Senior Theses

Publication Date


Document Type

Thesis (Open Access)

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology


Sociology and Anthropology

Faculty Advisor(s)

Hillary Crane

Subject Categories

Gender and Sexuality | Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies | Social and Cultural Anthropology


The subjective quality of identity and the relativistic nature of gender bemuse and attract social scientists. In this study I combine both topics by examining gender fluidity – an inconsistent gender identity – within the framework of Western ontology. Within my informants’ narratives I identify what I term feelings of gender as feelings that influence how people perceive and interact with their bodies. Gender fluidity entails a constant yet inconsistent fluctuation of those feelings. Furthermore, I found other important elements that may have influenced my informants' understanding of their gender identities and bodies: upbringing, previous relationships and interactions, communities, and language.