Battle of the (Andorian) Sexes

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Bry_Sinclair, Jan 10, 2012.

?

Do the Andorians have two or four sexes?

Poll closed Jan 31, 2012.
  1. They are a TWO gendered species.

    12 vote(s)
    31.6%
  2. They are a FOUR gendered species.

    18 vote(s)
    47.4%
  3. No strong feelings one way or the other.

    8 vote(s)
    21.1%
  1. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    This issue has sparked an argument at another site, it has been settled. But it got me thinking what others out there thought. This is meant as a straight forward poll, so please don't get personal.

    The Andorians, are they just a two-sexed race or a four-sexed one (like from the DS9 relaunch)?

    The poll will close at the end of January.

    Thank you.
     
  2. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    A throwaway line in "Data's Day" had him stating that Andorian marriages consisted of groups of four, but nothing more was said on the matter (it didn't need to be, seeing as how it wasn't a major plot point but rather to help fill out the universe a little more with some trivial information). Though this doesn't say that there are four genders, I like the concept, as it makes the Andorians immediately different from many other species in the Trekverse.

    The point was then raised about Shran, Jhamel and Talla, and that there was no other mention of additional parents (or any more listed on Memory Alpha). My thoughts on this are that though all four genders are needed to conceive a child, not all four parents are needed to raise the child and can be done by either one, two, three or (in some cases) all four. So for Shran adn Jhamel, the other two were little more than surrogates and/or donators.

    After all there is no listing for Ezri Tigan (and her brothers) having a father, but it assumed that they would--unless her mother underwent artificial insemination.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2012
  3. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    It really can work both ways. Two of the sexes are outwardly female. Two of the sexes are outwardly male. I would not have been surprised, had ENT writers decided to make use of the DS9 Relaunch set-up, that Shran, the almost androgynous Tholos, the tall, butch fem Tarah and the more flirty Talas could have made a great bond group.

    If the Andorians are not a four-sexed race, then all of the Relaunch is wrong. If they are a four-sexed group, nothing in canonical ST is in conflict.

    See the novel "The Good That Men Do" and Memory Beta. Memory Alpha can only reference canonical (as aired) material.

    http://memory-beta.wikia.com/wiki/Hravishran_th%27Zoarhi

    Again, Memory Alpha only references canonical material. If it wasn't mentioned in an episode, MA can't make it up.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2012
  4. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    It is canon they marry in groups of four, and while that may not necessarily mean four genders, there's no reason to assume otherwise either. Clearly someone at Pocket Books chose to intepret it that way, and I see nothing wrong with this interpretation.

    But I'm sure someone will show up momentarily to say that just because Data's Day says they marry in groups of four doesn't mean that is so. After all, terms like "marry" or "groups" or "four" are vague and generic and can mean almost anything given the context. Or something.
     
  5. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    In the future, all words will have completely different meaning, except those words that prove your point.

    In the old "Alien Nation" TV series, the aliens had three genders, the usual boy and girl, plus another gender that provided a catalyst for fetilization to occure. The catalyst gender were rare in the population (two percent?), and didn't enter into marriages. When a couple wished to conceive, the third gender would be invited over for "dinner."

    I voted for four genders, it would give the Andorians special diversity, and not just be more Humans with blue skin.

    IDIC.

    :)
     
  6. Satyrquaze

    Satyrquaze Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Four Genders. Sure, why not?
     
  7. Paper Moon

    Paper Moon Commander Red Shirt

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    I like the idea of four genders, for the same reasons that others have brought up. Also, it does explain why we never see half-Andorians (not that this needs explaining, but still). One would assume that it would be difficult for a non-Andorian to conceive with a single Andorian...

    It also might explain why we see so few Andorians in Starfleet; with 4-person marriages, one might assume that family life is more complicated, and therefore harder to leave to go serve on a starship. But, of course, that's just conjecture.
     
  8. Methos

    Methos Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    four works for me, but i don't really have strong feelings either way on it really...

    four genders would be cool though, but ST is hardly going to go into depth about the mating rituals of aliens lol

    M
     
  9. captcalhoun

    captcalhoun Admiral Admiral

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  10. Ricky Spanish

    Ricky Spanish Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Sounds much like the background on the alien-of-the-week from the episode Cogenitor.
     
  11. Dr. San Guinary

    Dr. San Guinary Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Data said that Andorian marriages typically operated in groups of four, "unless...." - unfortunately we never heard what he was going to say after that. AFAIK, that was never followed up on, not even in the novels.
     
  12. DrCorby

    DrCorby Commander Red Shirt

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    Four genders has been very interesting in the relaunch novels. I never watched enough Enterprise to know if it contradicted the four-gender paradigm.
     
  13. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    There is also a fascinating and extensive extrapolation of the Andorian race from the 70s by fanfic/filksong writer, Leslie Fish:
    http://andorfiles.blogspot.com/2009/09/summary-of-physiological-roots-of.html

    The DS9 Relaunch was not at liberty to use her material, of course (although two TNG novels, "Metamorphosis" and "The Eyes of the Beholder", did use a few references from her work), but the Pocket editors were aware that Ms Fish had postulated three Andorian sexes. (It is also possible that Data's line in TNG made use of "fanon" that Andorians had a different reproductive cycle than most other humanoids.)

    Fish's Andorians are born male or female and pass through a "neuter" stage. Fertilization for reproduction is similar to seahorses, with males carrying the embryo for some time. In one of her fanfics about TAS Andorian, Mr Thelin ("Yesteryear"), she connects him to seemingly-male Ambassador Shras of "Journey to Babel" (TOS), whom Thelin refers to as his "Aunt Shras".

    The other big difference between Fish's material and the DS9 Relaunch Andorians is that Fish blames chronic overpopulation for Andorians' warrior culture, while DS9 novels say that Andor is suffering from underpopulation which will lead to extinction if the problems of a four-sex paradigm can't be resolved.

    BTW, a recent ST novel has suggested that greyish Mr Thelin (miscolored in TAS due to the colorblind director - the script specified he should be blue) was part Aenar.

    Captain Lisa Cusak, late of the USS Olympia, tells the USS Defiant crew that she was once in a (presumed childless) relationship with an Andorian civilian for six years. He was working on Andor with the Agricultural Ministry and disconcerted her, at their first meetings, by always pointing his antennae at her ("The Sound of Her Voice", DS9).
     
  14. tighr

    tighr Commodore Commodore

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    In TNG's The Offspring, Lal chooses between several different likenesses. One of them is an Andorian female. She did not specify a type of female, nor were the other races she chose (Humans and Klingons) referred to in a different way. I extrapolate out that her choices were only between male and female Andorians.

    Therefore, I believe there to be only two sexes.

    Species 8472 has at least 5 genders, however. And that is canon!
     
  15. Skywalker

    Skywalker Admiral Admiral

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    I like the four-gendered idea. It makes them more alien.
     
  16. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    I don't know about that one. After all, Enterprise showed us that in the 22nd century the Andorians had their own space navy. If Andorians were willing to commit to starship life then, I don't see how joining Starfleet would be any different.
     
  17. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    IIRC, we join the scene with Troi after Lal and Data have already eliminated lots of selections, leaving only male human, female human, male Klingon and the Andorian. Perhaps the holodeck computer had already asked Lal to specify which type of female Andorian would be the finalist?
     
  18. Mysterion

    Mysterion Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Two genders under the Leslie Fish model mentioned by Therin up-thread.
     
  19. Admiral Shran

    Admiral Shran Admiral Admiral

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    I prefer to think they have two sexes but that Andorian marriages consist of two couples.
     
  20. Paper Moon

    Paper Moon Commander Red Shirt

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    Ooh, I like this idea... I wonder how the selection process would occur... same-sex pairs of best friends choose same-sex pairs of best friends of the opposite sex? A pre-existing hetero couple finds a socioeconomically viable mirror couple?

    Hmm, I see your point. But perhaps the Andorian navy had been designed to take multiple members of the same marriage group together as a single "package." And since this would be a cultural requirement grounded in biology, Andorian culture would see it as "normal." It would be "the way things are."

    Also, while the Kumari was obviously seen far away from Andoria, do we know how much of a range most of the Andorian navy had? Maybe serving on an Andorian starship in the 22nd century wouldn't entail the same lengths of time away from home and family that serving on a Starfleet starship in the 23rd or 24th centuries would.