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I understand mixing magic and evolution is ... a bit of a no-no, but why would the sexes develop magic differently?

Women's magic comes from a core located near their hearts where they draw and store magic. Men, on the other hand, don't have cores, or only very tiny ones. Their magic "cores" are spread evenly across their bodies. Women sometimes have this as well, but often times they are less pronounced. Women also have veins that lead to their palms that can eject magical energy; men do not, or they are tiny.

The reason this matters somewhat is that magic is all about visualizing drawing from your core. Men do not have cores meaning they cannot do traditional magic, and their forms of magic are amplifying strength-based. Women who can project magic outward easily use spells and enchantments.

Finally, it is a known legend / myth men developed magic later than women did.

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    $\begingroup$ You've come this far with your magic system, why is this a stumbling block? What exactly are you hoping for? $\endgroup$
    – Joachim
    Commented Dec 9, 2022 at 8:27
  • $\begingroup$ i just more or less want a why lol? i just wondered and built this thing and had to ask ........why would this even be a thing? what is a in lore reasoning I could just say no reason at all tbh\ $\endgroup$
    – neo flare
    Commented Dec 9, 2022 at 8:41
  • $\begingroup$ What is "Traditional spellcasting"? Healing? Tossing Fireballs like confetti? What does a peak female spellcaster look like compared to a peak male spellcaster? $\endgroup$
    – Questor
    Commented Dec 12, 2022 at 21:50

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Babies are Magic

The standard hack is to relate magic to the most magical thing real women can do -- create new human beings.

The reason women have a core is because it is a portal to the Source. The soul of the newborn comes through it. They evolved a big portal because the ones with the small portals have more stillbirths.

The reason men don't have a core is that one big core is energy intensive to maintain. Men with small portals require less food and starve less often.

Some men are mutants and have a big core but no uterus. These men practice forbidden magic where they pull disembodies spirits through their core and bend them to their will.

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To avoid interference with pregnancy

Having it spread out among your organs allows you to do more with it. But it's keyed to you, the baby will suffer.

Consequently, men do all the magic that requires spread out magic. As an added bonus, this lets them compete for status and so courtship.

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Why not?

Need explanation? OK.

Kids not use magic. They do not have "cores" or they are so small that unnoticeable. Magic organs are spreaded evenly on body but not activated til puberty. At puberty hormons force magic organs to grow - if high testosterone level then grow small but everywhere if low level of testosterone and high level of female hormones grow one big core near breasts(big breast related to big core - need more studies)

Hormonal anomalies will generate Yours diffrent type persons

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  • $\begingroup$ My understanding of the question is that it's not asking how it happens, biologically, but why it came to be that way, from the point of view of evolution. $\endgroup$
    – IMSoP
    Commented Dec 10, 2022 at 11:16
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The presence of magical cells throughout the body came first. This had advantages for all individuals, strengthening them, but initially only passively.

As with many real animals, sexual selection favoured stronger males in particular. Producing more or stronger magic cells has a cost, and a successful strategy for females is to choose males with strong magic to protect them, while males choose females whose energy is spent on other properties.

There was a downside, though: during pregnancy, females needed to carry a magically strong male embryo, which would sometimes send out powerful pulses which could damage the mother's body. They therefore evolved a cluster of defensive magic cells, acting as a barrier against the embryonic magic. To disperse the charges, this new organ was linked up to the circulatory system, venting the magic through the hands.

This organ started to come under conscious control, storing and directing magic at will rather than at random, and eventually producing it directly rather than only when carrying a male embryo.

As the legends state, only after women began consciously using their magic cores did men start to realise the full potential of their own magical cells, and use them in new ways, producing your two distinct styles of magic.

(Some men have magic cores, and some women have strong all-body magic, for the same reason some men produce breast tissue and some women have facial hair: the genes are present in all individuals, they are just suppressed or activated by a complex sequence of hormonal signals. How such "atypical" individuals are treated by society might be an interesting plot point.)

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Autoimmune response

Magic-producing cells in the body are not entirely harmless: their effects "leak" in the surrounding tissues, causing local inflammation and minor disturbances. As a result, the body's own immune response can sometimes react to these cells and mount a defensive response. As these cells are part of the body, you would class this as an autoimmune response.

For the majority of autoimmune diseases we know, women are affected more than men, with ratios that sometimes exceed 10:1. The exact mechanisms are not entirely clear - hormonal influence, the immune mechanisms of childbearing, X-chromosome effects. But, whatever they are, they apply to your magic-producing cells. In children, magic cells are distributed in a male pattern - diffuse and widespread. During puberty, perhaps triggered by hormonal changes, women's immune systems start attacking these cells and destroying those that are found in isolation. However, this very autoimmune response stimulates a reaction from the magic-producing cells, which start dividing, a bit like a benign tumour. The result is a solid lumpy mass of clustered cells, located just below the thymus, which is where the autoimmune response propagates from (the fact that this is near the heart is actually accidental). Men don't usually have this autoimmune response and retain their childhood pattern of distributed cells.

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Because it makes sense.

Although current culture seemingly tries to ignore it, there are differences between men and women. Biological and social differences. And they stem from one simple concept: men are more expendable.

A woman can get only one child* with one man per 9 months (and going again immediately is not recommended). A man can theoretically get one child with as many women as he can sleep with. You need less men to keep up the population than women.

Women are also more vulnerable during pregnancy, and require more support from the social group to survive and bring a healthy baby to term. The man that impregnated her is more inclined to share food and protect her to increase the chances of his offspring. This puts more evolutionary pressure in men providing food and protection, but also on the social showing off that ability to prospective women in order to convince them they are a good choice to spend all the resources and risks of childbearing on.

Your magical glands do specific things based on where they are located and sex-specific, so its a simple DNA trait that has diversified over time to improve the biological and social focus that the male and female bodies have.

*I'm ignoring exceptions here

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    $\begingroup$ You've got a long description here of a particular simplified view of the evolution of sexual dimorphism, but you don't actually relate it to the question. Why does having a different layout of magic cores stem from the difference in reproductive roles? $\endgroup$
    – IMSoP
    Commented Dec 10, 2022 at 11:19
  • $\begingroup$ @IMSoP I specifically mention why (twice even) and I tie it to the how: it makes sense from an evolutionary point of view. He says himself that the men's layout causes them to have better strength amplification magic, in other words one of the evolutionary pressures for men is represented in this system and similarly for women. $\endgroup$
    – Demigan
    Commented Dec 10, 2022 at 21:11
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    $\begingroup$ Maybe I'm just missing something, but I don't see anything in your answer that ties up with women getting an advantage from the magical core that men don't. Perhaps you could edit the answer to make the connection to the question more explicit? $\endgroup$
    – IMSoP
    Commented Dec 10, 2022 at 22:42
  • $\begingroup$ @IMSoP ... its literally as simple as "one of the male's dimorphism niches is using strength (and other related body enhancements the OP hints at), the distributed small core system does exactly that. Its literally twice in the post. Its literally twice in my previous comment. I dont know why you cant understand that as an answer. I mean women using spells and enchantments is also simple to understand as a concept right? They spend more time on various production and teaching, enchanting clothes, living area's, people like children etc would be perfect for women. $\endgroup$
    – Demigan
    Commented Dec 11, 2022 at 7:40
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, you've mentioned strength over and over again, but until that last comment you hadn't mentioned any reason for the female version. Now you have, and it's intriguing - but it's still not edited into the answer, and it still trails off with a vague "etc", rather than following up with some world-building about the kinds of spells, and the kind of society, that this implies. $\endgroup$
    – IMSoP
    Commented Dec 11, 2022 at 12:30
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There are biological differences between men and women. (Am I allowed to say that today?) Men and women have some different body organs. Like men don't have wombs or vaginas. Men and women have different hormones. And numerous other less black and white binary differences.

I'd think it would be easy enough to say, "The source of this magic power comes from a hormone which occurs in women but not in men." Or, "This power is centered in the vagina, which not only has reproductive functions but also powerful magical functions."

If you're talking about magic I presume no one is going to ask for a rigorous scientific explanation. You just need some vague statements you can throw past the reader that make it sound marginally plausible.

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    $\begingroup$ As with some of the other answers, this seems to just be answering a mechanical "how" - yes, we can imagine hormones being related to organ development, but why did that pattern evolve? $\endgroup$
    – IMSoP
    Commented Dec 10, 2022 at 11:21

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