What does Gynephilia mean?

Gynephilia is a term for a general attraction toward women or toward feminine traits, disregarding the sex of the “gynephile”.

Both a man and a woman can be a “gynephile”; if it is a man, he has a heterosexual orientation, if it is a woman, she has homosexual desires.

A rarely utilized synonym of the term is “gynesexuality” but “gynephilia” may also be seen spelled as “gynophilia”.

The male version of “gynephilia” is androphilia; an attraction toward masculinity.


What's the origin of Gynephilia?

The first use of the term, in a slightly alternate form, was applied by Theocritus during the 3rd century BC.

He uses “gynaikophilias” in Idyll 8 to describe the lustful desires of Zeus pulling him toward women.

The word is a composite of the words gyne meaning woman and -philia meaning liking or love toward a thing, a person or a phenomenon.

Spread & Usage

How did Gynephilia spread?

Sigmund Freud was one of the first people using the term in modern context, to describe one of his case studies; Dora.

Urban Dictionary has three definitions on “gynephilia” as of Aug 18th 2020, the earliest one being written in 2010, however it is actually describing gerontophilia, in which a younger male is attracted sexually toward an elderly woman.

External resources

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