Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by raynalies, May 8, 2016.
What is reverse polygamous?
I'm going to guess it's one female with multiple male mates.
That's still just polygamy.
This. Usually when people read polygamy they think of Mormons or harems and the usual, and I wanted to suggest the alternate in a succinct way.
I want weekly alien races to have unusual customs and occasionally ones that really stretch our comfort zones. This is supposed to be science-fiction, after all.
Actually, none of that has anything to do with the reproduction system I described in my post. Regardless of the different terminology, it still boils down to it requiring two males and two females to produce offspring. Now, one could come up with a totally different system that doesn't involve any male or female analogues though...
It may be just that Andorians think in terms of quartets rather than couples. Four's company, five's a crowd...
Just to be clear:
Polygamy - Male or Female with multiple spouses
Polyandry - Female with husbands
Polygyny - Male with multiple wives.
But yes I would prefer Andorians as having a non-analogous four sex mating system. But then again Data does specifically mention an Andorian female. This an other evidence would then lean towards a group marriage system.
I can buy a group-marriage system, but I just can't wrap my head around a biology that requires DNA for more than two individuals to procreate.
Why? Humans are weird to asexual reproducing beings for needing more than just their own DNA.
I think if we try we can see three sexed Vissians and four sexed Andorians and others still. What if Kreetasans mate by four different chosen males puzzle-piece fertilizing a female and without five distinct forms of DNA, chromosomes don't fully form in the zygote?
And how the hell do Changelings mate given they can exist as different forms of matter and energy - i.e. flesh, wood, fog, and fire?! No standard DSA there. And are they made by one, two, five, or 50,000 others in the Great Link?''
Ditto the Tholians -- they're crystalline beings with seemingly lava running through their exoskeletons.
I though that biologically speaking multi sexed species are going to be more rare because of the logistics in getting a group of five(or whatever) together and mating. In other words the more individuals required to complete the reproduction process the more likely it is on will be killed off and you will be unable to complete the process.
Generally speaking, natural selection is going to favor species that require fewer mates to complete the reproductive process. However, there are a lot of variables and this would change planet to planet. So while a four sex Andorian species is not out of the realm of possibility it would just be much more rare than the two sex species.
Polygamy is an umbrella term that includes polyGYNY (one husband, multiple wives) and polyandry (one wife, multiple husbands). In essence, in both types of polygamy, the sex that contains the multiple spouses are monogamous, having only one spouse of the other sex, while the sex that has no co-spouses of the same sex, is the only one who is functionally polygamous.
Polyamory, a more recent configuration, can have multiple spouses of both sexes where they may or may not sexually interact with all members, regardless of what sex they are.
My real error here is I should have said "I'm going to guess Arpy means" instead of "I'm going to guess."
Because yes, I actually DO know all those terms and what they mean.
The way I understand is this definition fits within polygamy too. The distinction between polyamory and polygamy is that polygamy involves marriages, while polyandry does not. So dating* multiple people at once would be polyamory(with or without sex). This would also include a married person dating people other than their spouse. It only becomes polygamy once more than one marriage is contracted.
Additionally, anciently humans were more along the lines of what you describe above. Looking at our biology, psychology, and the traditions of hunter gatherer tribes, we see that our mating system was much more similar to that of bonobos than other primates. This means that or natural state of mating is one in which multiple males mate with multiple females in a tribal family structure. Of course culture throws a monkey wrench into the whole thing.
*dating being a more modern social construct; this also include whatever historic, ancient, and prehistoric humans accepted as the mate selection practice at any given time and place.
I always took Data's line about Andorian marriages in groups of four to refer to the ceremony, and not genders.
A species with only a single "gender" would have an advantage?
Alien Nation had two genders, but required a third participant to supply a catalyst to conceive a child. This individual wasn't a part of a marriage, but was invited over to the house when a pregnacy was desired.
A species that can breed by itself will likely survive more so than a species than a species that requires four individuals to procreate a single being.
Those must be some robust genes, for asexual reproduction to be viable as the only means to perpetuate a complex species.
But I must admit that I don't know much about such things... somehow I managed to go through high school and college without ever taking a biology class.
You know something? If there ARE four genders, this could explain the differences in appearance between the various types of Andorians we've seen onscreen over the years. TOS vs. TMP vs. ENT. (I have in mind the type and location of antennae, not skin color.)
Only problem is, ENT seemed to suggest only two genders needed to produce an Andorian child...
Might be there are just two genders (or three, or one that likes to crossdress) but plenty of races. Or whachamacallem highly distinctive phenotypes anyhow.
It's pretty dull to have each humanoid species out there flaunt the exact same racial characteristics as us Earthlings. Bajorans and Vulcans at least suffer from this lack of imagination. Perhaps in Andorians, skin color and nose shape is universal but the shape of the antennae varies greatly? Perhaps in Tellarites, it's the hands/claws?
Of course, the other stock answer is that any exceptional-looking Andorian or Tellarite is in fact a hybrid.
Or Andorian pairs can breed like most Earth mammals, but have low birth rates. Added the second pair or types causes some sort of biochemical difference that increase the number of young produced at any once time.
Something like paired Andorians give birth to one child, but two sets of paired Andorians can give birth to four and thus be able to keep the population up even if birth rates are down.
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