Non-binary genders

Barker, Meg John (2016). Non-binary genders. In: Goldberg, Abbie E. ed. The SAGE Encyclopedia of LGBTQ Studies, Volume 2. London: SAGE, pp. 816–820.



This entry covers genders which fall outside of the common cultural binary of women and men. This topic has been under-researched in psychology to date, with only a small number of psychologists focusing on the area in any depth. The overwhelming majority of psychological studies have assumed that gender is binary, often to the point of focusing on a search for differences between men and women.

This entry provides a history of psychological work which has taken account of gender experiences which fall outside of the binary, focusing on Sandra Bem’s classic research on androgyny and Gender Schema Theory. It then summarizes the findings of the limited number of recent psychological studies which understand gender in a more diverse way and which explore the experience of people who identify as non-binary.

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