Yinyangism: Rethinking Western Dualism Regarding Sex and Gender

Chinedu Nwadike, Spiritan University, Nneochi, Nigeria
Chibuzo Martin Onunkwo, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria
Onyinyechukwu Philip-Anusionwu, Independent Researcher, Nigeria
Email: chineduvango@gmail.com
Published: February 4, 2022

Citation: Nwadike, C., Onunkwo, C. M., & Philip-Anusionwu, O. (2021). Yinyangism: Rethinking Western Dualism Regarding Sex and Gender. IAFOR Journal of Arts & Humanities, 8(2). https://doi.org/10.22492/ijah.8.2.04


Much has been written in the West about sex and gender in the last one hundred years. It is perhaps to be expected that characteristic Western dualist approaches on this topic be quite different from the Chinese organic approach implied in yin and yang. Owing, evidently, to different socio-cultural worldviews, gender inequality, feminism and patriarchy are the subjects of very different definitions in the West and in China/Asia. Where the former underscores opposition between the genders’ different realities and advocates for “diametric equality”, the latter emphasises complementarity and is thus more predisposed to consider gender difference in what might be called “symbiotic inequality”. Thus, it would be misleading to assume that researchers around the world readily accept Western paradigms regarding this issue. Using a sociological method, this essay aims to establish that concepts like patriarchy and feminism are not subject to unanimous presumptions based on Western models, and are therefore not practical concepts with which to design universal analytical processes or to create a dominant ethos. It further proposes the introduction of “yinyangism” as a new, more apt conceptual framework that will consider the male-female relation as a complementary one. The aim is to have yinyangism studied as a more productive stage in the evolution of sex and gender discourse, one whereby the natural differences between the male and the female will be recognised not in adversarial terms, but complementary ones. The resulting social environment will be one where individuals of different genders are not necessarily expected to perform the same objective functions in society, but rather have their mutual inequality act as a reservoir of differentiated skills that complement each other in different ways and actually produce a “mutual” or “symbiotic” equality.


feminism, gender inequality, patriarchy, politics, yin-and-yang