“Gynosexuality” describes the sexual orientation of a person who is attracted to people who display characteristics that a culture typically associates with femininity.
These characteristics may be physical or psychological. The person who possesses these characteristics and the individual who is attracted to them may identify as any gender.
This article defines gynosexuality, compares it with androsexuality, and explains how people may know if they are gynosexual.
It also looks at the flag people associate with gynosexuality and provides links to support and further resources.
A note about sex and gender
Sex and gender exist on spectrums. This article will use the terms “male,” “female,” or both to refer to sex assigned at birth. Click here to learn more.
Gynosexuality is a sexual orientation in which a person is attracted to attributes that a culture associates with femininity.
Anecdotally, “gynosexual” is a recent term to describe attraction to characteristics that a culture considers feminine. However, behavioral scientists have previously used the word “gynephile” to refer to the same attraction.
Sexual orientation refers to a pattern of emotional, romantic, or sexual attraction, which can further relate to:
- an individual’s personal and social identity
- related behaviors
- membership in a community of others who share those attractions and behaviors
Gynosexuality is not specific to a person’s sex or gender. Gynosexual people may identify as male, female, nonbinary, or another gender identity. The person they are attracted to may also be of any sex or gender identity.
Read more about about types of sexuality.
Androsexuality means being attracted to traits a culture associates with masculinity. An androsexual person may have any sexual or gender identity.
Historically, people used “gynephile” and “androphile” to describe the type of partner a person preferred, regardless of anatomy or gender identity. They were an alternative to binary terms such as “heterosexual” and “homosexual.”
It may be helpful for someone who identifies as nonbinary to describe themselves as gynosexual or androsexual. Other terms for sexual orientation often link with the gender binary rather than the attraction to traits or qualities associated with a gender.
Because the definitions of femininity are subjective and ever-changing, gynosexuality may mean different things to people.
People can identify as gynosexual if they feel the term applies to them.
Some examples of attributes involved in gynosexual attraction include:
- personality qualities or traits
- physical qualities
- actions or behaviors
- psychological or emotional factors
- sexual attraction
- romantic connection
The flag for gynosexual pride is pink, brown, and green.
Its colors aim to symbolize the following:
- Pink: Attraction to females.
- Brown: Stability and support.
- Green: Attraction to femininity.
A person may be able to speak with a trusted loved one or friend to help them better understand their sexual orientation if they feel they need to.
Alternatively, they can consult a medical professional, such as a counselor or therapist, to express themselves in a safe space.
It is important to seek mental health support and treatment where needed. Therapy may help people understand their own and other people’s attractions. It may also help with managing reactions and conversations surrounding sexual attraction.
It can be challenging for people to discover and express their sexuality, but seeking support and community may help. If they wish to, individuals can seek mental health advice, support, and services from LGBTQIA+ organizations.
To discover more evidence-based health information and resources for LGBTQIA+ individuals, visit our dedicated hub.
Gynosexuality is sexual attraction to attributes a culture typically associates with femininity. In comparison, androsexual people are sexually attracted to characteristics people may typically associate with masculinity.
Gynosexuality may encompass sexual attraction to physical traits, psychological qualities, or behaviors.
A person may wish to seek support and advice about their sexuality from family, friends, or healthcare professionals if they need to.