Gynephilia is a term for a general attraction toward women or toward feminine traits, disregarding the sex of the “gynephile”.
Both a man and a woman can be a “gynephile”; if it is a man, he has a heterosexual orientation, if it is a woman, she has homosexual desires.
A rarely utilized synonym of the term is “gynesexuality” but “gynephilia” may also be seen spelled as “gynophilia”.
The male version of “gynephilia” is androphilia; an attraction toward masculinity.
Origin of the term
The first use of the term, in a slightly alternate form, was applied by Theocritus during the 3rd century BC.
He uses “gynaikophilias” in Idyll 8 to describe the lustful desires of Zeus pulling him toward women.
The word is a composite of the words gyne meaning woman and -philia meaning liking or love toward a thing, a person or a phenomenon.
Spread of the term
Sigmund Freud was one of the first people using the term in modern context, to describe one of his case studies; Dora.
Urban Dictionary has three definitions on “gynephilia” as of Aug 18th 2020, the earliest one being written in 2010, however it is actually describing gerontophilia, in which a younger male is attracted sexually toward an elderly woman.