How V-Factor Relates to Gender
Before we explain what the Versatility Factor™ is and how it relates to gender we’d like to clarify a few terms from the gender lexicon.
Your sex/gender - The word sex is synonymous with the word gender and distinguishes males from females and intersex based on biological make up. The term intersex refers to those that have an atypical mix of male and female reproductive biological parts (e.g. chromosomes, genitals etc). Your gender is set at birth unless medical procedures are used to intentionally shift from one sex to another.
Your gender identity – this is one’s sense of oneself as male, female, or transgender”. Your gender identity develops as early as age 3.
Your sexual preference/orientation – this term refers to the sex of those to whom one is sexually and romantically attracted.
Gender, gender identity and sexual orientation are separate, distinct parts of our overall identity. These elements of our identities are largely set by our biological makeup, but can be influenced by parental or societal influences.
The Versatility Factor™ describes how comfortable a person is in terms of living into Archetypal Masculine and Feminine Strengths. By becoming comfortable expressing both types of strengths regardless of your gender, we become more versatile and able to handle challenges more effectively. Growing your V-Factor™ does not change your gender, gender identity or sexual preference. The benefits of growing your V-Factor™ include becoming more comfortable interacting in positive ways with anyone of any gender, gender identity or sexual preference.
The benefits of having a high V-Factor™ include increases in personal, interpersonal and team productivity when working in mixed ‘gender/gender identity’ teams. An increased V Factor™ score empowers people to move past gender stereotypes and to be more comfortable working with those of opposite gender. It also helps people who have previously been fearful or uncomfortable expressing themselves in a manner that might be considered atypical for their gender.
Your V-Factor™ is related to your gender, but not dependent on your gender. For example, growing your feminine strengths to raise your V-Factor looks different for a man than a woman because men’s societal norms, pressures and physical make up is unique to men.
It’s important to understand how high V-Factor™ relate to the concept of Androgyny. “Androgynous” is defined as…
- Being both male and female; (Gender)
- Having both masculine and feminine characteristics.
- Having an ambiguous sexual identity. (Gender Identity)
- Neither clearly masculine nor clearly feminine in appearance
Being androgynous is different than having a high V-Factor™. Those that are androgynous tend to express masculine and feminine attributes at the same time in equal measure in a manner that makes their gender and/or gender identity ambiguous. Because V-Factor™ is independent of your gender identity, individuals can increase their V-factor by intentionally choosing to express either masculine OR feminine characteristics as best meets the situation at hand without creating any confusion about their gender or gender identity. An example occurs when a female chooses to express masculine strengths by running a goal oriented meeting with a tight agenda. Another example is when a man chooses to be sensitive to others or vulnerable enough to ask for help.