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Similar in meaning to pansy, or to nancyboy or poofter outside the United States.

"Sissy" is, approximately, the male converse of tomboy (a girl with masculine traits or interests), but carries more strongly negative connotations.

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In the United States, the Comedy Central television series South Park inverted its meaning in a 2014 episode titled The Cissy, which lampooned the controversy over transgender students' use of school restrooms; In his The "Sissy Boy Syndrome" and the Development of Homosexuality (1987), the sexologist Richard Green compared two groups of boys: one group was conventionally masculine; the other group, who Green called "feminine boys" and other children called "sissy", engaged in doll play and other behavior typical for girls.

In his 15-year longitudinal study, Green looked at cross-gender behavior in boys who later turned out to be transgender, or homosexual as well as a control group, and analyzed such features as interest in sports, playroom toy preferences, doll-play fantasy, physical behavior ("acting like a girl" vs rough-and-tumble play), cross-dressing, and psychological behavior,and reaction to atypical behavior.

Research published in 2015 suggests that the terms are asymmetrical in their power to stigmatize: sissy is almost always pejorative and conveys greater severity, while tomboy rarely causes as much concern but also elicits pressure to conform to normative gender roles.

Sissy (or sis) can also be a relationship nickname formed from sister, given to girls to indicate their role in the family, especially the oldest female sibling.

Good students were taunted as sissies and clothing styles associated with higher social classes were demeaned as sissified.

Among members of a Detroit youth gang in 1938-39, sissy was "the ultimate slur" used to tease and taunt other boys, as a rationalization for violence against rivals, and as an excuse for not observing the dictums of middle-class decorum and morality.

By the 1930s, "there was no more damning insult than to be called a sissy" and the word was widely used by American football coaches and sports writers to disparage rival teams and encourage ferocious player behavior.

The use of the word sissy was "ubiquitous" among delinquent American youth of the 1930s; the term was used to provoke boys to join gangs, demean boys who violated group norms, force compliance with the mandates of masculinity, and justify violence (including sexual violence) against younger and weaker children.

Furthermore, Kentucky has Common Law marriage laws in terms of recognizing them from states allowing them only for the purpose of awarding workers’ compensation benefits.

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