Standard Article


  1. Emily E. Good,
  2. Stephanie A. Shields

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0351

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Good, E. E. and Shields, S. A. 2010. Femininity. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–2.

Author Information

  1. Pennsylvania State University

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


Within the psychological literature, femininity is a construct broad in scope with no single agreed-upon definition. It is important to note, however, that psychological femininity, as a type of gender expression, is separate and distinct from female secondary sex characteristics, core gender identity (i.e., one's self-definition regarding gender status), and being biologically female. Females or males can exhibit femininity to a greater or lesser degree, or not at all. Although femininity is thought to be more often expressed by females, there is variability on this dimension. Thus, femininity and identification as female are related, but not identical.


  • masculinity/femininity;
  • gender;
  • gender expression