Societies with Multiple Genders: Reflections from Ethnography


  • Agueda Gómez Suárez Universidad de Vigo
  • Rosa Maria Verdugo Matés Universidade de Santiago de Compostela



The ethno-cartography of sexual diversity in different societies around the world shows that there is an incredible variety of scenarios where transgenderism, sexuality among people of the same sex, or the institutionalization of a “third gender” is socially integrated and accepted. From an anthropology point of view societies with three or multiple genders are discussed as social and individual constructions. This paper addresses two concrete case studies of the existence of “third genders”, institutionalized in two ethnic groups in México: the Zapotecs of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec and the Rarámuris from the Tarahumara ethnicity.


Keywords: Third Gender, Ethnic Group, Zapotecs, Rarámuris, Mexico.

Biografie autore

Agueda Gómez Suárez, Universidad de Vigo

Professor of Sociolofy at the University of Vigo, Researcher in themes about gender, Ethnicity, Masculinity and collective actions.

Rosa Maria Verdugo Matés, Universidade de Santiago de Compostela

Profesora Contratada Doctora. Departamento de Economía Aplicada