Similar to this question with some very key differences.

In this human civilisation sex 1 (s1, represented by 'X') is a dominant allele and sex 2 (s2, represented by 'x') is recessive. There are obvious visual differences in these sexes.

There is a catch: in this world people of s2 sex may breed with other s2 sexed people with a normal mortality rate. People who are s1 (carriers of s2 or not) may breed with other s1 sexed people, however in this case there is a mortality rate of 50%.

Now using a 2x2 Punnett square the statistics are:

  • An s1 human that isn't a carrier of s2 (XX) breeding with an s2 (xx) results in each child being an s1 and a carrier of s2 (Xx)

  • Similarly, an s1 human that is a carrier of s2 (Xx) breeding with an s2 (xx) results in 50% s1 carrier of s2 (Xx) and 50% s2 (xx).

  • A pure s1 (XX) breeding with an s1 carrier (Xx) results in 25% pure s1 (XX), 25% carrier s1 (Xx) and 50% stillborn.

  • Two s1 carriers (Xx) breeding results in 12.5% pure s1 (XX), 12.5% s2 (xx), 25% s1 carrier (Xx), 50% stillborn.

  • Two s2s (xx) breeding results in 100% s2 (xx)

  • Two pure s1s (XX) results in 50% pure s1 (XX), 50% stillbirths.

What would be the resultant civilisation in gender roles, societal structure etc?

Forgive me if I have broken any unspoken rules of stackexchange; I'm relatively new.


closed as primarily opinion-based by Aify, Frostfyre, Separatrix, JDługosz, Brythan Jun 5 '16 at 9:20

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    $\begingroup$ Hello and welcome to Worldbuilding. It is not that you have broken any rules... you have just asked a complete non sequiteur question. Genetics — no matter how detailed you describe them — do not define gender roles, societal structure or anything of the sort. Your question is entirely unanswerable. I do not see any way this question is salvageable, because any edits you need to do to make this this answerable makes it a new question. $\endgroup$ – MichaelK Jun 4 '16 at 23:20
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    $\begingroup$ @HDE226868 Because this question is like asking "If we prune the apple trees, what happens with the orange orchard as a consequence of this?". Just like in that linked question the answers would be just a bunch of hand-waving and assumptions made by the answerers. This question purports to be "science-based". But we have no science that can tell what happens with gender roles and societal structure if we just mess with the gender rates. This is entirely hypothetical with no science to anchor it to. $\endgroup$ – MichaelK Jun 4 '16 at 23:32
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    $\begingroup$ @MichaelKarnerfors I agree that that's a poor tag to use here, and should be removed (cc Generally_Confused). But applying basic sociology, psychology, and common sense should be enough to formulate an answer. Sex plays a larger role in social interactions than many would care to admit; this modification will severely change how many people interact. $\endgroup$ – HDE 226868 Jun 4 '16 at 23:35
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    $\begingroup$ Considering how much — in the real world — gender roles vary with location, culture and time period, despite the genetics being entirely firm and unchanging, I say that this question is unanswerable. This is much too broad and answers can only be based on speculation since there are too many unknown factors in this. It does not matter if you specify the genetics down to the tenth of a percent... because genetics do not define gender roles or societal structure. $\endgroup$ – MichaelK Jun 4 '16 at 23:44
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    $\begingroup$ This seems too broad in the sense that almost any answer is justifiable. Note that in our world, gender roles range from the matriarchal to the patriarchal depending on the society. To give a quick example, when resources are scarce, it may make sense for an s1 to only mate with other s1s. Yes, there is a 50% mortality rate. But then they don't waste any resources on s2 children. Or if resources are plentiful, it may make sense to only mate with s2s. Then the s2 children could protect the s1 children. Maybe flip it and ask us if a particular society would be stable? $\endgroup$ – Brythan Jun 5 '16 at 9:20

Gender roles would likely be much different, because in the world you describe, people of the same sex must be able to reproduce with each other, whereas in our current set up, that is not possible. Given that our real-world gender roles are formed around (but not necessarily by) the fact that one sex is capable of giving birth, and one is not, I imagine that there would be a less distinct gender difference in the world you describe.

This makes me think that "gender" --as we define it currently-- would not exist in your world; the biological reason for sexual dimorphism to develop must necessarily not exist in your world, given that there is a non-zero probability of two members of the same sex having an offspring together.

Also, from a genetics standpoint, over time the relative populations (XX) and (Xx) will shrink, because there is a higher likelihood of being born as (xx). While I will not say that these populations would vanish (though I suspect they would as reproductive rates are fairly low) I will say that the gene pools for (XX) and (Xx) will not be as diverse as they should be, creating a genetically inferior sex. If this is what you mean by gender role, then it could be explored in more depth, but I argue at this step that what we are discussing is no longer "gender."


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