Here's a question that came up while I was tinkering with a setting I'm working on.

How would a small city-state, with a population in the tens of thousands, where all children were girls, sustain itself? More specifically, the city-state suffers from a curse where anyone born on its soil (as well as the daughters of such people) can only have daughters. They don't have any magic of their own (cursed by the gods, don'tcha know), and they only have a pseudo-medieval level of technology (so no genetic theory or microbiology).

The standard solution for all-female tribes trying to keep up their numbers (go out and capture some men) doesn't seem workable at this scale, so how would they go about it? I'd prefer a solution that lets them keep their sovereignty.


18 Answers 18


If the sex is freely available, the men will come (no pun intended)

Males are naturally attracted to sex. If sexual partners are easily found and freely available, they will travel.

Your problem is actually that women will be left raising the children alone so the society would be better arranged to deal with single mothers than worrying about finding men. Women would need creches as well as support during pregnancy from society and would be expected to return the assistance while not pregnant.

  • $\begingroup$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. $\endgroup$ – Monty Wild Nov 1 '19 at 1:27
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    $\begingroup$ Women left alone-- couldn't they just get married (to their fellow countrywomen, not to the men visitors)? $\endgroup$ – user151841 Nov 1 '19 at 13:05

You don't really have a problem (or at least not the one you think you have).

The 'standard (literary) solution' doesn't bear much relation to observed reality throughout history.

People travel if what they need isn't where they are, it's medieval so travel isn't that easy (takes a long time) so a lot of people won't travel back & will just stay where they find what they need.

Knowing there's a preponderance of females there single males looking for a bride will travel one way & women looking for a husband the other, by & large you just don't have a problem here

Of course, if this curse (once picked up by by being born there) is then exported with traveling brides & is permanent in all descendants you'll eventually end up with the curse spread to the whole world, no more males, & if this is a medieval world they're not going to figure that out until it's way too late to quarantine the city.. you've just created an extinction event curse for the whole species :)

  • $\begingroup$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. $\endgroup$ – Monty Wild Oct 31 '19 at 3:41
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    $\begingroup$ This may sooner or later provoke some weird sociological developments to counter the extinction. The population of "pures" (i.e., without any great-great-...-grandmother from Curseytown) will both become a minority and at the same time consider themselves superior (as well as "needed" and envied by the growing majority of cursed women). Perhaps some regulations such as that women may only marry if they have a brother are enforced or women without brothers are considered witches or drafted for military or clerical service ... $\endgroup$ – Hagen von Eitzen Nov 1 '19 at 9:15
  • $\begingroup$ The curse just applies to "those born in the town", so it is not genetic and this scenario simply isn't going to happen. $\endgroup$ – toolforger Nov 1 '19 at 16:49
  • $\begingroup$ @toolforger : Those from the town & those born to those from the town, "anyone born on its soil (as well as the daughters of such people) can only have daughters" you didn't read it carefully enough did you :) $\endgroup$ – Pelinore Nov 1 '19 at 17:12
  • $\begingroup$ @Pelinore You're right, I missed the "daughters of such people" part. One could nitpick and say that the condition leaves out granddaughters. Also, there's the case of evolution - some daughter will have her curse broken (there are more gods after all, or just some other curse accidentally countering the daughters-only curse, or the original curse weakening, or Hand of Author). (The general observation is that genetic problems tend to cancel out, given sufficient population size and generation count.) $\endgroup$ – toolforger Nov 1 '19 at 17:24

I don't see a huge problem here. In medieval times small villiges and towns constantly exchanged brides and grooms to evade degeneration (they didn't knew genetics, but effects of inbreeding are obvious) and manage population density.

Two variants are possible.

In not-so-religious society:

So this particular town would just accept only grooms and provide only brides for exchange ,but in any othe aspect it would be normal medieval town. All husbands would be from other towns, but that would not be a problem, but advantage: they would have a lot relatives everywhere. This would create a strong alliances, trade treats and so on. So this town would become the center of province life and communication due to high population mobility.

In religious society ("typical" medieval Europe):

This land would be declared cursed by demons (no matter the true source) and people would just leave that town. No people - no problem.

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    $\begingroup$ Mind that sex aversion is not a general feature of all religions. Some religions had even the duty of prostitution for their followers. $\endgroup$ – L.Dutch - Reinstate Monica Oct 30 '19 at 6:42
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    $\begingroup$ It's not about sex aversion, but about attitude to anything unusual. Any diviation from norm are divine (if they are advantageous), or demonic (if they are disadvantageous). So this place would become holy (if you want a girl - come to it), or cursed. But taking in a account medieval attutide to women ("vials of sins" & burden) it would be more likely to be cursed. If only males were born - it would be a blessed placed and this town would become a temple complex (with military theme - it will allow to rise large armies relativly fast). $\endgroup$ – ksbes Oct 30 '19 at 6:59
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    $\begingroup$ "No one here can have a son? Screw that noise! Let's bounce." isn't remotely sex averse, nor need the sentiment be religious in origin. $\endgroup$ – The Nate Oct 30 '19 at 11:32
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    $\begingroup$ @L.Dutch most claims of "sacred prostitutes" are bumpkis, intended to delegitimize religions of "uncivilized" peoples, spread by Greeks about the Near East and believed until recently. The historical exceptions are devadesis in certain traditions, not all, and not as a duty for "followers" and some mikos, though they were not actually obligated to be prostitutes (nor respected for it) and just used their unique status as female shaman as an avenue for profit through "illicit" rituals, and only in the Edo period. More recent examples are several NRMs, which wouldn't be medieval. $\endgroup$ – gormadoc Oct 30 '19 at 19:07
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    $\begingroup$ @ksbes I don't think that it's supported by evidence that that level of paranoid fear-of-anything-unusual was widespread in medieval society. $\endgroup$ – ikrase Oct 31 '19 at 5:34

The answer is to unshackle onesself from our customs of marriage and embrace polygyny or similar concepts. While it's not culturally acceptable in most modern cultures, in a culture where quite literally sperm is hard to come by, sharing would become a necessity. This would drastically decrease the number of males that the culture needs to bring in, and that also helps with maintaining sovereignty.


They don't need males. They are parthenogenetic females.

Parthenogenesis is a form of sexual reproduction in which a haploid egg duplicates itself, forming a female organism. It is sexual because the egg undergoes meiotic recombination - this is the scrambling between chromosomes that is specific to gametes. But there is no need for a male or a mate, although some parthenogenetic lizards mate with a male from another species to get things started. The male provides no genetic materials. For your women I like dispensing with males altogether.

Various animal species can accomplish parthenogenesis; I thought no mammals but there is a documented case of a boy who is a spontaneous chimera, with his blood cells arising from a parthenogenetic event.

This colony would be unusual because they would all likely be descended from one individual whose mutation allowed her to conceive parthenogenetically. Inbreeding would not be a problem - each of these parthenogenetic individuals is a homozygote, and deleterious mutations would quickly leave the population rather than persisting as recessive genes. The ladies (of all ages, of course) would all be genetically very similar to each other and to the original AllMother, with new genetic input only from meiotic events and spontaneous mutations.

I like this because there are no men, no salacious breeding trips or sexy amazons; that has been done done done. You can make the sexual aspect whatever helps your storyline and characters.

One can make the case that human males as they are today evolved because groups that had males used them to take resources from groups that did not. Your female country will need to defend itself from aggressor groups, which historically have been males. There are lots of ways to do this. I like the idea that the AllMother had other inherited differences which led to advantages for her daughters, which led to the successful growth of their group and allowed them to resist incursions by other groups. For example, maybe these women are really smart and highly cooperative with one another. Going into battle against them is like playing against a team that has practiced together for years.

Thinking about cooperative combat skills - I can imagine parties of these women for hire as mercenary crossbow troops. These parties would be composed of premenopausal girls and postmenopausal women. The girls would operate heavy crossbows as crew-served weapons, three to a crossbow. The women would have light crossbows. They would seem weird to the regular soldiers, this mix of similar-appearing old women and girls with their marvelous crossbows, precise organization, and ruthlessness.

  • $\begingroup$ Cross bows require a lot more strength than you think; especially medieval ones. And - if ever the battle became a brutal melee - game over for the women warriors. $\endgroup$ – Mayo Oct 30 '19 at 15:10
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    $\begingroup$ @Mayo - I think crossbow-toting mercenaries probably did poorly in brutal melees regardless of gender. I suspect that crossbow mercenaries who saw a brutal melee coming would quickly leave the field, regardless of gender. Re strength - crossbows and other powerful tools made for men often assume typical man strength. But it is not impossible or even difficult to redesign tools to be easier to use by people who are less strong. With a crossbow you would accomplish this with different gearing: more turns of the crank, same end result as regards range and power. $\endgroup$ – Willk Oct 30 '19 at 15:44
  • $\begingroup$ @Wilk - absolutely the moment horses / infantry reach bowmen it's over. They needed infantry or walls to protect them. Re tools: greater leverage could be created but w the downside of a reduced rate of fire. Longbows and crossbows had about the same range and penetration. Longbows had a rate of fire up to 5x that of crossbows. It's true that they couldn't keep up that rate of fire for long but they could shoot another arrow while the first was still in the air. In an open field the women would have to have a huge numerical advantage to take on longbows (and that's not counting infantry). $\endgroup$ – Mayo Oct 30 '19 at 16:42
  • $\begingroup$ @Mayo - here's the fun longbow vs crossbow thing. Only the British had longbows because for cultural reasons they spent the years training. Crossbows are easier to learn and to use. You have to be strong for a longbow; not for a crossbow because of the mechanism. If there has even been a medieval battle pitting crossbows (that were not rain soaked!) vs longbows I have not read about it. If you have, post link! $\endgroup$ – Willk Oct 30 '19 at 17:18
  • $\begingroup$ If the natives have a genetic abnormality that prevents some of their eggs from completing meiosis, then all they need is a way to induce a calcium spike in the egg to make it think that it has been fertilized. This could be caused by some sort of bacterial or fungal 'infection' of a sacred crop that is ingested as part of a pregnancy ritual. And, if some of their eggs undergo normal meiosis, then they would also be able to have children the "normal" way. $\endgroup$ – Chronocidal Oct 31 '19 at 12:46

Bypassers are present in any country.

An old tradition requires that they are given hospitality with full benefits, laying with a woman included.

Add to this a yearly festival celebrating fertility where intercourse is encouraged as an offer to the gods, and you have not to worry about getting pregnancies.

Last but not least, male cannot be born, but they can still willingly immigrate.


Start a convent

No procreation required. What you are describing can be accomplished by a suitably large convent, which even goes one step further than the limitations you posit by not requiring any procreation within its walls whatsoever. Convents in Europe have existed for centuries populated only by nuns, and "sustaining" their "populations" only by initiating new nuns from outside. Consider, for example Eibingen Abbey, founded in the 12th century, and operated until the 19th, populated almost exclusively by nuns. You don't even need to "go out and capture men"; you can strictly forbid the presence of men if you want, or allow them only for special occasions, and under conditions of strict celibacy.

This works for all-male communities too, obviously; c.f. Mount Athos, Meteora, Bulgarian Monastery of Saint Athanasius (even I was surprised by the antiquity of that one).

As for sovereignty, in medieval Europe there was often interference in church business by political authorities, but a lot less than you might imagine.

Likely this isn't what you had in mind, and you'll have to scale up the size, but it might be an interesting direction to take.

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    $\begingroup$ +1 for being historically based $\endgroup$ – Nathan Oct 30 '19 at 22:51

Imagine a nation where long-distance trade is part of the culture.

The youth from the upper classes are expected to do a few trips as apprentice caravan leader or trainee sea captain. The youth from the martial classes are expected to serve as caravan guards before they settle down in garrison life. The youth from the lower classes serve as drovers or seamen before they take a trade or work in agriculture.

And on the return leg, it is common to get pregnant. This has to be timed carefully, so that the baby does not come while the ship is becalmed or in a storm, but medieval ships didn't have all that much endurance anyway. There should be a couple of months to spare.

This scheme means that the amazons are not raiding for males (which could breed counter-raiding) and that they are not dependent on a single neighbor to sustain their population.

Another option, the medieval age did know slavery or something close to it. A serf had a better legal status than a Roman-era slave, and notably the status was tied to the land he worked, but cultures within traveling distance did have slavery and medieval traders would come into contact with slavers.

This scheme would mean the amazon society would drift more and more away from medieval cultural norms, of course.

This could also depend on how you want to paint your amazons. Would they sink so low that they get involved in slavery? Or do they see nothing wrong with it? And what do the other nations say? How will they react to a queen of amazons who is the daughter of a slave?

Finally, they could encourage immigration. There is a common-born man-at-arms who would like to become a knight? Well, there is one country where he can get a knighthood, if he is a good soldier and willing to marry the princess. There is a journeyman blacksmith who would like to become a guild master before he is old and gray? Marry the daughter of the last guild master.

The latter was quite close to the medieval mindset. Both apprentice/journeymen craftsmen traveling as part of their professional education, and nepotism as a way to get into a craft guild.

The problem might be that this is no longer an amazon nation. It is one where the males are all immigrants.

So combine all three approaches? A few males marry in, and there are trading expeditions which bring both pregnancies and a few slaves.

  • $\begingroup$ Slavery? That would imply that no men could be found who would willingly answer the call for breeders to spend their pampered lives devoted to impregnating as many different women as they could. Why would they venture out to find men when there would be no shortage of men flocking to such an opportunity? $\endgroup$ – pluckedkiwi Oct 30 '19 at 19:02
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    $\begingroup$ @pluckedkiwi, what pampered lives? The breed males would be expected to work in between their other duties. No medieval-style society could afford a large idle class. So it is work all day, a bit of extracurricular activities in the evenings, and the immigrant men would not hold land or high rank so it is farm work and the like. $\endgroup$ – o.m. Oct 30 '19 at 20:43
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    $\begingroup$ Why would they have to be restricted to unskilled labor and barred from owning anything? Why do you think that has anything to do with fertility? That lower-skilled impoverished people have more children in modern society has nothing whatsoever to do with performing unskilled labor or being relatively impoverished. A lack of males would make their fertility highly valuable, so it would need to be protected and cultivated, hence pampered lives (relative to what they would be otherwise - not saying life of idle luxury, just better than they would have elsewhere). $\endgroup$ – pluckedkiwi Oct 31 '19 at 13:04
  • $\begingroup$ @pluckedkiwi, they'd probably need a fairly high number for genetic diversity (even if they don't understand the concept, there could/would be a taboo against inbreeding). They'd be foreigners in a society with existing elites. They idea that they'd go to the top of the heap, with plenty of sexual intercourse thrown in, sounds like something out of the pulp era. $\endgroup$ – o.m. Oct 31 '19 at 15:51
  • $\begingroup$ Inbreeding? Not in that situation - all fathers are by necessity not from the same family as the mothers unless you are expecting fathers to breed primarily with their own daughters, which is unnecessary in such large populations no matter the circumstances. They would likely have more genetic diversity than anywhere else. As for elitism, why would a culture wholly dependent upon foreign fathers be rabidly xenophobic? They have no lines of males - that sounds like the greatest chance for equality among males of anywhere in the world, and competition for scarce males rather advantages them. $\endgroup$ – pluckedkiwi Oct 31 '19 at 19:50

Birth tourism gets invented quite a few centuries early.

If the curse only affects people born on the soil of the accursed country, then it will very quickly become common to take a trip out-of-country to give birth.

This sort of legalistic contortionism is entirely consistent with the depiction of curses in fairy tales and other medieval literature.

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    $\begingroup$ To add to this, you could well have "Birth Spas" located just over the borders of the country that make money by catering to newly pregnant women. Of course the "downside" to this answer is it would lead to a relatively normal mixed gender country (not an all female) $\endgroup$ – aslum Oct 31 '19 at 14:51

They will need a continuous influx of foreign males, and/or the country's girls might have something like Rumspringa whereby they wander abroad and come back pregnant.

Also, they might conceive - pardon the pun - a religion or ritual similar to that of the priestesses of Astarthe, and travel to some of the temples on the border where sexual intercourse is available to all (most?) comers.

Having a husband would also quickly become a status symbol, and that of the gigolo would become a flourishing trade. Male tourism would be vastly appreciated. Moreover, probably homosexual pairs or clans would become the norm.


A nearby culture has an extensive practice of infanticide. They do this by abandoning vast numbers of infants to the elements. (In case you aren't aware, this was common historical practice in the time of ancient Rome/Greece.) Females, considered less valuable by that culture, are particularly likely to be so abandoned.

Your city takes the abandoned infants from the nearby culture. Thus a large contingent of the population of your city are actually rescues from the nearby culture. This provides an ongoing source of new children and provides at least some limited supply of males.

  • $\begingroup$ That's quite an inneficient process if it's the girls which are more likely to be abandonned. The OP stated that the amazons can have children, just female only, so they are probably less interested in scavenging foreign female newborns. They want male ... but these are not abandonned by the neighbour ... It is going to be a very limited supply. $\endgroup$ – Hoki Oct 31 '19 at 18:01
  • $\begingroup$ @Hoki, if there is a limited supply of men, there will be almost no female children born in the city either. As such, mass adoption of discarded children even female, will help a lot in keeping the numbers of the city up. $\endgroup$ – Winston Ewert Nov 1 '19 at 1:19

They'll conceive by traders passing through, or else go abroad to conceive if need be.

  • $\begingroup$ This does not provide an answer to the question. To critique or request clarification from an author, leave a comment below their post. - From Review $\endgroup$ – ksbes Oct 30 '19 at 6:12
  • $\begingroup$ How does this not provide an answer? The only way there wouldn't be traders is if they weren't allowed in. Medieval societies had trade! $\endgroup$ – Loren Pechtel Oct 30 '19 at 9:17
  • $\begingroup$ This would be a feasible answer to a small village but not for a town as OP is asking for, there would have to be other factors than just traders. The largest chunk of trade in medieval time was from the surrounding countryside. Travelers from further away was not in any way uncommon but IMO I can't make those numbers feasible for a town this size. $\endgroup$ – Johan Oct 30 '19 at 15:03
  • $\begingroup$ @Johan Medieval Europe was not as sparsely traveled as you seem to think. Pilgrimages were extremely common and undertaken by a large number of people, to say nothing of trade fairs - the Champaign fairs of the 12th and 13th century certainly would have brought in more than enough men from all over Europe. It would be trivial to ensure a mere couple thousand men visited the city over the course of a year, especially with the promise of bedding as many women as they are able. Lifelong monogamy is not necessary for impregnation. $\endgroup$ – pluckedkiwi Oct 30 '19 at 19:17
  • $\begingroup$ @pluckedkiwi You need something like 5,000 conceptions/year and the women will no doubt know what their most fertile time is so figure maybe 15,000 acts/year. 2,000 men/year would be more than you need unless they're only spending one exhausting night there each. $\endgroup$ – Loren Pechtel Oct 30 '19 at 23:46

Lake of Pregnancy:

In the legend "Journey to the West", is an all-Female kingdom. They live near a lake that causes pregnancy in anyone who enters it.*

I know you said your people don't have magic, but I think that the distinction between them having magic and their being magic around (in a special lake) is sufficiently different in terms of the tone it gives your story.

* In the origional myth our travelling (male) heroes swim in it not knowing what it is and then have to face death (men die in childbirth) or make a deal with the demon that owns the nearby lake of abortion.


An interesting and more complicated tweak is if you add "patriarchal", and that's going to be required or implied if you're dealing with human history here. How a patriarchal society maintains itself with no locally born boys could go several ways:

  • Conquest. Probably iteratively, but possibly via ongoing occupation if that's possible. This is especially likely if there's no tradition of female rulers, or greatly diminished respect for them (warrior states rather than birthright states, for example). If surrounding states refuse to respect a state run by and for women they're not going to find allies or be able to sign treaties as equals and that makes their missing males a problem since they're going to be fighting a lot. One way or another there will be an influx of men from outside who will keep the society part of the surrounding patriarchy.

  • Alliance. Form a "sister city" relationship with a state that doesn't have this problem, possibly by offering a way to solve their excess males/second sons problem. This might even offer long term stability by becoming the "city of second sons", and may even possible without a formal alliance. They may prosper through a selection effect if the surrounding patriarchy is strongly first son oriented and lacks effective ways to de-select defective first sons (duelling, assassination, high risk sports etc). They may be able to obtain first-son heads of state if they are successful, or their second son ruler may get respect by being obvious competant (a warrior culture may respect the second son who takes the city to military victory, for example)

  • Formal recruitment. Tweaking the "city of second sons" idea, specialise in skills that are in demand and recruit for those. Start a university or religion/sect, encourage guilds and trades to headquarter in your city, use a natural monopoly, whatever you have. That way you get to select the men you want to run your city rather than having them foisted on you. "The ruler of the City of Learning is the Highest Academic", assisted by the Board of Secretaries.

  • Formal Evolution. If you can't choose who comes, choose who gets to stay. Make it culturally acceptable that men who arrive but prove deficient fail to succeed. This could range from assassination by concubines to death sports to explicit trial and execution. Or simple exclusion if some criteria are not met, even soft criteria like "Aldermen must obtain a 3/4 majority vote every 5 years or be exiled" with only women born in the city getting a vote.

  • Informal evolution or recruitment. Slightly more problematic since why would neighbours respect "some guy who just happens to have been put in charge" even though he "just happens" to have married the right woman or won the tiddlywinks contest or whatever, but possibly easier to do if the neighbours are all "won the first born son of the first born son contest" and this guy can be more foreign than usual or fitted into local mythology somehow. Think "found in a basket of reeds floating down the river" in Jewish history, for example, or "watery bints distributing swords" in English history.


Maternity village(s) "just across the border".

If the curse is as specific as the wording suggests then its the "being born" that matters.

The baby's sex pre birth is in a magical "Schroedinger's cat" state - sex indeterminate until born.


There are several possibilities:

  1. Take inspiration from eg. one of the Chinese minority ethnicities (I can't think of the name, and it would take too long to find right now), which is matrilineal: The women live in large houses, own property, inherit etc, and men are excluded from their community - they only come as visitors.
  2. Alternatively, imagine a situation where males are extremely rare; when a female comes across one, she will want to hold on to him - so they have evolved in the direction of certain deep sea fish, where the male attaches itself to a female, reduces in size and basically becomes a parasite on the female. This scenario could even be an extreme outcome evolved from the first: Women survive by cooperating tightly, perhaps even hive-like; the men, being pushed out to the perifery, become very rare and reduced in size, intellect etc.
  • $\begingroup$ +1 for the first one, the second one seems to not match the question, since the curse only affects the one city, meaning there wouldn't be enough effect to reduce men to angler fish. $\endgroup$ – awsirkis Nov 1 '19 at 21:40
  • $\begingroup$ Some Polynesian cultures are matrilineal as well. It makes sense, it's pretty obvious who the mother is :) $\endgroup$ – Móż Nov 2 '19 at 9:06

Here's the thing...

If cursed women give birth only to daughters who are also cursed, there is only one solution... Kill them all! Right now! Before any of them escape!

...or at the very least, have them sterilised. Immediately!

Yes, it's a draconian solution... but consider the alternative: Extinction of the entire human species in 65 generations - about 1300 years.

Here's how it would happen:

Let's suppose that we have 200,000,000 humans on earth: 100,000,000 men, 99,995,000 women and 5000 cursed women. Let the rate of population increase be 2.02 surviving adult children per woman. Women are fertile for 1 generation. Men are fertile for 2 generations, and life expectancy averages 2 generations. On average, each male partners with 10 women during their life.

Each generation, the fertile normal women will each produce 1.01 males and 1.01 females, while each generation, the cursed women will each produce 2.02 cursed women.

Hopefully you can see where this is going... unless these cursed women can be distinguished from the normal women, the cursed women will produce more female offspring than the normal women. By Generation 25, there will be more cursed women than uncursed and eventually (at around Generation 31, or 620 years) the cursed women will compete for the proportionally dwindling number of men, to the point where there are literally not enough men to impregnate all the fertile women. Two generations after that, human population will plateau, and from that point, the human population will decline as there are fewer and fewer men born to fewer and fewer uncursed women. By generation 64, the last man and uncursed woman will die... and the cursed women will have at most around a century before they all die - childless, for lack of any male to impregnate them.

I ran the math on an Excel workbook, and while my model may not have been perfect, the undeniable fact is that only women can contribute to population growth, and the cursed women are producing twice as many new women each generation as the normal women - and no men. This will inevitably lead to a growing gender imbalance that will doom the species.

If these cursed women are killed, but just one fertile cursed woman escapes, humanity is still potentially doomed: By Generation 46, cursed women will outnumber the uncursed, by Generation 52, men will be in short supply such that they can't impregnate all the fertile women, and by Generation 86, all the uncursed women and all the men will have died.

As The Nate has pointed out, this assumes perfect mixing, and this is as stated a localised phenomenon at the beginning. However, consider that we are talking about humans, and unless the surviving non-cursed can identify and at the least shun the cursed women, a gender imbalance is going to occur, and as it worsens, at least some of the excess women are going to go looking for men elsewhere... by the time that the gender imbalance grows to the point where some women cannot find a mate locally, there will be over a billion cursed women and only around a hundred million or so uncursed women. You can't tell me that these sexually frustrated women won't scour the whole world in their search for more men... and who is going to stop them?

If we assume that as women come to outnumber men, male fertility and availability will rise, from an average of around 10 per male per lifetime with gender balance, to 5000, based on genetic studies that have shown that Ghengis Khan fathered as many as 2000 children by himself... This will only make things worse. The numbers of cursed women will explode to the point where women will begin to fight wars for access to resources... and men.

If there is no way to identify uncursed women, the only way that this scenario wouldn't turn out to be an extinction-level disaster for humanity is if the cursed women can still concieve sons, but the sons are all stillborn, along with an associated significantly increased risk of death for the cursed mother and any female siblings in-utero with the doomed male fetus. That way, the population of cursed women would be self-limiting.

This all assumes a lack of human intelligence. If uncursed women can be identified, they could be nurtured and supported and encouraged to have as many children as possible, while cursed women could be restricted from bearing children, the more strictly, the better off humanity will be. In order for humanity to survive this, the rate of births of uncursed women must exceed that of the rate of births of cursed women.

A possible strategy could be implementing a strict one-child policy for any woman who cannot show that a relative or ancestor on their maternal line has given birth to a boy, and incentives for uncursed women to have as many children as possible.

This could lead to a rare-male society, where males and breeder females are cherished and protected, males are encouraged to be highly promiscuous and the cursed women are assigned the more dangerous jobs - like fighting wars.

  • $\begingroup$ Your model assumes perfect mixing so neglects decreasing availability of mates locally. This is a critical flaw in the model. $\endgroup$ – The Nate Nov 2 '19 at 21:44
  • $\begingroup$ @TheNate, I didn't say that it was a perfect model, but a local reduction in the numbers of mates would lead to people travelling to find mates elsewhere, so it is not a critical flaw. It effectively shows that anywhere these cursed women go, they will cause the local extinction of humanity. Humanity's only hope is for the cursed women to not find some isolated communities. $\endgroup$ – Monty Wild Nov 2 '19 at 23:05

This small city-state has the largest and most sought after brothel in the realm.

Stories are shared far and wide about the quality and exclusivity of this brothel. Any man wishing to enter must pay a hefty sum (why offer for free what outsiders will happily pay for) and undergo a detailed physical and mental assessment by top scholars, and only those found worthy are allowed to enter. Men travel far and wide for a chance to enter this brothel and boast about their experiences.

You may have the women who work in this brothel do so as a rite of passage into the profession of motherhood, or allow the brothel to be available to any woman in the city state who chooses to use it.


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