Behavior and personality[edit]

While the defining characteristics of femininity are not universally identical, some patterns exist: gentleness, empathy, sensitivity, caring, sweetness, compassion, tolerance, nurturance, deference, and succorance are traits that have traditionally been cited as feminine.[9][10][11][29][30]

An oil painting of a young woman dressed in a flowing, white dress sitting on a chair with a red drape. An easel rests on her knees and she is evidently drawing. She is gazing directly at the observer.

Young Woman Drawing (1801, Metropolitan Museum of Art) painted by Marie-Denise Villers (possibly a self-portrait), depicts an independent feminine spirit.[31]

Femininity is sometimes linked with sexual objectification and sexual appeal.[32][33] Sexual passiveness, or sexual receptivity, is sometimes considered feminine while sexual assertiveness and sexual desire is sometimes considered masculine.[33]