The Fa'afafine, Gender Benders in Samoa; On Cultural Construction of Gender and Role Change is a study of the gender liminal males in Samoa. The fieldwork took place in the capital Apia, from January until July 2001. The dissertation relies heavily on my interaction and conversations with fa'afafine informants, most of them between the ages of 17 and 30. The two primary objectives of the research have been, firstly, to study how and in what way the gender role of the fa'afafine can be perceived as a culture specific construction, and secondly, to focus on how the fa'afafine role appears to have changed over the past decades, and more importantly, how the gender role seems to continue to change. In connection with these overriding goals, I have researched three subtopics: how the fa'afafine gender identity can be perceived as a social role, which criteria are fundamental in order to define a fa'afafine gender identity, and lastly, which attitudes concerning the fa'afafine prevail among Samoans in Apia. Schema theory and the perception of the fa'afafine gender identity as a social role based on scripts are basic for this dissertation. Schema theory is used to explain the variance and change within the gender liminal role of the fa'afafine. I argue that there is a cultural model for gender in Samoa, where the schema for the fa'afafine gender identity influences fa'afafine's behavior and causes fa'afafine to have certain behavioral traits in common. Fa'afafine are generally recognized by their feminine behavior and physical appearance, and they typically express homosexual interest in gender conforming men. I propose that the cultural model for gender in Samoa is changing as a consequence of Western influence. I argue that the fa'afafine gender is increasingly viewed as emotionally based rather than behaviorally based, which is a common Western perception of gender. A consequence of this new gender-defining criterion is that the fa'afafine identity is rendered inborn and permanent instead of temporary. Also, fa'afafine appear to identify more easily with previously foreign concepts such as "gay" and "homosexual", which are concepts that emphasize the sexual aspect of the gender identity rather than the behavioral aspect.