Where to store select options


whats the rails way to store select options?
in the model? in a table for each select?

i think, the database table way is the best for me.
a plugin, which read in all values and save it in a cache.
with a observer pattern so invalidate if the table is changed.

is there a plugin for that?

another question:

whats the smart way to store the select option values
if have some keys for one value?

so ive got the key female and woman and women the value for this is w
in the database
the key depends on the which context i called it.

thanks to you