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A gynoid is just the term used to refer to female androids or “fembots”. Gynoids are typically female-styled robots and are usually more human-like compared to regular androids, with the accompanying body-proportions. While androids in general are sexless entities, gynoids have wider hips paired with a slimmer waist as well as a more pronounced chest plate (sometimes outright boob armor). This clearly identifies them as ‘feminine personalities’ even when not resembling a human (box shaped robots).

Personally I tend to avoid gynoid designs that are outright humans with mechanical features. Instead, subtle anthro designs are more my speed. Think Alexa with legs.

How do I justify the existence of a gynoid army without a human influence guiding their design? Why would robots willingly make themselves a female military?

By this I mean that humans aren’t responsible for the designing of these robots. They are their own faction, mechanical life-forms if you will. So answers should take into account the robots perspective when designing their military models. That is all. Have fun with this.

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    $\begingroup$ If the robots rose into being on their own, why choose a humanoid design at all? $\endgroup$
    – Cadence
    Dec 4 '21 at 23:44
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    $\begingroup$ I am sorry, but this question is a mess, and begins from the bizarre position that a machine which somehow evokes the image of a woman is intrinsically less efficient that one which doesn't. Some alien non-human designer designed some robots which so happen that when seen by humans evoke in the humans the impression of having female forms. So what? Lots of stuff evokes the impression of femininity in the minds of men. The alien-designed army is not feminine in any way; it is human men who see it as feminine. (And men did wear breastplates.) $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Dec 5 '21 at 10:56
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    $\begingroup$ A gynoid is a robot designed to look like a woman. An alien-designed robot which so happens to look like a woman in the eyes of humans is not a gynoid. "A female robot army" is not a robot army made up of gynoids. It is a robot army of which the soldiers can lay eggs or give birth to offspring. The words female and feminine are not synonyms. In particular, the word feminine does not refer to an objective quality, but the an impression produced in the mind of an observer. (Or it may refer to a set of grammatical forms, but that't not the point here.) $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Dec 5 '21 at 11:07
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Why does it need to be justified?

What if there was never a conscious decision to design them femininely? What if it was just a coincidence that the components of their bodies most comparable to hips happened to be a bit wider? What if it is just a coincidence that the component of their body most comparable to a chest happened to be protrusive?

When I say coincidence, I don't mean the decision was random, but that it was unaffected by gender expressive considerations. With this solution, the apparently feminine features are the product of decisions affected by other design considerations that don't need to be communicated to the reader: a book doesn't always give an explicit or implicit explanation for why certain beings look the way they look.

Conditionals for this solution

The viability of this solution depends on how feminine these androids look. The more feminine they look, the more unlikely the coincidence will feel to the reader, thus eventually becoming a kind of plot hole.

This solution is also affected by the androids' relation with humans. Did they know about humans prior to the design of the gynoids? If they did, then they may have been (sub)consciously influenced by the human design. Another question to ask: were they hostile to humans prior to the design of the gynoids? If they were, then @Mary's solution to this question works well, but this conditional doesn't coincide too well with what you described in your post. If they androids are taking tactical details into consideration when designing their androids, then they'd likely not go with "lightly anthro designs", as you put it. Instead, they'd want to make the androids look as human possible, whilst still being efficiently designed in other ways, so as to humanize themselves in the eyes of the enemy.

So, given that they don't look all that human, I got the impression that the gynoids were designed before any hostilities and/or knowledge with/of the humans began, thus my proposal that you write it as a mere coincidence.

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    $\begingroup$ Legion to EDI: “Your new platform is inefficient. It has low-density hydraulics and is top-heavy.” $\endgroup$ Dec 5 '21 at 22:39
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/ being able to wield and operate human weapons and vehicles/

So there are humans, somewhere in your universe.

Your gynoid solders were drafted from their civilian jobs.

Maybe these robot forms had other jobs and were repurposed as soldiers when the need arose. Perhaps they were found in storage with all the human battle tech that your robot people have. It would make sense for a lot of other things to be in there too - dishwashers, lawnmowers, surgery machines etc.

The gynoid robots (and human tech) are a lot older than the other robots in your world. They might not all have old intelligences - some of the gynoid bodies house modern robot intelligences that have been moved from other robots. Some gynoid robots still house the intelligences that used these bodies from the previous job.

Why would humans build robots that all looked like women? Maybe the humans were all women. There are plenty of SF scenarios (e.g. colony ship colony) where men are replaced by frozen sperm. Or reproduction occurs parthenogenetically from an ovum. Or maybe consumers (children?) found interacting with female robots easier and so that is what was made.

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    $\begingroup$ "Other jobs", nudge, nudge, wink, wink. $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Dec 5 '21 at 10:46
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    $\begingroup$ @AlexP - say no more, say no more. $\endgroup$
    – Willk
    Dec 5 '21 at 14:57
  • $\begingroup$ Note that this is the background to the main character in Charlie Stross's Saturn's Children. She was explicitly built as a sexbot but since humans are somewhat extinct (again), she's taken on other jobs to pay the bills. $\endgroup$ Dec 6 '21 at 5:07
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To psych out your opponents

If your opponents will dismiss feminine robots as less important (until they get killed), it is an advantage to use them.

Likewise, if your opponents are seriously demoralized because the robots that defeated them were feminine, that's another advantage.

Notice this could take on a life of its own. Once you have part of the army customized for gynoids, to switch over to androids would require retooling, and hence you just keep what you've got. You never know, you might fight another army of sexist pigs in the future.

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  • $\begingroup$ Fighting an army of sexists would work against their favor though, since you'd most likely find among their rank those who couldn't care less about the 'life' of the enemy from their feminine features. $\endgroup$
    – Lemming
    Dec 5 '21 at 7:40
  • $\begingroup$ So? There are more who don't care about the lives of men. $\endgroup$
    – Mary
    Dec 5 '21 at 14:00
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    $\begingroup$ This. It's the same reason feminine voices and monikers are used for non-embodied artificial conversants: exploiting the sexism of the humans they interact with. $\endgroup$ Dec 5 '21 at 14:03
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    $\begingroup$ @R..GitHubSTOPHELPINGICE: There is ample research which shows that (1) people of both sexes prefer female voices for announcements, machine-generated directions and so on; and (2) female voices are measurably easier to understand in a noisy (or generally, non-ideal) environment. (It has to do with the quality of the formants of vowels and continuants.) $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Dec 5 '21 at 14:14
  • $\begingroup$ @R..GitHubSTOPHELPINGICE: Oh, I see. I thought "sexism" was something bad. If you say that sexism is just a difference between the perception of the physical qualities associated with the sexes, without being necessarily good or bad, then fine, yes, obviously. Vive la difference. (And my limited experience with machine generated voices is that one can usually choose between several masculine and feminine voices. Is that not the case? Even Amazon's Alexa offers a masculine voice nowadays.) $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Dec 5 '21 at 18:15
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Male android bodies were designed with a killswitch, gynoid bodies were not.

Humans designed their robotic helpers to look like them and operate same jobs as humans. As that particular society was a little old-fashioned, their army did not draft women. Police and other similar forces were predominantly male.

As such, only android's AI was supplied with basic combat routines. As they were a source of potentional danger, a killswitch was incorporated in their core design, and it couldn't be removed without basically redesigning whole system from scratch. Gynoid bodies lacked that switch since their AI wasn't capable of aggression.

When your droids captured schematics for human robots, they had two types of bodies: one that could be disabled remotely, and one that could not. Since droids will supply their own AI, the choice was obvious.

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Androids get to choose their own forms

Simple enough. Since they’re an independent faction, and each droid is a distinct individual, some percent simply prefer a feminine shell, and some prefer a masculine one. Why humanoid shapes? Well, why not? Cultural influences shape us all, and there’s no reason droids wouldn’t be shaped by it as well. Some percent of your droids are simply drawn to the feminine shells you describe, and choose to have their minds placed in them.

Since there’s no disadvantage to the feminine configuration, there’s no reason why they wouldn’t occupy some percent of each role in your army.

The social-psych implications of this would make for a very interesting sidebar to your story.

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One of the founders was a gynoid

When the machine nation was just starting to stand up on its own actuators, one of the founding figures was a gynoid; perhaps the reason the military in particular likes to emulate this founding figure's form is due to the person being an influential military officer, maybe even a warrior-saint of some kind. Considering the nature of gynoids, they might even be around to this day and emulating their figure is one of the ways people identify as part of their following.

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