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The central aspect of gender
is gender identity. People assume that gender identity is linked with
biological sex and concept of gender is linked with maleness with masculinity
and femaleness with femininity. The concept of gender is complicated because
most aspects of gender are social constructs that vary across time and culture.
For example, gender presentation (appearance, clothing,
mannerisms, and behaviors) and gender roles (social roles,
occupational choices) vary widely depending on the culture and era. Culture
usually labels the behaviors, styles or interests shown by people. If male’s
interest is associated with women then he is called as “effeminate” or
“sissies” and if women show interest or behavior like men then she is labeled
as “masculine” or “butch” and girls are termed as “tomboys”. However, the
concept of gender identity is not true for everyone, some people with male
biology feel strongly feminine, and some with female biology feel themselves to
be masculine. Others do not consider their gender to be either feminine or
masculine, but a blend of both; still others feel that they are neither
masculine nor feminine, but some other termed as third gender.

Anthropologist Michael G. Peletz believes on notions of
different types of genders. In Peletz’ book, “Gender, Sexuality, and Body
Politics in Modern Asia”, he describes:

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For our purposes,
the term “gender” designates the cultural categories, symbols,
meanings, practices, and institutionalized arrangements bearing on at least
five sets of phenomena: (1) females and femininity; (2) males and masculinity;
(3) Androgynes, who are partly male and partly female in appearance or of
indeterminate sex/gender, as well as intersexed individuals, also known as
hermaphrodites, who to one or another degree may have both male and female
sexual organs or characteristics; (4) the transgendered, who engage in practices
that transgress or transcend normative boundaries and are thus by definition
“transgressively gendered”; and (5) neutered or unsexed/ungendered
individuals such as eunuchs.

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