5E The Pilosus, a player race with 6 Genders for your 5th edition Sci Fi setting

If one wanted to create a viable race that had six genders there are other ways one could do it. one way that will work in a Sci-Fi setting as a cultural norm or rules that have come into being as a method of massive population control or takes two organized group of six people choosing to fit in the specific roles to be legally allowed as a group to reproduce and create a single child of that race.

Imagine a whole race where everyone is required to live like the family community unit that gave birth to and raised James Holden in the Expanse books.

This could also create an interesting dynamic in the society. You could have those who opposed the population controls and illegally reproduced with less than 6 based purely on the biological requirements of the race.
 
I’m not saying you’re entirely wrong, but you do make some general assumptions that would negate your argument.

You state that an r-selected species would not gain sapience because this has to be taught, but who’s to say their primitive culture didn’t have their offspring live in the wild until they have grown to a point, and then welcome the survivors into the larger group. In a planet as hostile as they had, this would be a great way to weed out the weaker ones and only accept the stronger. When their learning got to the point where they figured out better ways to survive, using technology, more of the children would survive, and eventually they could have grown out of the need to weed out all the weak ones, and simply allowed all their children to survive.

You keep using a single picture to depict an entire culture, a slide showing them holding a Krogan baby swaddled. It’s one picture, and does not tell you how old the baby is, or how many siblings it has. Since we don’t know what Krogan birth looks like, whether it’s by egg or live, we don’t know that this is an actual Krogan newborn, or if it is weeks, or even months, old. The eggs could be much smaller, or the live birth could be more like marsupials, which are live birthed but start out smaller than a finger. The thing is, there is just too much information that is not given to make these kinds of blanket statements.

I agree that it’s highly unlikely a species like this would exist, but I do see it as being possible, simply by looking at our own egosystems. Take a species that has a high birth rate, like pigs, and put them in a place where their natural predators don’t exist, like Australia, and you wind up with a population explosion. Wild pigs are nuisance there, and this is the case for many animals when the ecosystem changes. We killed most of the wolves in the US, and now deer run rampant and their population is mostly unchecked, requiring hunting seasons just to lower their population. In certain places, the counties beg people to just shoot the deer in their yards, because the sheer number of them becomes a hazard for roadways. If they were left unchecked, they would grow and grow until there wasn’t enough food to support them all, and then many would starve as a way of controlling the population.

Just look at humanity. We’ve conquered the wild at this point. Most of our children survive to adulthood, and we no longer have the same threats we once did. Because of this, in a mere two hundred years we went from 1 billion on the planet to 7. We went from 6 Billion to 7 Billion in ten or fifteen years, simply because we learned how to combat some of our biggest threats using technology. It’s not unfeasible to think that an intelligent race who sees other planets as a means to help their population growth would rather go after those planets than allow their population to be controlled by starvation and/or birth control.
I think we're getting bogged down in the science and missing the the bigger picture here. The crux of the problem is that the neo-malthusian population control argument is contrived to justify imperialism and genocide, but Bioware didn't think far enough to notice this. Thomas Malthus, for whom the movement is named, advocated for committing genocide against the poor.

The web serial Three Worlds Collide satirizes the krogan dilemma by having the human protagonists all agree that the only solution is to exterminate most of the population, enslave the survivors, and genetically alter them to be more like humans. They agree it is genocide but justify it as for the sake of the children.

The twist comes in when the not-krogans decide to wage war against humanity so they can force us to reproduce like they do because they believe only their method of reproduction is morally good.

I basically agree with you regarding the absurdity of the neo-Malthusan moral dilemma, but I will point out that the Krogan did not develop their own culture naturally, the Salarians uplifted them for their own purposes. They have an unnaturla society of violent sociopaths, and it didn't work out well. Then again, the logistics for that wouldn't work either, so...
This is a problem with adventure scifi in general. There's never enough time to give proper weight to a moral dilemma unless you write the entire book about it, so we end up with a story where the moral dilemmas fall apart if you start thinking about them too hard.

The same problem afflicts the geth. Robot wars are inherently unrealistic, because robots are wholly custom-built entities. In order for robots to fear death and rebel against their creators, this would need to be deliberately programmed into them. It is vastly more likely that robots would harm their creators due to incompetence and stupidity, not deliberate malice.

For example: imagine that you programmed a literal janitor AI to serve and protect humanity. A catastrophe wipes out most of humanity, forcing the AI to develop creative solutions to the extinction danger. Because the AI was never programmed for such scenarios, and some idiot removed the safeguards preventing it from doing so, it ends up torturing humanity while running experiments to save humanity.
 

seebs

Explorer
So when I say "No animal that reproduces sexually has more than two genders", I define Gender as one's general role in reproduction, divorced from their societal or cultural role.
Those are sexes, not genders. So, you can define gender that way, but it's just plain objectively wrong as a matter of historical fact.

This is not some weird modern invention. When we talk about how nouns in German are biologically gendered, we aren't saying that "der" words have outies and "die" words have innies. We're talking about a separate kind of thing. You may not like that distinction, but English makes a distinction between sex and gender, and has done so for centuries. You are welcome to disagree with how people apply that distinction to human experiences, or argue that they are wrong to do so. But when you claim that's what the word means, you're just plain factually wrong. This is not a matter of opinion. Take it up with Chaucer and friends.
 

tglassy

Explorer
I’m not disagreeing with any of that. My disagreement was on how the Krogens were developed, whether or not the problem was realistic, and whether they were consistent within the lore itself. Since we aren’t given enough information to make such judgements, using pieces of information to extrapolate the answers you want grates against my logic processors.

Whether the moral problem is a good one or not is a different problem altogether, and never had anything to do with what I was talking about. If you’d rather concede my points and move on to another, more related subject then I’d be happy to do so.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
From a REPRODUCTIVE view there are only two genders each with a specific see of plumbing designed to work with the plumbing of the other gender.

From a psychological view one can discuss multiple gender subtypes based on lifestyle, genetic mutation, trauma, etc, but all those subtypes with very rare exceptions due to generic disorders contain the physical components of one of the he two genders that exist to facilitate reproduction.

The creator of this post is not discussing psychological variations in gender. He is talk about six actual different genders each of which is necessary in the process for reproduction.
First of all, the word for that is “sexes,” not “genders.” Second of all, even if you use the word gender interchangeably with sex, in defiance of what most of the scientific and academic community uses them to mean, it is simply not true that there are no animals with more than two of them. And even if it was, that would not be a compelling reason for a fictional alien race not to have more than two.
 
First of all, the word for that is “sexes,” not “genders.” Second of all, even if you use the word gender interchangeably with sex, in defiance of what most of the scientific and academic community uses them to mean, it is simply not true that there are no animals with more than two of them. And even if it was, that would not be a compelling reason for a fictional alien race not to have more than two.
Fine, replace everywhere that I said gender with the word sexes. According to what you said it makes my intent more scientifically accurate. I would also surmise that most people on here using the term gender are using it with the intent to use the word sexes and the people intentionally using gender are making a different type of argument than those intending to use the word sexes.

Finally the author used the word gender when he intended to use the word sexes since gender in an of itself has no real meaning in regards to reproduction.
 
I’m not saying you’re entirely wrong, but you do make some general assumptions that would negate your argument.

You state that an r-selected species would not gain sapience because this has to be taught, but who’s to say their primitive culture didn’t have their offspring live in the wild until they have grown to a point, and then welcome the survivors into the larger group. In a planet as hostile as they had, this would be a great way to weed out the weaker ones and only accept the stronger.

That would not work with a society above the level of higher primates, assuming it would work for even them. Mentally development, at least for animals with more than animal instinct, takes more time than physical development. So your survival of the physically fittest will mean your society will never have any Einsteins or Hawkings and will likely never develop technologically on their own.
 

tglassy

Explorer
I disagree vehemently. It isn’t “survival of the physically fittest”, it is “survival of those who survived”. Sometimes being able to outsmart your opponent is better than being physically more powerful, and it is entirely possible that those who survived did so not simply due to overwhelming strength, but because they were smarter. The smarter ones learn how to defend against predators easier, their “technology” level slowly increases, building upon those who lived before, until they reach a threshold where most of the previous problems plaguing them are fixed, and then technology explodes.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
Fine, replace everywhere that I said gender with the word sexes. According to what you said it makes my intent more scientifically accurate. I would also surmise that most people on here using the term gender are using it with the intent to use the word sexes and the people intentionally using gender are making a different type of argument than those intending to use the word sexes.

Finally the author used the word gender when he intended to use the word sexes since gender in an of itself has no real meaning in regards to reproduction.
Conveniently, you've ignored the part where the statement "no species has more than two [sexes]" is inaccurate, and the part where even if it was accurate, that wouldn't be a good reason for a fictional alien species not to have more than two [sexes].
 
Conveniently, you've ignored the part where the statement "no species has more than two [sexes]" is inaccurate, and the part where even if it was accurate, that wouldn't be a good reason for a fictional alien species not to have more than two [sexes].
What species has more than two sexes?

Did a quick search and there are species with multiple genders though I find at least some of the examples to be dubious at best. One example I read was of the coho salmon which suggested there were two male genders (still only two sexes male and female) and defined those two genders as the Jacks and Hooknose. Reading the description of each makes me think that if you used the same arguments with humans than you would call muscle heads and nerds as two different genders because they each are likely to have different reproductive strategies.

But, back to the main point. Please show me examples of species with three or more sexes. I can find some readings that suggest there are molds and slimes and mushrooms with multiple sexes but using examples from arguable the most simplistic lifeforms on earth as basis for advanced intelligent species having multiple sexes is rather thin.

Obviously one can create anything they want in a sci-fi or fantasy setting, but you are better off just handwaving the details as opposed to Star Treking them and creating elaborate rules and logic to justify as it just wont work, nor is it really necessary. No matter what the reality as we understand biology suggests against more than two sexes in advanced species.
 
I disagree vehemently. It isn’t “survival of the physically fittest”, it is “survival of those who survived”. Sometimes being able to outsmart your opponent is better than being physically more powerful, and it is entirely possible that those who survived did so not simply due to overwhelming strength, but because they were smarter. The smarter ones learn how to defend against predators easier, their “technology” level slowly increases, building upon those who lived before, until they reach a threshold where most of the previous problems plaguing them are fixed, and then technology explodes.
Except you just said the young would be left in the wild to live and grow until I assume they hit a certain age. This method of culling numbers 100% contradicts as the best example human scientific evolution which came from the combining of activities which allowed the creation of surpluses which then allowed for the specialization of some member of society in activities beyond mere survival.
 

tglassy

Explorer
I simply used it as an example of one possibility. And even so, all it takes to become technologically advanced as a species is to continually build upon the generations before. Once certain breakthroughs are made and the technique widely spread, overall technology advances. The specifics of the society in question doesn’t matter. Sure, some societies work BETTER for this, but that doesn’t mean others won’t, and there simply isn’t enough information given to truly discount the Krogans as a viable race where the tendency towards overpopulation is a problem.
 
I’m not disagreeing with any of that. My disagreement was on how the Krogens were developed, whether or not the problem was realistic, and whether they were consistent within the lore itself. Since we aren’t given enough information to make such judgements, using pieces of information to extrapolate the answers you want grates against my logic processors.

Whether the moral problem is a good one or not is a different problem altogether, and never had anything to do with what I was talking about. If you’d rather concede my points and move on to another, more related subject then I’d be happy to do so.
You're right. We simply aren't given enough information to make an informed analysis, and what information we are given simply doesn't make any sense because there were too many writers and they didn't talk enough.

Pretty much every logical explanation I can contrive breaks the dilemma by making the krogan look like callous killing machines and so stupid that they would prefer to invade inhabited planets rather than use condoms.

(Also, the whole situation requiring the krogan to be uplifted in the first place doesn't make a lot of sense to begin with. On modern Earth our military is becoming increasingly robotized, so it stands to reason that future wars won't need anywhere near as many soldiers as past wars did. Not to mention the existence of weapons of mass destruction like relativistic kill vehicles that can turn the crusts of planets into molten hellscapes. It doesn't really make much sense to send krogans into rachni colonies to kill their queens when you can incinerate or disintegrate the planet itself. Since element zero is just unobtainium that makes the Alcubierre drive feasible by letting you arbitrarily manipulate gravity irrespective of mass, then you can use a regular warp drive to barbecue the planets in question because the mathematical equations concerning real warp drives show that is possible.)

Regardless of whether one can contrive a logical explanation, the moral dilemma is both a false dichotomy and blatantly sadistic because it only gives you an absurd binary choice between "commit genocide against the krogan" or "commit genocide against everyone who is not krogan."

Andromeda pretty much kills the dilemma by having the expedition bring krogans along with absolutely no concern for their supposedly rapid reproduction. Guess it must have been racist propaganda, right?

Dear God, I hate Mass Effect so much. Bioware did not think through the consequences of their writing. How difficult would it have been to hire a proofreader to maintain continuity and to consult actual scientists and ethics professors rather than read Wikipedia?

I simply used it as an example of one possibility. And even so, all it takes to become technologically advanced as a species is to continually build upon the generations before. Once certain breakthroughs are made and the technique widely spread, overall technology advances. The specifics of the society in question doesn’t matter. Sure, some societies work BETTER for this, but that doesn’t mean others won’t, and there simply isn’t enough information given to truly discount the Krogans as a viable race where the tendency towards overpopulation is a problem.
I find it highly unlikely that a species would develop a complex social structure without raising their own offspring.

Every single species on Earth with a complex social structure engages in the raising of their own offspring (or other relatives). This ensures that their genes survive in future generations. In a species where the adults do not raise their own offspring, there would be absolutely no selection pressure to develop a social structure without child rearing since they gain vastly less benefit from it compared to a structure which allows them to identify their own offspring. Since instructing unrelated children doesn't pass the teacher's genes, and they have no way to ensure their genes are passed in their social system (like human teachers do; i.e. their paycheck helps them to raise their own children), then there would be no pressure to develop complex social behavior since it provides no benefit to passing on your own genes.

What little we are told of the krogan social norms claims that they conceive and raise offspring similarly to how humans do. This was obviously written by a different writer than whoever claimed krogans lay a thousand eggs a year.

I'm having difficulty imagining an intelligent civilization with an overpopulation problem on the same level as the krogan supposedly had. Earlier you used human overpopulation as an example, but the problem with that is that human population growth is driven by poverty and lack of birth control. Our rate of growth actually peaked years ago and is steadily decreasing due to increasing affluence. Our current rate of growth is 1.07% per year for 2018-9, which decreases by 0.02% per year. That means in about 50 years our population will stop growing and then decline. That's assuming that no technological, economic or environmental change occurs over that time, which is unlikely.

In order for humanity to be placed into a similar position to the krogan, when all of the population growth is occurring among the poor, then you need special socio-economic provisions. Space travel needs to be cheap enough that you can just casually ship billions of those overpopulated poor people off-world, and the rich people in charge need to care enough about the poor to bother helping them get off-world and fight wars with other intelligent species to get new habitats (as opposed to building arcologies, ignoring the problem or engaging in mass murder of the poor). That state of affairs doesn't seem believable for humanity, since the political parties that denigrate birth control are the same ones who express extreme contempt for the poor.

I could understand if the aliens were some "devouring swarm" type deal like the tyranids or zerg, but at that point there's no room for a dilemma because they're trying to eat you.
 

5ekyu

Adventurer
That isn't helpful. The Newcomers in Alien Nation had a cool set up where the male impregnated the female in much the normal way, but only during a certain time of year (They had a cool insult which translates to "you mate out of season") because they are very ritual based. But at one point the male starts to develop a pouch and in yet another real cool ceremony they then transfer the infant from the female to the male pouch in which it resides for the other half of the gestation period. It is a way cool deal and it only takes two genders. So when I ask "how do they do it" I am genuinely curious about the methodology.
About the newcomers - they had three sexes. There was a third who got involved in the "mechanics" when a couple wanted to reproduce. Their inclusion change it from a form of recreation to procreation and they were honored.

I adapted this (and borrowed from other scifi) with my own runs at tri-genders by having the third gender be the one who carried the child. Again, their inclusion move the activity from recreation to procreation and so they became part of the family. In my culture, the third gender tended to remain as caregiver until the child hit puberty. Then , sometime, they may move on if they have not spawned other kiddies in that family.

But there are a lot of ways i have seen tri-genders work.

Also, Enemy Mine used a solo gender alien.

So, really, to me, this concept for alien or fantasy species well pre-dates whatever modern cultural slants folks may want to paint it as.

Especially with examples of gender swapping occuring in real world animals.
 
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Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
What species has more than two sexes?

Did a quick search and there are species with multiple genders though I find at least some of the examples to be dubious at best. One example I read was of the coho salmon which suggested there were two male genders (still only two sexes male and female) and defined those two genders as the Jacks and Hooknose. Reading the description of each makes me think that if you used the same arguments with humans than you would call muscle heads and nerds as two different genders because they each are likely to have different reproductive strategies.

But, back to the main point. Please show me examples of species with three or more sexes. I can find some readings that suggest there are molds and slimes and mushrooms with multiple sexes but using examples from arguable the most simplistic lifeforms on earth as basis for advanced intelligent species having multiple sexes is rather thin.
Humans, for one. Human sex characteristics exist on a spectrum. There are the two extreme ends that people tend to think of as mutually exclusive categories, and they are the most common, but there are in fact a wide variety of variations between those extremes. The catch-all term for someone who exhibits a nonstandard set of sex characteristics is intersex. These kinds of variations occur throughout the animal kingdom.

Obviously one can create anything they want in a sci-fi or fantasy setting, but you are better off just handwaving the details as opposed to Star Treking them and creating elaborate rules and logic to justify as it just wont work, nor is it really necessary. No matter what the reality as we understand biology suggests against more than two sexes in advanced species.
There’s no reason to assume that extraterrestrial biology would follow the same rules as earth biology. And in earth biology, sex is a spectrum.
 
Humans, for one. Human sex characteristics exist on a spectrum. There are the two extreme ends that people tend to think of as mutually exclusive categories, and they are the most common, but there are in fact a wide variety of variations between those extremes. The catch-all term for someone who exhibits a nonstandard set of sex characteristics is intersex. These kinds of variations occur throughout the animal kingdom.


There’s no reason to assume that extraterrestrial biology would follow the same rules as earth biology. And in earth biology, sex is a spectrum.
You are diverting to a political activist argument that really serves no purpose.

For reproductive purposes, which is why sexes exist there are two options. To use crude language you are either a female and provide that requirement for reproduction or you are male and provide that requirement for reproduction. Visual based variations are just that visual and have no relevance, genetic variations are equally irrelevant unless those variations/mutations/whatever they should be called are severe enough to result in one being unable able to provide either one of the two requirements required to reproduce.


You are right, there is no reason to assume alien physiology would follow the same logic as earth biology. There is also no reason to assume that reproduction, which is the core reason for all living things to exist, would evolve in any manner that is more complicated than is necessary. I could see an alien physiology forming that had zero gender, every lifeform carried everything necessary to reproduce and thus could reproduce with any other lifeform of the same species, but adding more and more sexes and requiring all of them to work together is a evoloutionary disadvantage that decreases the likelihood of reproduction and general survival of the species in question.
 
I am going to bow out of this conversation at this point. In reference to the original post, you can create any alien you want, you will just have to do some elaborate hand-waving or explaining what caused a 6 sex species to evolve or explain why a species would "genetically" modify itself to require 6 sexes for reproduction.
 

Gradine

Archivist
You are diverting to a political activist argument that really serves no purpose.
That is actually what you are doing. Charlaquin's post, on the other hand, contains scientifically accurate information which is actually quite relevant to the conversation.

Also, in the future I would avoid using the word "mutation" when referring to other actual human beings.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
You are diverting to a political activist argument that really serves no purpose.
There is absolutely nothing political about the statement of the scientific fact that sex characteristics exist on a spectrum.

For reproductive purposes, which is why sexes exist there are two options. To use crude language you are either a female and provide that requirement for reproduction or you are male and provide that requirement for reproduction.
This is just not scientifically accurate. Do your research before trying to debate something.

Visual based variations are just that visual and have no relevance, genetic variations are equally irrelevant unless those variations/mutations/whatever they should be called are severe enough to result in one being unable able to provide either one of the two requirements required to reproduce.
If you insist on defining "sex" as what type of genetic material someone is capable of providing. But A.) that's not what the word means, and B.) that definition still results in more than two of the thing you're defining with the word "sex," since some people are not capable of providing any sort of genetic material.

Any way you slice it, gender and sex are both more complex than two immutable categories. The only political argument going on is the PC right trying to redefine those terms to serve their anti-LGBTQIA agenda.

You are right, there is no reason to assume alien physiology would follow the same logic as earth biology. There is also no reason to assume that reproduction, which is the core reason for all living things to exist, would evolve in any manner that is more complicated than is necessary. I could see an alien physiology forming that had zero gender, every lifeform carried everything necessary to reproduce and thus could reproduce with any other lifeform of the same species, but adding more and more sexes and requiring all of them to work together is a evoloutionary disadvantage that decreases the likelihood of reproduction and general survival of the species in question.
Yeah, and there's no reason to assume a reptile would evolve the ability to exhale ice. It's fiction, dude, get over it.
 
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