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Buddhism is a philosophy or guiding religion that influences and informs prescribed gender roles, interactions between genders, and the representation of gender through symbols. There are many different perspectives of Buddhism that affect the conceptualization of gender, typically resulting in a more androcentric view. Despite the challenge of unifying these various beliefs into one viewpoint, the core principles of Buddhism include compassion, kindness, a sense of detachment, harmony, and karma (the idea that thoughts and actions influence reincarnation). This entry includes a general discussion of the ways Buddhism and gender intersect. Challenges to these prescribed conceptualizations of gender are explored. The entry concludes with a discussion about the implications of these conceptualizations.

Buddhism and Gender Roles

Buddhism’s beginnings are linked to the story of a young prince’s ...

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