Data's Sexuality

Discussion in 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' started by Yvaine, Jul 20, 2014.

  1. GalaxyX

    GalaxyX Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jan 28, 2004
    That seems to be what the show implied.

    It's true that we are programmed as well. However, our programming is not even remotely close to Data's programming. At least not emotionchipless Data.

    I don't think right now we even have an inkling as to why certain things feel pleasurable to the brain, and others painful.

    And really it's all about how certain chemicals interact with certain neurons in the brain.

    So really nobody knows. Why is eating an ice cream so pleasurable? Why is having sex so pleasurable? Sure we know the evolutionary theories, which make sense. But they don't explain why the brain interprets certain signals as desired, and others as undesirable.

    IF Soong really had this deep understanding of the brain, perhaps he could have given Data those traits as well.

    However, it seems that even in the 24th century, the Brain is only slightly less mysterious than it is today.

    I don't think it was due to any sexual urges though. It was more like a curiosity of "what does Tasha want to do with me?" "Oh, so she mounts me and gets pleasure from that? fascinating!" :lol:
  2. Ithekro

    Ithekro Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Apr 5, 2012
    Republic of California
    No, what I mean is Data became intoxicated from the disease that people were getting. He got it from Yar, thought he mentions sweat glands which given them a clue how to treat it.
  3. 2takesfrakes

    2takesfrakes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Oct 13, 2013
    California, USA
    "They" wrote Data fast & loose, for a long time thoughout TNG: in NAKED NOW, he's capable of getting a disease. In other episodes, later on, he's put into situations where his being an android means he's safe from getting disease. We see Data with the top of his head unscrewed; we see his mechanical innards, from time to time and yet ... he can still get a buzz from alcohol, once his emotion chip's installed. It all seems to revolve around letting Brent Spiner in on the fun, or not.

    As far as having fun in the sack would go, for being fully functional went, it was kind of wasted on the poor bastard, when you think about it. He's only "known" 2 (two) women, that we're aware of. He was kind of dating that one woman for a while, but I was under the impression it was more "Dinner & a Movie" kind of "romance," rather than being intimate, in that regard. So it doesn't really matter what his sexuality was. In all the years we've known him he was almost never in a position to do much of anything about it - any which way.
  4. Kobayshi Maru

    Kobayshi Maru Commodore

    Jul 6, 2014
    There is a case to be made that just because a machine mimics perfectly the behavior of a man, doesn't mean that it is anything more than a machine. For example, I know that I am conscious but in the absolute I don't know if anyone else is. I only presume that they are because we are members of the same species and have 99,99 percent of our DNA in common. So I conclude along with pretty much everybody that has even asked themselves the question, that every one else is also conscious and self-aware. But if someone built a very convincing remote controlled automaton imitating macroscopically a man to the smallest detail, there would be no way to tell that he's not a sentient being. Because we don't have any device measuring self-awareness or conscience...
  5. Endgame

    Endgame Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Jul 12, 2010
    Burnaby, BC Canada
    "Stars move, machines function, animals behave, and human beings conduct themselves." (Perhaps from "Ideology and Insanity" by Thomas Szasz.

    If an android were truly chemically equal to humans, then he/she would have emotions. Could he/she behave though?

    Emotions are measured by psychologists by: direct measurement such as blood samples or brain scans; inference from behaviour such as anger studied from aggressive behavior; and, self-report such as people explaining the phenomenology of an emotion or answering questionnaires or keeping journals.

    If Data could understand all of the cognitive science of emotion without actually feeling emotion, then, he could emulate the last two measures of emotion without experiencing the first measure of emotion.

    If Data were fully functional sexually, then this would mean sex role socialization, gender role socialization, and sexual orientation. Keeping in mind that he is "passing" as a human. Would he be a walking sex manual with parenting somehow programmed in too?

    Perhaps if he had a 'Control-P' function, humans would finally have the perfect education in sexuality and parenting! Would we really want the "perfect" manual though?

    In response to "Kobayashi Maru" though, has Spock yet learned what "Exact Change" only means?
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2014
  6. letsconsiderit

    letsconsiderit Ensign Red Shirt

    Mar 5, 2016
    Velara III
    I think Data would be open to all experience and then make Picard very awkward by trying to talk to him about it. in the episode where Data's mother turns up (inheritance s07e10) she does say that dr soong gave him a sexuality programme, and she inferred that it was heterosexual, she also inferred that they were never sure if it worked though
  7. Longinus

    Longinus Commodore Commodore

    Sep 2, 2008
    I don't think Data really had any sexuality beyond mimicking what he saw others doing. Jenna D'Sora initiated the relationship, and Data decided to go along with it. As others have said, it wouldn't have played out any differently had it been a man instead of her. Also, in that episode we saw that it really didn't work anyway.
  8. Kor

    Kor Admiral Admiral

    Jul 31, 2001
    Dahar Master final exams
    I must say, I always groan and roll my eyes at the "was that good for you?" exchange between the Borg Queen and Data in Star Trek: First Contact.

    Edit: Oh wait, this is a necrothread. Never mind.

    Last edited: Apr 2, 2016
  9. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Vice Admiral Admiral

    Nov 20, 2012
    There's a switch on his back, next to his off switch.
    letsconsiderit likes this.
  10. Terok Nor

    Terok Nor Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jul 26, 2015
    Rigel VII
    I also think of Data as asexual. Although I consider him a sentient individual I was always bothered by the relationship with that Jenna woman. To me that episode is the story of a sad and lonely woman spending far too much time with her highly advanced vibrator and still not getting any.
  11. Mojochi

    Mojochi Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Aug 18, 2007
    ^She does kind of come off as delusional
    letsconsiderit likes this.
  12. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

    May 10, 2005
    The visitor's bullpen
    As for Jenna: IIRC, she was already on the rebound when she met Data. So she was in an unfortunate situation from the get-go, and Data - in all his innocence - couldn't see that. So that relationship was basically doomed.
  13. Tomalak

    Tomalak Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jun 22, 2003
    Yeah, it was a rebound. She was vulnerable, and he would be incapable of hurting her emotionally. She thought she wanted a "man" she could mould to her desires, but then ultimately realised it was empty because Data had no feelings for her, and could never have any. Aside from his memory engrams becoming accustomed to her. She was just another experiment to be analysed by his positronic brain.
  14. CrazyMatt

    CrazyMatt Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Feb 21, 2013
    Sitting in Kirk's command chair
    Didn't she know that Data was robosexual?
  15. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

    May 10, 2005
    The visitor's bullpen
    Jenna and Data had a lot in common, they shared many of the same interests (including music), so maybe she thought she could build a relationship on that. And as Data pointed out, Jenna's last boyfriend wasn't very emotional either, so she seems to gravitate towards that type.
  16. Green Shirt

    Green Shirt Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Feb 1, 2005
    No wonder Spot kept running away. :ack:
  17. Antonovus

    Antonovus Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Mar 25, 2016
    Data is a machine that progressed to develop some human traits. His behavior is depicted as lying in gray area between heteronormativity and asexuality. I think the same could be said about Lore. Perhaps if Data had lived longer, I'm sure his sexuality could have 'evolved' into something outside of that spectrum.

    Someone should write 50 shades of Data.....I jest. :)
    borgboy likes this.
  18. DroleData

    DroleData Ensign Newbie

    May 11, 2016
    So is Data asexual because he "has no sexual desires" of his own; he only has sex when prompted by a partner? And I know that "In Theory" seemed to determine that he could not feel romantic love, but I always thought he had some for Tasha: he cherished her hologram and spoke fondly of their intimacy and bond after her death. Or perhaps that was just because their night together made him EXTREMELY aware of her sensory input patterns?
  19. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

    May 10, 2005
    The visitor's bullpen
    All sentient beings - including Data - will have some form of desire.

    Data was clearly capable of forming friendships, even pre-emotion chip, so I saw no reason not to think he would want a romantic relationship (a real one, not the farce he had with Jenna) some day.

    And that's a good point about Tasha. Data guarded the privacy of the time they had together, so he clearly cared about her. And if he was capable of caring and friendship, he could be romantic as well. Even if he didn't know it at the time.
    Last edited: May 11, 2016
  20. JesterFace

    JesterFace Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jun 1, 2014
    Suomi Finland
    How sure can we be of that... If it's in his programming.