# How to achieve physical gender equality? [closed]

Now, I am constructing a human-like civilization that has more advanced technology than our own. They share genes through sexual reproduction.

I hope in this world, there will be fewer rapes caused by physical difference. And in daily life, male|female will not be influence by the difference of strength (either inherently no difference, or the difference is offset by some technique), they also don't need to consider it.

How I can achieve this?

In addition, I don't means everyone need to be superman. One person can still be physically bullied by a group of people.

P.S. It can be achieved by some technique armour and something like energy shield powered by WPT.

1. improving laws
2. external fertilization( eliminate the asymmetrical impact of reproduction )
3. hermaphrodites, no gender, transgender in biology
4. go digital
5. Pheromones
6. Govern control( Monitoring Everyone )
7. bonobos-like

Someone said this question is unclear, So below is my detailed description to my world.(not my answer to this question !!!)

I aimed to create a martial arts world close to ancient Chinese (also have modern technique), every individual can become superman through something like QiGong (or yoga). Maybe super-super-superman can go digital at last by QiGong (I know it's anti-science).

But there are ordinary people too, I hope they won't worry about natural physical differences, and so there are not such culture stereotypes like "women do housework", etc.

I want to keep the gender dimorphism, so as to keep classic heterosexuality. And I also don't hope there is something like world government forcing it on everyone on ideological grounds (cuz that's not freedom).

For the sake of understanding, suppose the numerical Defense of each man varies from zero to 10 dollars, then I hope after this equality mechanism, each one can increase to greater than 100 dollars Defense, so the original body strength variance can be ignored.

## closed as unclear what you're asking by Cyn, Agrajag, elemtilas, JBH, rekFeb 22 at 1:00

Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

• You might like the film Antz: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antz it may give some inspiration. – Agrajag Feb 21 at 0:29
• I also think weapons play a big role in this. Usually an attacker is better armed than the attacked, regardless of biological differences. – PyRulez Feb 21 at 3:12
• You may want to look at the (poorly received) question about gender in sports with genetic enhancements. I think genetic enhancements is on-par with the idea of making them physically equal. It's a tricky argument. More tricky because there's mental differences as well (which may or may not follow the physical differences... that's still an unknown in science). More tricky because it's not 100% clear what motivates rape. – Cort Ammon Feb 21 at 4:09
• That being said, I expect that if I did some digging into statistics, women who know martial arts probably don't get raped as often, so there's probably a good argument that some tactics can offset brute strength, and that we may even already know what those tactics are. – Cort Ammon Feb 21 at 4:10
• @Cyn, dollar signs are only a problem if you use two. Like asterisks and double asterisks, a pair of dollar signs has formatting meaning: SE thinks you're entering a mathematical equation. To safely use dollar signs, you need to "escape" them by preceding them with a backslash: \\$ – JBH Feb 21 at 22:47

Your not-quite-humans are amphibians, and reproduce via external fertilization in water.

This eliminates any need for males to physically penetrate females, and thus any reason to evolve a desire to do so. It also significantly restricts the environments in which sexual activity is even possible, let alone forcible.

It also reduces the impact of reproduction on female bodies, so from a strictly reproductive standpoint they need not be significantly structurally different from males. It is entirely possible that males and females could be externally physically indistinguishable (in which case, much like Terry Pratchett's dwarfs, courtship might involve a tactful process of attempting to discover just what gender all of your friends actually are...).

This doesn't mean that there would necessarily be no gender differences. Plenty of externally-fertilizing fish, for example, still have distinct gender morphs. Simply that it is no longer necessary that there be gender differences, either. Maybe the genders are distinguished by purely aesthetic characteristics, like different colorings or hair patterns--or maybe not. Maybe there are psychological differences that make one gender or the other naturally inclined towards caring for children vs. fighting and hunting... or maybe not. Just eliminate the asymmetrical impact of reproduction on one gender vs. the other, and you can have all of the equality, or keep all of the inequality, that you want.

• You could even have temporary gender differences during the mating season, plenty of species do that. Most of the year you woudn't notice but for a few weeks half of the population has a colourfull mohawk. – Borgh Feb 21 at 7:42
• @Borgh Yup! Or gender differences dependent on age--humans, after all, aren't strongly dimorphic until puberty. It would be interesting to see that reversed--males and females looking vastly different when they're young, to make it easier to find a mate, but converging in the adult form (because once you've got a mate, you don't need to signal anymore). – Logan R. Kearsley Feb 21 at 18:17

Go digital.

Come the Technological singularity, it would becomes possible for people to exist in virtual worlds.

If people are just programs, there are no physical differences. Everybody is as strong and as fast as they want to be. The only differences are mental.

• yes, this is one trivial way to go. – rambler Feb 21 at 0:34
• @JBH I changed my question after he answer this – rambler Feb 21 at 1:48

Make them all hermaphrodites.

You should have a look at Ursula K. Le Guin's The Left Hand of Darkness. In this story there is a new species of humans. All members of this species have both sexes. They stay androginous for 21 or 22 days at a time, then for four or five days they will manifest the characteristics of one gender.

That is regulated by a hormonal cycle. Someone in a place where one gender expression is having a majority will tend to express the other gender, as a way to balance things out. Otherwise the gender they will manifest is random.

This means everybody will experience both genders multiple times throughout their lives. In the book there was a clan that took pride in having all its members have their first sex manifestation as female, but other than that they were pretty equalitarian about gender.

• JBH mentioned that, ,The Left HoD is really a classic book – rambler Feb 21 at 10:44

Consider our close relatives the bonobos. They simply don't have the sexual dimorphism that makes human men, on average, bigger and stronger than women.

If you want a more equal society, consider making your close-to-human species more like bonobos.

Similarly, you can change family structure to reduce the importance of males wanting to raise their own biological children. (I'm thinking of an Orson Scott Card novel where men helped raise their sisters' children and it was considered rather rude to ask what man sired any given child.)

• For which novel? – rambler Feb 21 at 6:33
• I think you're on the right track, but you need to flesh this out a bit. My first thought is something like the peacock (or really, birds in general). There's still sexual dimorphism, but it relates far more to coloration and habits than a physical inequality. – Michael W. Feb 21 at 17:24

Pheromones. Males are genetically engineered to require the presence of desire in females to achieve erection. In this case, physical arousal is not the same as desire, so men are just as interested in women as before, it's just that the woman has to be receptive to his advances before the plumbing starts working appropriately. And the scent of arousal is what does the trick.

Note that this will not prevent sexual assault. It is by now a cliche that rape is about power, not sex, so women will still be beaten, and presumably substitutes for the "normal" instrument will be often used. This may well result in a higher incidence of injuries above the "regular" levels common to rape, but no pregnancies will result.

Also, of course, a black market in pheromones will arise, and the really dedicated rapists will manage to get hold of the necessary to allow erection.

If we assume that biological males and females on your world are physically (from the perspective of strength) equal, there is still a tremendous amount of variation. Here on Earth, Japanese men and women are, on average, considerably more delicate than Samoan men and women. (Honestly, who isn't?)

My point is, from the perspective of strength (body build, muscle and bone density, etc.), the physiological differences between ethnic groups are considerably greater and more widely varied than the physiological differences between genders.

But that doesn't completely express the problem, because I've seen very tall and very short Japanese men. And don't even get me started about Sumo Wrestlers. Even the physical build within the same ethnic group can vary widely (and wildly).

And even that doesn't completely express the problem, because there are substantial differences between people depending on their health choices. Is our specimen a professional body builder? A regular exerciser? Walk every day? Eat ice cream all the time? ...

And we still haven't compared the basic differences between human biological genders.

Solution Part 1: Your planetary people is 100% homogeneous. For inexplicable and completely impossible reasons, the males (for the basic example) are on average the same physical build everywhere on your planet.

Solution Part 2: Your planetary people have an unrealistically and improbably small variation in physical build. For example: two men picked randomly from anywhere on the planet have the same height, weight, build, etc.

Solution Part 3: Your people planet-wide are very healthy, never over eat, get regular exercise, and none of them are interested in body building.

Now we get to deal with the differences between biological genders. This is easy by comparison. Almost.

Solution Part 4:

• Equal skull thicknesses
• Equal bone density
• Equal height
• Equal weight
• Equal muscle mass
• Equal muscle types
• Equal proportions (legs, arms, torso...)

Except for the hips. That's a problem unless you radically change the nature of biology. Big creatures need big babies or big eggs. Either one needs a large way of exiting the female body, which means you'll never get equal hips. We'll need to handwave this one. You could assume a much smaller egg/fetal stage such that it exits the body much smaller than human babies do or human eggs would. That's a neat trick biologically, but like I said... handwaving....

Solution Part 5 We ignore the concept of gender identity completely. Of course, having made everyone physiologically similar, it might not matter any more anyway.

And what you now have is the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Outcast."

In the end, I wonder if all this effort even makes sense. I don't know of whether or not the statistics of rapes include non-alcohol, non-drug rapes where the aggressor was measurably stronger than the victim. I'm sure it's a valid point. But considering the number of rapes that include alcohol and/or drugs, I don't know if your society is really all that much better off.

• "Big creatures need big babies or big eggs." Are kangaroos big enough to disprove that rule? – alephzero Feb 21 at 12:18
• @alephzero I went and hunted down a video of a kangaroo birth and you might have me on that one. Small little tykes, aren't they? – JBH Feb 21 at 15:46
• Kangaroos need to carry their joeys once born. Not Equality by any stretch. – LN6595 Feb 21 at 17:14

What you describe in the edit isn't quite gender equality. It's something a bit more nuanced than that. Fortunately, however, you are describing it with respect to a combat situation (rape), so that gives us some room to at least make some statements.

You say you seek to develop a martial art in the Eastern style which substantially counteracts the advantages a male may have in a combat situation. Ironically enough, you're basically done: you have answered your own question with the question.

It is generally accepted that martial arts training decreases your likelyhood of being assaulted, and rape is included in that. It's virtually impossible to prove this to a high level of scientific rigor because people aren't willing to do double-blind trials ("you're in the control group. You get sham training. Now go out there and see if you get raped."), so the best we can do is a-posterior analysis. One self defense school has put forth an analysis suggesting their training decreases the likelihood of being raped by 83% (though, because it is not double-blinded, they can't discount the possibility that that is a correlation with the a-priori mindset of women who take martial arts)

Now particularly focusing on rape, the United State DoJ recognizes the value of resisting an assailant in attempted rape situations:

Most self-protective actions significantly reduce the risk that a rape will be completed. In particular, certain actions reduce the risk of rape more than 80 percent compared to nonresistance. The most effective actions, according to victims, are attacking or struggling against their attacker, running away, and verbally warning the attacker.
(emphasis theirs)

Now I think one can strongly argue that martial arts training increases your ability to fight back. Again, there's no double-blind studies on something as morally demanding as this, but I think the argument is strong.

Also, martial arts and self defense programs worth their salt all share one common characteristic: they teach students how to see a fight coming and avoid it. I give this only one paragraph, because it's simple, but it's probably the single most important aspect of such trainings. A fight avoided is ten thousand times better than a fight won.

So you have your answer: the martial art you seek to create is... .a martial art.

Well, almost. You seek something more superhuman, so the first concern you should have is that the males will take up the art and learn it. To capture this, I recommend we switch from using a single number to describe one's "defense" ability to using a pair of numbers associated with how you go about getting your way. One number is the masculine number, and one is the feminine. These numbers represent how well you can manipulate your opponent using that which is stereotypically masculine and sterotypically feminine. The first thing that should be obvious is that if an attacker has learned to manipulate their opponent with feminine skills and they have masculine skills as well, they will beat someone with equal feminine skills but lesser masculine skills. The dual of that is true as well, but this half is the part you should be concerned with: a male who learns this art will once again have an advantage over a female who learns the same art to the same skill.

This suggests to me the obvious reality, any martial art which will function in this sort of an environment will reward having both sides of the coin. The ultimate success is when one has the ability to use everything against their opponent, not just that which is masculine or that which is feminine.

Thus, what you need to make sure is that your concept of masculine and feminine (or merely male and female) are nuanced enough that if someone achieves mastery of both skills, their influence on the world is what you seek to see. Presumably this means that a master of both skills would not seek to rape. As you write your story, make sure you give both sides enough nuance to be able to defend this argument.

As it turns out, I personally find that Eastern martial arts fit the bill here. I am by no means an expert, but what I have seen suggests that they are willing to sacrifice more at the lower levels in order to achieve a higher calling at the higher levels. Self-defense courses (which I would argue are examples of Western thinking) typically stop before that, focusing on techniques because those self-defense courses are typically not life-long pursuits. Eastern martial arts are typically sold as life-long pursuits.

So you really have answered your own question: you seek an Eastern martial art... the thing you need is an Eastern martial art. Just pick one and run with it!

The last comment I wanted to make was on your "defense" number, because it happens to demonstrate something rather nifty. Such a number is too limited... there's not enough numbers. And to argue that, I turn to John Conway and his concept of Surreal Numbers.

I'm not joking! That's what he called them. He was looking at ways to win at the game of Go by subdividing the board. If you can find the parts of the board which are "most important," you can focus your time at winning there. What he found was a curious pattern which occurs. In combinatoric games (where you see everything, and there is a winner and a loser, plus a few other requirements), the outcome with perfect play is always one of four possibilities:

• Player A will win
• Player B will lose
• First player to move wins
• First player to move loses

He found that you can assign positions on a go-board surreal numbers based on the potential moves which can happen. He could assign them such that if you have a board position number X:

• If X > 0, player A will win
• If X < 0, player B will win
• If X == 0, first to move loses
• If X is not comparable to 0, first to move wins

(In surreal numbers, ordering is not complete, so some numbers are simply not comparable. A trivial analogy might be built on have red balls and blue balls. 1 red and 1 blue is clearly greater than 0 red and 1 blue, but it's not clear if 1 red is greater than 1 blue... they're simply different)

He showed that you can assemble a board up from a bunch of these sub-board results and **add* the surreal numbers together to determine the winner.

Why do I point this out? Well, first off, such systems reward thinking over brute strength, which is what you seek. Second, they fit well with combat, if you make the assumption that combatants take turns striking (which is a crude approximation).

But what I really find interesting about this is the size of the surreal numbers. It turns out there's a lot of them.

If you get into the mathematics dealing with infinities, you are familiar with countable vs. uncountable infinity. Consider the numbers 0, 1, 2, 3,.. and so on. The size of that set of numbers is countably infinite.... we can get there just by counting. Interestingly enough, if we do it in two dimensions, the result is the same. If you picture a rectangular grid of points, at every integer x and y, you'd think you have "more" dots than we did in the one dimensional case. It turns out that we don't. It's still countably infinite. The proof of this is via diagonalization, which is an excellent candidate for why mathematicians turn to drinking. It's counterintuitive, but it's true for how we define the size of sets of numbers.

The real numbers, like 1.1, e, and pi, are bigger. It can be shown by Cantor's Diagonal Argument that there's more real numbers. If you tried to assign an integer to every real number, you would actually run out of integers (even though they are infinite). The real numbers are what we call uncountably infinite.

Now usually, at this point, people say "Fine. Mathematicians, have your fun. I'm going to go live my life." But they may remember that there's multiple sizes of infinities.

Well, surreal numbers are actually a larger set than the real numbers. They're bigger than the set of numbers we use to describe all of science.

So here's where that fun little mathematical jaunt went: You may have a numeric "defense" number like 100. Perhaps you thought it could be an integer, or perhaps you were ready for an opponent whose defense number was 99.956. In either case, simply adding the analysis of a game like Go into the mix forces you to use a number system larger than any number system you were taught in school. Even the real numbers with their kooky numbers like pi and the square root of 2 aren't kooky enough to capture a game.

• A valuable answer, sorry man, I caused misunderstanding again.Just before I edit my question, someone say this is an unclear question. So I add some limit condition, the condition for example, my world is a fantasy martial art world(Just like fiction novels). This is just the world rule!!Not my answer!!!So Unfortunately your article based on the misleading made by me.I just want to add some restriction . And just read your article is a heavy job for me, so I think I decide learn English before ask question next time. – rambler Feb 21 at 17:34

Require a long, elaborate foreplay for the penis to protract, like for instance in stallions the penis is hidden until it is protracted, this causes rape of a male virtually impossible.

Rearrange the sexual organs, so mating is done behind to behind. This requires a large deal of cooperation, so rape is virtually impossible.

It also makes sex impersonal and boring, further reducing anyones desire to forced sex...

Another option is simply to make the thought of rape inconcivable, by not having a "boys will be boys" society.

A short answer. If everyone is equal in strength, you could have everyone be very dangerous. I no like you, I explode dangerous. If everyone has terrible defense and fantastic offense, rape might be less likely. Everyone could either have superpower of some sort, or a cyberpunk type weapon implanted. The cold war of rape basically. Basically the US right to bear arms on a mandatory species wide level. How effective it is to deter rapists would depend on what you give them as a weapon.

Alternatively, you could just rule sexual intercourse as difficult or enjoyable to undergo? It would normally kill off a species, but maybe humans would have some self created reason to go through with the torturous process. Enough drive to continue the species but not enough to want to rape a person maybe.

One thing to consider if you specifically rape is that the majority of sexual violence is not due to strangers overpowering their victim, but someone abusing an existing relation. A SciFi gadget is not going to do anything about that. If you want to prevent rape in your verse, I would suggest you go about structuring society:

## Give Gender Equality a few centuries

Right now this is a real world topic, plenty of famous people have been caught by #metoo. It will take time and possibly more scandals until this sinks into the base behavior of people, which may require the current generations to die out which don't have this institutionalized yet.

## Monitoring Everyone

If everyone is chipped and connected to some network, everyone can be monitored. If the chip can interface with thoughts, it can monitor people, and send an alert on any possible rape, or a victim may be able to trigger the alert. This may or may not have more dystopian consequences depending on who has access to data from these chips.

## Gene Engineering

If you don't trust gender equality to work out on its own, you might engineer oneself to suppress violent impulses, and make everyone more socially compatible. This may have dystopian consequences too if the wrong people get access to this.

## Neural Education

You might alternatively educate your population in proper behavior in some way that becomes instinct, and very hard for the recipient to act against to suppress rape. Again this device may have unintended consequences.

Improve laws

Even in a world where's men and women have the same strength on average there's plenty of room for variance: some men (and women) will be stronger than others. But that's besides the point, because most of the time the rape is commited by someone who knows the victim - and who already knows he can subdue her - and in the case of rape by a complete stranger they are usually armed (with knives, most of the time), while the victim is not.

So, if your main goal is preventing rape you just have to move these posts further away than we are currently trying to do:

• Empower the victims, shame the rapists. Currently most of the sexual abuse, including rape, is never denounced and thus never prosecuted. Rapists benefit from this culture of silence, they know they can get away with it and it helps them rationalize that what they are doing "is not that bad".
• Improve conviction ratio. It's hard to prove abuse, even rape. Contrarily to what is depicted in the movies, most rapes leave no physical traces - and counterintuitively rape by a stranger is less likely to produce injuries besides the ones the penetration has caused, if any. Many women don't fight back when raped (because it's better to be raped than to be raped and beaten up, maimed or killed). Your highly advanced civilization must have ways to prove rape, which can be much more difficult than it seems at first glance, since it's consent what tells apart rape from sex and most cases won't be "random-stalker-puts-knife-at-her-throat-makes-her-undress".

And basically, that's all. Remember that harsh punishments are no deterrent for criminals; high chances of being caught are. Since rape is a crime that always leave a witness behind (unless it's rape and murder) your only chances of getting away is either not being denounced or failing to prove the rape. Put a remedy to those two and rape will become a rarity.

• This is even useful in our own society. – rambler Feb 21 at 10:08
• @rambler Yes, that's what I was trying to say with the line "moving the posts farther than we are currently trying to do". We are already moving in that direction. – Rekesoft Feb 21 at 10:09
• "Remember that harsh punishments are no deterrent for criminals" Tell that to Vlad of Wallachia or Draco of Athens. – Mason Wheeler Feb 21 at 18:12
• @MasonWheeler The fact that dictators believed it to be true does not make it true. – Logan R. Kearsley Feb 21 at 21:49
• @LoganR.Kearsley You're right. That does not make it true. What makes it true is the historical fact that crime dropped to virtually zero under the excessively harsh rule of both men. (Whether or not that was worth the other societal tradeoffs engendered by these policies is definitely a valid question to discuss, though!) – Mason Wheeler Feb 21 at 22:13

For a slightly different twist on this problem, you could borrow inspiration from an old episode of Star Trek: Enterprise. Instead of making your species genderless, your species has three genders. The type of attack you describe would not be possible since being stronger than someone else is no longer sufficient. A 2-against-1 scenario would still be a problem, but would be significantly less likely and is something I don't think you can avoid.

“God Created Men and Sam Colt Made Them Equal!”

This is in reference to the patenting and manufactoring of the revolver style pistol.

This may meet the 100 vs 0-10 scale you mentioned. A firearm with multiple shots greatly evens the playing field between combatants. A large or small physique won't make much of a difference when one or more bullets impact.

If you want to retain all other differences between males and females, simply make females bigger. This way you can still have muscle-bound men and slender women, but the difference in size can balance out the difference in muscle-mass.

• No, there are still big individual variance. I am editing my question. Thank you. – rambler Feb 21 at 14:02