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Tomboy Experience

Tomboy, most typically, refers to girls who behave like boys or are associated with masculine behavior and interests. Rudimentarily, tomboys and the tomboy experience are linked to acting outside of one’s traditional feminine gender role and demonstrating masculinity. Behavior is tolerated based on age and context. This entry discusses the tomboy label, its social meaning, and the link between gender nonconformity and homosexuality.

Literature on gender socialization asserts the tomboy label is heavily employed to describe girls’ activities that adults perceive as gender nonconforming. For younger girls, this could include boisterousness, climbing trees and playing in dirt, or showing little interest in dolls or wearing dresses. With age, different behaviors become more likely to be associated with the label, including more of not wanting to wear ...

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