Chapter 3: Global Sexualities: LGBTQ Anthropology Past, Present, and Future
A Hawaiian term for pre-colonial same-sex relationships between men, which more broadly described sexual relationships in pre-colonial Hawai’i betweenaliʻi nui and the male and female kaukaualiʻi performing a hana lawelawe or expected service with no stigma attached.
The study of human activity through the recovery and analysis of material culture.
A Cherokee term for two-spirited people.
In the Philippines, a baklâ, bayot (Cebuano) or agi (Hiligaynon) is a person who was assigned male at birth, but usually, have adopted feminine mannerisms and usually dress as women. They are often considered a third gender. Many bakla are exclusively attracted to men, but are not necessarily gay. Some self-identify as women.
Before the late twentieth-century, non-Native (i.e. non-Native American/Canadian) anthropologists used the term berdache, in a very broad manner, to identify
an indigenous individual fulfilling one of many mixed gender roles in their tribe. Often in their writings they applied this term to any male who they perceived to be homosexual, bisexual, or effeminate by Western social standards, leading to a wide variety of diverse individuals being categorized under this imprecise term.
biological or physical anthropology
A scientific discipline concerned with the biological and behavioral aspects of human beings, their extinct hominin ancestors, and related non-human primates, particularly from an evolutionary perspective.
A Zapotec term similar to the Oaxacan muxe describing male-bodied individuals who act and dress as women.
A Japanese term literally meaning “herbivore men” describing men who have no interest in getting married or finding a girlfriend. The term herbivore men was also a term that is described as young men who had lost their “manliness.”.
drag performance/drag queen
A drag queen is a person, almost always male, who uses drag clothing and makeup to imitate and often exaggerate female gender signifiers and gender roles for entertainment purposes. Historically, most drag queens have been men dressing as women. In modern times, drag queens are associated with gay men and gay culture, but queens can be of any gender and sexual identity.
An illuminative account of social life and culture in a particular social system based on multiple detailed observations of what people actually do in the social
setting being observed.
Fa’afafine are people who identify themselves as having a third-gender or non-binary role in Samoa, American Samoa and the Samoan diaspora. A recognized gender identity/gender role in traditional Samoan society, and an integral part of Samoan culture, fa’afafine are assigned male at birth, and explicitly embody both masculine and feminine gender traits in a way unique to Polynesia.
Woman–woman marriage and female husbandry are terms used to describe the union of two women in marriage in many African cultures, most notably among the Nandi of Kenya.
A term used to refer to a population of homosexual males with markedly
feminine gender expression in traditional Neapolitan culture.
Some anthropologists and sociologists have described fourth and fifth genders.
Gender is the range of characteristics pertaining to, and differentiating between, masculinity and femininity. Depending on the context, these characteristics may include biological sex (i.e., the state of being male, female, or an intersex variation), sex-based social structures (i.e., gender roles), or gender identity. Some societies have specific genders besides “man” and “woman”, such as the hijras of South Asia; these are often referred to as third genders (and fourth genders, etc).
The classification of gender into two distinct, opposite, and disconnected forms
of masculine and feminine, whether by social system or cultural belief.
The distress a person feels due to a mismatch between their gender identity and their sex assigned at birth.
Also called gender nonconformity, a behavior or gender expression by an individual that does not match masculine or feminine gender norms.
Romantic attraction, sexual attraction or sexual behavior between persons of the opposite sex or gender.
Eunuchs, intersex people, and transgender people officially recognized as third gender in countries in the Indian subcontinent, being considered neither completely male nor female.
Identity is the qualities, beliefs, personality, looks and/or expressions that make a person (self-identity) or group (particular social category or social group), in psychology.
Individuals born with any of several variations in sex characteristics including chromosomes, gonads, sex hormones, or genitals
A term used by sexologists, primarily in the late 19th and early 20th century, to refer to homosexuality. Sexual inversion was believed to be an inborn reversal of gender traits: male inverts were, to a greater or lesser degree, inclined to traditionally female pursuits and dress and vice versa.
A word used in Thailand to describe male-to-female transgender person or person of a third gender, or an effeminate homosexual male
Members of the hijra community in India preferred term, referring to the mythological beings that excel at song and dance.
The interdisciplinary study of how language influences social life.
(‘in the middle’) in Kanaka Maoli (Hawaiian) and Maohi (Tahitian) cultures are third gender persons with traditional spiritual and social roles within the culture
Molly-house was a term used in 18th- and 19th-century England for a meeting place for homosexual men, generally taverns, public houses, coffeehouses where men could either socialize or meet possible sexual partners.
In Zapotec cultures of Oaxaca (southern Mexico), a person who is assigned male at birth, but who dresses and behaves in ways otherwise associated with women; they may be seen as a third gender.
A Japanese term literally meaning “male colors”, widely used to refer to some kind of male to male sex in a pre-modern era of Japan.
A field of critical theory that emerged in the early 1990s out of the fields of
queer studies and women’s studies.
A Tanala Malagasy term referring to third gender males who adopted the behavior and roles of women.
The way people experience and express themselves sexually. This involves biological, erotic, physical, emotional, social, or spiritual feelings and behaviors.
A Japanese term meaning “the way of adolescent boys”.
A term used to refer to social anthropology and cultural anthropology together.
The Maori word meaning a devoted partner of the same sex.
A concept in which individuals are categorized, either by themselves or by society, as neither man nor woman.
A West Sumatran term for women who dress like men and have relationships with women.
In South America, a gender identity describing people assigned male at birth who take on a feminine gender role and gender expression, especially through the use of feminizing body modifications such as hormone replacement therapy, breast implants, and silicone injections.
A modern, pan-Indian, umbrella term used by some Indigenous North Americans to describe Native people in their communities who fulfill a traditional third-gender (or other gender-variant) ceremonial role in their cultures
The Japanese term “young person”, (although never used for girls) is a historical Japanese term indicating an adolescent boy, and in Edo-period Japan, considered as suitable objects of erotic desire for young women, older women, and older men
A Nigerian Hausa term meaning “men who act like women”.