The Odyssey shows two instances of Athena engaging in gender-bending. This was necessary because of the low status of Ancient Greek women. Though the Greeks made a goddess the patron of wisdom.
She assumed the guise of a two wise men to advise Odysseus’s son Telemachus how to rule Ithaca and his household. These two men were family friends and Athena used their forms to get Telemachus to listen to her. These mythic episodes brought the term “mentor” into the language.
I’m surprised there aren’t more instances of Athena using gender-bending. Perhaps the Ancient Greeks didn’t want to admit they wouldn’t recognize the voice of wisdom when it spoke?
Most times she gives heroes advice as herself. It’s as if a female must have divine prerogative to speak out in Ancient Greek society. The male Olympians could amuse themselves in mortal guise and still be heard. A goddess has a voice as a goddess but needs to assume the form of a man if she wants anyone to listen to her as a mortal.
Basically Athena did this to move freely in human society and see them in their natural state. She could awe them into respecting her as a goddess but it would’ve been too troublesome to go about as a mortal maiden. That’s why she used the form of respected family friends and elders to speak her piece.
These episodes are necessities of the narrative. There is no hint she has any proclivities she wants to indulge with her male disguises. The fact she has to disguise herself makes me wonder why they bothered having a Goddess and not a God of Wisdom. Then again she might’ve had to learn to be “crafty” to get her way instead of blasting everyone who ignored her.
However, that doesn’t mean Athena never lost her patience. I dramatize this in “The Weft and Warp of Hubris” in A Heart for Hubris.