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Masculinity vs Femininity: 27 Traits, Stereotypes & the Unique Strengths

Which one do you think is stronger and better… masculinity vs femininity? There is no clear-cut answer, but here are some things to consider in the debate.

Masculinity vs Femininity

When you pit masculinity vs femininity against each other, which do you think comes out on top? Which do you consider to be stronger, or do you consider them to be equal, but stronger in different ways?

Equality is something we’ve been striving for over the last few decades, but we have to remember that masculinity doesn’t always belong to a man, and femininity doesn’t always belong to a woman. 

Anyone can be feminine, just as anyone can be masculine, and you can be both too! [Read: How to respect yourself – 37 secrets of self-respect, self-belief, and self-love]

This argument isn’t about which gender is stronger *that is never going to be an argument worth debating*, but it is about which set of traits is perhaps bolder and therefore stronger than the other.

To start delving into this subject, we need to figure out what traits are attached to masculinity and which are attached to femininity.

What does it mean to be feminine or masculine?

Masculinity vs femininity refers to the traits and characteristics that are typically associated with males and females. [Read: Divine masculine – what it means, 37 qualities, signs, and secrets to awaken it]

Usually, they are conceptualized on opposite ends of a continuum, with masculinity at one end of the extreme and femininity at the other. However, this definition implies that if you’re masculine that you can’t be feminine at all, and vice versa. In other words, they are mutually exclusive and there’s no overlap.

But that’s simply not true. Most people lie somewhere in the middle of the continuum between masculinity and femininity. This means that most people have a blend and a balance of masculine and feminine traits. [Read: Strongest feminine traits and where women fall in this spectrum]

One last important thing to note here is that feminine and masculine traits have nothing to do with someone’s sexual orientation. A man may present himself as more feminine than the average man, but that doesn’t mean he is necessarily gay.

So, as you can see, this complicates the debate about masculinity vs femininity and which is better or stronger. [Read: Feminine guys – 40 signs of a man in touch with his softer side]

The traits of masculinity explained

Let’s start the masculinity vs femininity debate with the masculine traits.

What is considered masculine in one culture might be taken completely differently in another.

For the purposes of this debate, let’s focus on Western society, but be mindful of how other cultures may view the points made. [Read: The alpha male – 65 traits of a real alpha man and true secrets to be one yourself]

So, in Western society, the traits of masculinity *not the traits of a man, but the traits of masculine behavior* are:

1. Courage

2. Independence

3. Resilience

4. Physical and emotional strength

5. Leadership

6. Assertiveness

7. Confidence, even bordering on arrogance

8. A willingness to fight if required

9. On a negative note—disregard for accountability and consequences

10. On a positive note—the protector

A woman may exhibit masculine traits, such as the ones above, more than she exhibits feminine ones we will highlight shortly. [Read: Divine masculine – what it means, 37 qualities, signs, and secrets to awaken it]

The same can be considered vice versa, with a man not really showing many of the masculine traits we’ve just mentioned, but showing more from the feminine traits list. 

This doesn’t define gender at all, it defines character and personality.

The traits of femininity explained

Now we know the main traits of the masculine side of the equation, let’s continue the masculinity vs femininity debate. So, what about feminine traits? [Read: 37 girlish secrets to be more feminine and draw others with your softer side]

The main feminine traits are:

1. Empathy

2. Sensitivity

3. Emotional

4. Caring

5. Compassionate

6. Gentle

7. Nurturing

8. Tolerant

9. Intuitive

10. On the negative side—a tendency toward possible deference

11. On the positive side—a quiet strength

By comparing those two lists of traits, you can see the differences. [Read: Divine feminine energy – what it is and how to tap into the powerhouse]

The masculine traits are designed to be strong, protective, and ‘in your face,’ but the feminine traits are more under the radar, mothering, and nurturing.

Can you show both? Absolutely, in fact, most of us do!

Stereotypes of masculine and feminine roles

We also associate men and women with certain types of masculine and feminine roles in society. Here are some of the most common ones. [Read: Metrosexuality – what it is and the signs and benefits of being a metrosexual man]


1. Provider

Traditionally, the man is the one who goes out of the house to work and bring home the money for the family to live on.

He provides a roof over their heads and food on the table. This role even goes back to the caveman days when the male went out to hunt for food.

2. Boss

Because being dominant is more of a masculine trait, we typically think of men as having more power in society. [Read: How to be dominant – 20 calm and firm ways to be the real alpha]

This includes not only being a boss in the workplace but at home too. They tend to hold more positions of power in all sectors of society.

3. Protector

Males have a much higher ratio of muscle to fat than women do. They are also taller, bigger, and stronger.

Because of this, they tend to play the role of protector as well. Men are more likely to fight off intruders and rescue their families from fires than women are. [Read: The 35 best manly drinks, what makes them masculine, and must-know secrets]


1. Nurturer

Women have babies, so they are hard-wired in their brains to take care of their young. They feed, hold, and protect them. It’s the woman’s role to be the main nurturer because they carry their offspring in their body and give birth to them.

2. Teacher/Nurse

Because women tend to be more nurturing, they tended to go into professions such as teaching and nursing. Teachers work with children *as do mothers* and nurses take care of and nurture patients *just like mothers*.

3. Protected

While the males are the protectors, the women, and the children are the protected ones. [Read: Feminine energy – how to embrace it, release it, and increase it]

That’s why when disasters happen, such as on the Titanic, they always say “women and children first.” The men are the ones who sacrifice themselves to protect them.

Masculinity vs femininity: strength on both sides of the coin 

The original question that was asked was masculinity vs femininity; which is stronger? Now, from reading the traits and from what you already know of both types of personality, which do you think is stronger?

Think about your views for a second.

Most likely, neither is stronger, and both have their strengths and weaknesses, and someone can exhibit signs of masculinity and femininity within their character. [Read: Dating feminine men – is it a boom or bust?]

Someone could also be masculine for a period of time, perhaps due to a mood or even what has happened in their life. Then they can switch to a more feminine type of personality.

We are not born masculine or feminine, it is developed within us. This has nothing to do with your gender, whether you class yourself as male, female, non-binary, or anything else. 

It has everything to do with your character and the way you deal with situations, how you treat other people, and how you live your life. [Read: 55 secrets and self-love habits to build confidence and realize your worth]

So, which is stronger…masculinity vs. femininity? 

Both. Let’s explain why.

Masculine strength is more physical. Masculine energy is often exhibited via a show of physical or verbal strength. It is not afraid to play the typical old-fashioned view of how a man should behave. [Read: 15 gender stereotypes of males we need to let go of for good]

In terms of emotional strength, masculine energy doesn’t often talk about feelings, it’s more of a tendency to bottle things up and use them for something else, e.g. pouring it into work or maybe something physical, such as exercise.

Masculinity is strong in a traditional way, but that doesn’t mean that femininity isn’t strong in a different way. [Read: What makes a man a man? 20 manly and relevant traits that defy stereotypes]

Femininity is equally as strong in terms of personality traits, but in a quieter way. 

Think of a strong feminine figure you have in your life, whether a man or a woman, but someone who shows strong feminine traits. [Read: Effeminate men – what it means, 4 types, and 25 signs a guy has a softer side]

They will stick up for you and fight for you tooth and nail, but they will not do it physically.

They will do it through support, understanding, being your rock, and pushing you to go out and prove people wrong. It’s a different type of strength, an inner strength that doesn’t require a physical connection.

Feminine energy is also about doing anything for someone they love. Think of a mother’s love for their child. [Read: Sex-positive feminism – what it is and why we must embrace the movement]

We’re not going towards gender here, but that’s a good example to think about. This love is unwavering, it never ends, and it never disappears. 

Femininity is strong in its ability to overcome challenges but never waver.

How can you show both masculinity and femininity at the same time?

Most of us do and don’t even realize we’re doing it. [Read: 40 signs of high testosterone, what it means, causes, and ways to increase it]

Whichever traits you exhibit most of the time, it’s simply important to embrace them and own them.

Some days you might feel more calm and gentle, showing feminine traits, and other days you might feel fired up, almost like you want to beat your chest in a show of power. That’s a masculine energy coming out.

We exhibit both because we are both. The times we show each type of energy depend upon what is going on around us, how we feel, and what we’re trying to achieve. [Read: Alpha female – who she is, 31 big alpha traits, and how to be her or date her]

A man is not born masculine. A woman is not born feminine. 

There are many feminine men, just as there are many masculine women. As we’ve said a few times, gender isn’t in the equation here, it’s about how you are as a person, and the situations that cause you to act or feel in a certain way.

Which would you consider yourself to be predominantly?

[Read: Being sex positive – why this matters and why you need to get on board]

If you want an answer to the masculinity vs femininity strength debate, you’re probably going to find countless views on the issue. The only view that really matters is your own.

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Carol Morgan LP
Dr. Carol Morgan
Dr. Carol Morgan has a Ph.D. in communication and is a professor at Wright State University where she loves corrupting young minds. As a relationship and succes...