations)

 

  genderfuck   n. coarse slang subversion or defiance of traditional conventions or expectations of gender difference.

1972   L. Humphreys Out of Closets ix. 164   This technique (also known as ‘gender fuck’) is a form of extended guerilla theater that may, indeed, be effective in changing the stereotypes that cling to social mores.
1991   D. Gaines Teenage Wasteland vii. 178   Guys played with themes of gender-fuck; they wore gaudy baubles, black eyeliner, and platform shoes to high school.
2003   Bitch Fall 63/2   Representations of queer parents show them to be extremely gender-determinate gay men or lesbian women, without a hint of genderfuck anywhere in the picture.

1972—2003(Hide quotations)

 

  gender gap   n. orig. U.S. the difference between men and women, esp. in social and political attitudes; (now esp.) the discrepancy in opportunities, status, etc., between the sexes.After generation gap n. at generation n. Compounds; cf. gap n.1 6a.

1969   Sunday Post Crescent (Appleton, Wisconsin) 21 Sept. b12/3   The ‘in’ look for boys this fall. Their fashions have not only bridged the generation—but the gender—gap, as well.
1977   D. Morris Manwatching 230   They argue that the gender gap belongs to man's ancient past and is no longer relevant in the modern world.
1982   Newsweek 4 Oct. 19/2   The White House is opening the loophole to help close the ‘gender gap’—data that show women are disproportionately dubious about administration policies.
1990   Times Educ. Suppl. 23 Nov. 10/1   The proportion of girls taking the subject at all levels is rising... The gender gap at A-level also seems to have narrowed through the 1980s.
2000   M. S. Kimmel in M. S. Kimmell & A. Aronson Gendered Society Reader Introd. 5   There is significant evidence that the gender gap in love and sex and friendship is shrinking as women claim greater degrees of sexual agency.

1969—2000(Hide quotations)

 

  gender marker   n. Grammar an affix or other element which indicates a word's gender.

1950   Language 26 219   The suffix is itself meaningless, hardly more than a gender marker.
1975   Amer. Speech 50 11   Abruzzese and Neapolitan also have final schwa rather than clear gender markers like -o for the masculine singular and -a for the feminine singular.
2002   New Internationalist May 16/2   That Arabic grammar carries gender markers has led even the best Arab grammarians erroneously to attribute gender to the thing referred to.

1950—2002(Hide quotations)

 
 

  gender-neutral adj. suitable for, applicable to, or common to both males and females; (of a word, expression, etc.) not specifying gender; cf. sex-neutral adj. at sex n.1 Compounds 3.

1963   J. Money in A. Deutsch & H. Fishman Encycl. Mental Health V. 1699   It is..in harmony with our cultural mores for boys and girls to segregate themselves... One function of this segregation is that both boys and girls shed any remnants of gender-neutral or gender-identical behavior if custom so requires.
1974   Jrnl. Marriage & Family 36 477/1   An effort was made to include approximately equal numbers of male- and female-related words in addition to a few supposedly ‘gender-neutral’ terms, such as kissing, buttocks, sexual intercourse, and masturbate.
1975   Jrnl. Philos. 72 731   Such uses of ‘man’ etc. where a gender-neutral term belongs are instances of a common practice in which the name of a high-status member or subset is used as a generic name for the whole class to the disadvantage of the remaining members of the class.
1987   Amer. Ethnologist 14 790/1   By what kind of political and administrative mechanisms can technology be rendered gender-neutral and of benefit therefore to hard-pressed rural women?
2005   Asian Age 28 Sept. 9/2   Mentions of the ‘fatherland’, ‘great sons’ and ‘brotherly choruses’ should be replaced by gender-neutral terms such as ‘homeland’ and ‘joyful chorus’.

1963—2005(Hide quotations)

 
 

  gender politics n. the assumptions underlying expectations regarding gender difference in a society; (also with sing. concord) an ideology based on such assumptions; cf. sexual politics n. at sexual adj. and n. Special uses 1.

1977   Jrnl. Women Stud. 2 12   The norms of proper deference were not intensified by gender politics.
1994   Details Oct. 99/1   Next month, I'm marrying a taller woman... I've had to rethink the strange gender politics of height.
2010   S. A. Fitzgerald in Y. Lee Politics of Gender 106   A normative gender politics which denies that prostitution can be in certain contexts deemed a ‘liveable life’ for certain groups of women.

1977—2010(Hide quotations)

 
 

  genderqueer adj. and n.  (a) adj. designating a person who does not subscribe to conventional gender distinctions, but identifies with neither, both, or a combination of male and female genders; (also occasionally) of or relating to such a person;  (b) n. a genderqueer person.Genderqueer is used as neutral or positive term of self-reference, without regard to, or in implicit denial of, the original negative connotations of queer adj.1 3.

1995   In Your Face Spring 4   It's about all of us who are genderqueer: diesel dykes and stone butches, leatherqueens and radical fairies.
1995   Washington Times (Nexis) 2 Oct. a8   It's high time ‘genderqueers’ came out of the closets, out of the shadows and out of the margins.
2004   Time Out N.Y. 21 Oct. 128/2   Dykes, fags, trans and gender-queers are invited to this punk rock party.
2007   M. Tea It's so You 81   A line of subversive, genderqueer clothing that would appeal to female-bodied folk who didn't want to wear feminine clothing.
2010   Curve (Nexis) Mar. 47   I guess you could say my partner is genderqueer. She is comfortable being called ‘he’ or ‘she’.

1995—2010(Hide quotations)

 

  gender reassignment   n. the process or an instance of a person adopting the physical characteristics of the opposite sex by means of medical procedures such as surgery or hormone treatment; cf. sex change n. at sex n.1 Compounds 3.

1969   Jrnl. Sex Res. 5 81   After gender reassignment surgery, some previously rejecting fathers become very affectionate.
1991   Lancet 7 Sept. 603/2   Although most gender reassignments are done in countries of the western world, transsexualism occurs in most if not all ethnic groups.
2004   N.Y. Mag. 3 May 66/2   The Opposite Sex..tells..tales of ‘gender reassignment’. After each story, sex-change experts and the transgendered..talk things over.

1969—2004(Hide quotations)

 
 

  gender relations   n. interactions between the sexes, esp. regarded as a field of study.

1976   A. G. Dworkin & R. J. Dworkin (title of work)    The minority report: an introduction to racial, ethnic, and gender relations.
1983   H. J. Maroney in J. Mitchell & A. Oakley What is Feminism? (1986) 102   This analysis of male-female relations..asserted that the long-term transformation of gender relations required sexual autonomy for women.
2003   Afr. Amer. Rev. 37 170   Lauret argues quite convincingly that Hurston's major influence enables Walker to articulate her critique of race and gender relations in the feminist post-Civil Rights era and to theorize it in the concept of womanism.

1976—2003(Hide quotations)

 
 

  gender studies n. the study of gender (sense 3b) as an academic discipline.

1973   Change Mag. Sept. 43   Women's studies is but one of several names for a national movement that has neither formal structure nor official bureaucracy. Its other titles include female studies, feminist studies, gender studies, sex role studies and studies in masculinity and femininity.
2006   Vanity Fair (N.Y.) July 145/2   Some sections..are reminiscent of the half-baked ramblings of a 19-year-old majoring in gender studies.

1973—2006(Hide quotations)