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Definition of gynocentrism

1. [General definition] (Greek: γυνή, “female” – Latin: centrum, “centred”)

(a). n. Dominant or exclusive focus on women in theory or practice; or to the advocacy of this. Sometimes practiced to the detriment of non-females.
(b) Gynocentric (adj). Anything can be considered gynocentric when it is concerned exclusively with a female (or specifically a feminist) point of view.

2. [Sociology]

(a). A pervasive cultural complex geared to prioritizing women and their interests.
(b). A category for individual gynocentric acts or events (eg. Mother’s Day).

3. [Biology]

(a). The biological tendency in humans to prioritize female reproductive capacity.

4. [Psychology]

(a). An exclusive focus on the psychological experiences or behavior of women.
(b). Female-prioritizing mental schemas and associated emotional responses.

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EARLIEST MENTIONS OF GYNOCENTRISM

Etymology dictionaries do not record the history and earliest usage of the term gynocentrism. Research of literature archives for this website reveals that gynocentrism has been in use since at least as the late 1800s. Here are a few early references to gynocentrism and gynocentric:

The Open Court, Volume 11 (Open Court Publishing Company, 1897)
1897

The Independent, Volume 67, Issues 3175-3187 (Independent Publications, incorporated, 1909)
1909

From Dublin to Chicago: Some Notes on a Tour in America (George H. Doran Company, 1914)
1914
FULL-TEXT:
Women in USA 1914

Gynocentrism continued to appear in literature throughout the nineteenth century and into the present with a stable meaning of female centered, and especially to a culture so disposed, in which:

“It is arranged with a view to the convenience and delight of women. Men come in where and how they can.” [1914]

Until recently the term was employed infrequently, perhaps due to the availability of more simpler phrasings such as ‘woman centered’ or ‘female dominated.’ However it has enjoyed a resurgence since the mid 1980s and through the turn of the 21st century in response to increasing hegemony of gynocentric culture and feminist governance.

See also: related words gynæcocracy, gynarchy, gynocracy, gyneolatry.

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