Gender Normative

Last Updated: December 23, 2019

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Definition - What does Gender Normative mean?

Gender normative is a term that describes attitudes, behaviors, and beliefs that are within their current cultural norms around gender. In other words, something that is "gender normative" means something that is appropriately feminine or masculine within a person's culture.

Kinkly explains Gender Normative

A gender normative person is a person who follows the gender norms of their biological or chosen gender; a transperson can be gender normative in appearance, behaviors, and attitudes.

Gender normative is in contrast with "gender non-normative" or "gender fluid" where someone does not obviously follow the norms around their chosen or biological gender. For example, in a North American context, it could be a man wearing a dress or makeup, or a woman acting in ways that are deemed "masculine."

Gender norms, we must remember, are culturally defined. There are no "natural" norms that apply to one or the other gender. History and different cultures around the world have shown that gender norms are fluid and not set in biology.

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