This is an abstract for the Sociological Association of Aotearoa New Zealand (SAANZ) Conference from 7th – 9th December 2011 at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand
This paper will describe gender and sexuality in Thailand. Buddhism is the official religion and has become a key influence in gender and sexuality in Thailand. For the gender issue, Thai society has been described as patriarchal because women are focused on the households and taking care of their children, while men concentrate on power and relationships outside the home; it thus has become an ideology to explain both women’s and men’s behaviours. In Thailand, Buddhism has also identified three genders: male, female, and male transgender, commonly known as Kathoey in the Thai language. After the mid-twentieth century, Western scholars started to influence the definition of and attitude towards Kathoey. In addition, Thai people have good attitudes towards transgender males, and Kathoey are also widely accepted in Thai society.