Talk:Gender symbol

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March 2007[edit]

Can anyone refer to a web resource that proves the meaning as a gender symbol of the saggitarius and the earth symbols? I translated the articel into german (Gender-Symbol) but omitted these symbols for lack of any evidence. --Mosmas 14:48, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

Triangle and Circle[edit]

There is an even older symbol for gender and this symbol is commonly used in the social sciences. Triangle and Circle. Triangle stands for male and Circle stands for female. This is often seen in kinship charts (think anthropology). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:01, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

i have seen similar symbols but with a square for male.Fantiquitous (talk) 14:55, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
These mainly appear in sociograms and genealogical charts, and would not be widely understood as standalone symbols... AnonMoos (talk) 15:51, 15 January 2015 (UTC)

Font capable of displaying the symbols[edit]

Could anyone direct me to a font that can display the symbols used on this article? Only Mars, Venus and Mercury are displayed correctly for me.Geemer (talk) 13:33, 25 March 2010 (UTC)

Try etc. -- AnonMoos (talk) 18:04, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
Thank you very much, the DejaVu fonts work like a charm. Geemer (talk) 15:34, 26 March 2010 (UTC)

Child Symbol[edit]

I seek a child symbol to go along with the female symbol and the male symbol. If such a symbol exists, this article may document it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:12, 20 March 2011 (UTC)

Don't think there's one which is a variation of the gender symbols, but child variants of the "toilet" symbols are sometimes seen; see File:Forest day 1 logo.jpg, File:Yellow school sign.JPG, File:Italian traffic signs - old - transito vietato ai pedoni.svg etc. AnonMoos (talk) 21:25, 20 March 2011 (UTC)

Biological vs. LGBT uses[edit]

why are the hermaphrodite and neuter symbols is in the LGBT section? i can understand the lesbian, gay and transgender symbols being there, but the hermaphrodite and neuter symbols are listed as biological symbols in places such as my funk & wagnalls standard desk dictionary. this seems to suggest that they are the official symbols, and apply to other organisms and plants, not specifically to the lgbt culture, as this article seems to suggest. also the neuter symbol does not display correctly on my screen. perhaps we'd be better off with pictures for all. (sorry, i have no idea why my addition keeps popping up in odd places) Fantiquitous (talk) 14:55, 27 May 2011 (UTC)

The separation is practically non-existant in the article. Several scientific biological symbols are in the LGBT section. In fact, pretty much the entire article is in the LGBT section. This is probably the most important thing to fix about the article. However, I don't know where to look for sources documenting a symbol's use in biology or genetics. (talk) 10:11, 11 May 2013 (UTC)
The heading titles could be rationalized a little, but I don't know that there's a great divergence between LGBT and biological sciences meanings of most of the symbols (only a few symbols are used in both systems) -- except for which has meanings in pop culture (not just LGBT) which are strongly divergent from its biology meanings... AnonMoos (talk) 19:44, 13 May 2013 (UTC)

I agree, the use of LGBT culture as a heading here is incorrect and unrepresentative of the symbols entire "gender" meaning - many of these symbols have been adapted to LGBT culture rather than created by it. They're uses originating in scientific rather than "gender" culture(would be more correct than LGBT). I propose this page would be more useful and encyclopaedic if it was changed to a basic list of the symbols (Symbols/unicode/name etc, ie the facts) with any relevant cultural information/use expanded on below it. If no-one objects I will do this as soon as I get chance and I can probably prepare/add some citations to the use of male/female/Hermaphrodite/neuter/transgender symbols in the Correspondence of Charles Darwin. (talk) 12:33, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

what does male and female have to do with mars and venus?[edit]

anyone? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:24, 4 November 2011 (UTC)

The Greek deity Aphrodite was a female goddess of love and beauty, while Ares was a male god of war and valor. "Venus" and "Mars" are the names of Latin deities who were identified with Aphrodite and Ares by a process of interpretatio Graeca. When the seven Classical "planets" (sun, moon, mercury, venus, mars, jupiter, saturn) were identified with gods and goddesses (partly under influence from Babylonian astronomy/astrology), Aphrodite/Venus was the most stereotypically feminine of the seven, and Ares/Mars the most stereotypically masculine, I guess. Also, the planet mars was assigned to the element iron in alchemical symbolism, while the planet venus was assigned to the element copper -- and in classical antiquity, a prominent use of iron was in weapons of war, while a prominent use of copper was in bronze mirrors, again fitting in with quasi-stereotypical masculine/feminine distinctions... AnonMoos (talk) 16:26, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
P.S. Classical_planets_in_western_alchemy -- AnonMoos (talk) 22:34, 8 November 2011 (UTC)

Hermaphrodite Symbol[edit]

In all my gender studies, I have always seen the Mercury symbol used to represent hermaphrodites. This article is the first I have ever seen that says it is used for "virgin females." (talk) 00:35, 6 May 2012 (UTC)

I have no idea whether that's correct or not, but the claim is that it's used that way in certain scientific usages, not LGBT symbolism. If you think this is dubious, add a {{fact}} tag... AnonMoos (talk) 00:44, 6 May 2012 (UTC)

This is a harmfully wrong representation of the mercury sign, labelling it a transgender sign, conflating transgender with intersex. The Mercury was used in Alchemy and in early biology and botany as a sign for Hermaphrodite. --Blivet01 (talk) 08:04, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

Other gender/sex symbols[edit]

Might include some alternative symbols, or symbols from non-Western cultures: AnonMoos (talk) 18:16, 9 December 2012 (UTC)



East Asian


Toilet signs

Woman/ Female


MUNUS-SAL-sinnishtu Cuneiform.svg

Toilet women.svg

Man/ Male


LU-awilu Cuneiform.svg

Aiga toiletsq men.svg

P.S. Not sure that there's a single cuneiform sign which indicated male/man in all the situations where Cuneiform sal.png indicated female/woman, but a single vertical stroke was used as a marker before masculine names... AnonMoos (talk) 22:11, 9 December 2012 (UTC)

Put File:LU-awilu Cuneiform.svg in the cuneiform male cell of the table, though it wasn't used as a male symbol in all the cases where File:MUNUS-SAL-sinnishtu Cuneiform.svg was used as a female symbol... AnonMoos (talk) 21:40, 7 February 2014 (UTC)
Assembled all the female and/or woman symbols into a single graphic: AnonMoos (talk) 19:44, 13 May 2013 (UTC)
Female symbols.svg
Another image including some lesser-known or less historically important female/woman symbols: AnonMoos (talk) 07:10, 1 January 2017 (UTC)

These are not only Biological Symbols but they also define the Male and Female psychological differences[edit]

(Please excuse my poor english) The two male and female symboles although giving a symbolic biological difference between male and female in their design (Forward arrow pointing up as a phallic symbol and female cross birth giving representation) also differentiate the male and female psychological differences: MALE: Future-oriented FEMALE: Grounded into the present. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:18, 6 April 2014 (UTC)

That sounds semi-esoteric. The more traditional interpretations are iron spear and bronze hand-mirror. Do you have a Reliable source? -- AnonMoos (talk) 20:56, 6 April 2014 (UTC)

See also: Volvo[edit]

What's the connection that Volvo (car/truck manufacturer) is listed in the "See also" section? (talk) 21:32, 14 February 2015 (UTC)

It used a Mars symbol as its traditional logo -- presumably having more to do with the metal iron than with masculinity... AnonMoos (talk) 23:00, 14 February 2015 (UTC)
Thanks! I think the link goes to the wrong Volvo page, maybe it should go to this one: which shows the logo and also discusses it. (talk) 23:29, 14 February 2015 (UTC)
Link would be more appropriate on Mars symbol article anyway... AnonMoos (talk) 16:04, 15 February 2015 (UTC)


There appear to be numerous unreferenced statements in this article. I've added some citations for the scientific and historic usage. This reference could be of use, but I can't find a copy of it.

Lewis, Nolan, DC. "The Sexual Significance of Ancient Chemical Symbols." Psychoanalytic Review 14.2 (1927): 200-206.

I've only found one source that looks reliable for recent LGBT use for five of the symbols. Claims such as "It also means ‘other’ gender" etc. need to be sourced. --mikeu talk 17:58, 1 January 2016 (UTC)

There's a summary of another academic paper ("The Origin of the Male and Female Symbols of Biology" by William T. Stearn. Taxon, Vol. 11, No. 4 (May, 1962), pp. 109-113) at ... -- AnonMoos (talk) 07:18, 1 January 2017 (UTC)

History of toilet symbols[edit]

Supposedly in pre-1850 rural schools in the United States, a sun symbol meant a boys' outhouse, while a crescent symbol meant a girls' outhouse.[1] -- AnonMoos (talk) 08:35, 1 December 2016 (UTC)