Created By: Larek on April 5, 2012 Last Edited By: Arivne on October 10, 2014

Parasitic Gender

A mono-gender race that is dependent on a different race for its other gender

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Trope
A race composed of a single gender that is not asexual. To reproduce it needs the genetics of a specific sex of a different dual gender host race. Offspring are not a mix but are new full blooded creatures of the parasitic race (required to keep the race viable).

Only found in fiction and not in nature, due to the population balance required to ensure both races remain viable. The parasitic race cannot reserve too many of the host race's compatible gender as there must remain enough host-host pairs to continue to create more of the host race to supply the parasitic race for the foreseeable future.

This is not just normal inter-species reproduction, due to the dependence and full-blooded offspring produced. Where normal inter-species reproduction is two independent species that can intermate (like dog breeds), and where parings produce half-half offspring. The ability to intermate is not this trope, while genetically-required-intermating is part of this trope.

Acceptable exceptions, are allowed as long as the dependency to maintain viability is maintained.

  • The One-Gender Race could have two genders where one gender is non-functional/sterile.
  • The offspring could be one of the dual gender race, but must be a rare occurrence, or have some disadvantage keeping the One-Gender Race dependent on the Dual.
  • The dual gender race (though commonly is) need not be a signal race, and may be from a group of different but similar/intermating dual gender races.

If the host race was not a dual gender (yet still not asexual) then it would be two One Gender Races are really the male and female versions of the same species, with a health dose of Bizarre Sexual Dimorphism.

While this trope does fall under the very broad category of One-Gender Race, it's a specific yet commonly found subset significantly different from the other possible facets of One-Gender Race.

Examples

Thing on Girl

Japanese H-Manga, have a common theme of tentacles/demons/insects impregnating human/humanoid women, that later give birth to more of the monster. This can be misleading as many of these lay eggs in the human, and supply seed, and thus are NOT this trope.

Sexy on guy

Cute/Seductive/Hot furry/monster/animal women who require human male seed to create offspring.

Other/Complicated

A tentacle creature lays its eggs in a human female, and then through pheromones attracts human males to fertilize the eggs (the human female is only an incubator). While it does make use of both host genders it's only genetically dependent on one.

  • Manga The Secret Garden.

A race and its host race are both this trope. While the pairing can produce its host's host race the survival rate is next to none, and it is unable to produce any of its direct host's race. While its host race is a mono gender due to parasitic nature of the host race, the host-(host's host) pair acts like a dual gender.

While most Parasitoid creatures don't fall under this trope, this does as the offspring have some genetic material, and minor characteristics of the host. They are also a single gender.

Community Feedback Replies: 68
  • April 5, 2012
    animeg3282
    Found in Lotte No Omocha - the Succubi are a One Gender Race that depends on the life seed of other species to live and reproduce.
  • April 5, 2012
    lebrel
    The name is unclear, I thought it was going to be about those species with extreme dimorphism where one of the sexes (usually the male) lives as a parasite attached to its mate, like some types of anglerfish. Unfortunately, I can't think of a better name.
  • April 5, 2012
    zarpaulus
    Parasitic Reproduction?
  • April 5, 2012
    Larek
    Parasitic Reproduction? could refer to the above creature that lays eggs and seed, using the Host as an incubator only. Which isn't what I was going for.

    I did originally call it "Parasitic Gender (Race)" but thought it to be too wordy
  • April 5, 2012
    lebrel
    ^ That's used in RL to cover animals that trick others into raising their young, like cuckoos. Thinking about it, the trope isn't a form of parasitism at all, it's just an odd variant on hybridization. Reproduces With Another Species?
  • April 5, 2012
    Larek
    Reproduces With Another Species? would be a much broader term. As two dual gender races that can inter breed would fit, as well as allowing for Half versions combinations. Human and Namekian would fit, but neither are a Parasitic Gender.
  • April 5, 2012
    Larek
    And the Cuckoo is a "Social parasites" see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parasite#Types
  • April 5, 2012
    lebrel
    ^ Google Scholar for "parastitic reproduction" gives papers on damselfish, cichilids, cowbirds, and cuckoos laying eggs in others' nests (and a lot of papers on parasites). I agree Reproduces With Another Species is overly broad, have anything better?
  • April 5, 2012
    TheChainMan
    Several Pokemon like Tauros or Chansey have just one gender, but can breed with other mons of other species in their breeding group. Or with Ditto.
  • April 5, 2012
    zarpaulus
    Not that I know much about Pokemon but the wiki on Tauros says all Tauros, and that "All bred Pokemon will be of the Mothers species." Ignoring the fact that there is no combination that gets and another Tauros for it to be a Parasitic Gender, the paring of the Tauros would need to be another Tauros.

    Where Chansey is an all female race, which when pared with something else should only produce another Chansey, based on the rule given on the Tauros page. And thus would fall under the Parasitic Gender Trope

    http://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Chansey

    http://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Tauros
  • April 5, 2012
    chicagomel
    Yeah, or Ditto. I bet they brought in Ditto because of the all one gender races.
  • April 6, 2012
    TBeholder
    between the title and Laconic, i'm confused as to what pronoun Verbal Tic have to do with interspecies reproduction.
  • April 6, 2012
    zarpaulus
    ^^ I suspect that Miltanks were intended to be the female version of Tauros but the programmers didn't want to bother coding in an exception to the normal rules for one species.
  • April 6, 2012
    Larek
    Yes I know about the Miltanks/Tauros connection, but that still fails to make it a parasitic gender
  • April 6, 2012
    Larek
    "i'm confused as to what pronoun Verbal Tic have to do with interspecies reproduction. "

    I'll try and put this in the description, but this isn't normal interspecies reproduction, as that would normally produce a half-half variant, and Its a required function for the mono-sex race, thus from their POV its normal reproduction.
  • April 6, 2012
    Mozgwsloiku
    • In (very) early Warhammer, the fimir used human females to reproduce (the female fimir did exist but they were sterile - usually there was only one per tribe, serving as the leader /most powerful wizard
    • The Asari in Mass Effect. They can and do reproduce with their own species but "pureblood" Asari are prone to a genetic disorder that turns their daughters into psychic parasites.
    • In D&D:
      • Early editions minotaurs - they weren't a natural species but a result of a wish Gone Horribly Wrong, making them "genetically" human. They used human females to reproduce, always producing male offspring. This was changed in later editions.
      • Some species of fey, particularly sylphs and satyr (female satyrs do exist but are very rare)
      • The Taanari are a borderline case as they do not produce pureblood Taanari with other species. Doesn't stop them from breeding with anything they can physically rape.
  • April 6, 2012
    Larek
    Added Fimir and Minotaurs

    Asari, are close, as the offspring are considered still Asari, but I don't know if linage breakdown is well enough known, and the dependence is based off a social need not a Gender need.

    As for the fey, I know by D&D 3rd Ed, nearly all reproduction needs entry's in the Monsterus Manual no longer appear, So I have to find some of the older material to get it.

    The Taanari arn't dependent
  • April 6, 2012
    Larek
    Added a bit more to help solidify that "intermating ability" is not a "Parasitic Gender". Where Genetically-required-intermating is Parasitic Gender.
  • April 6, 2012
    Lumpenprole
    Internet porn example: innumerable stories in which women not only have sex with dogs but actually get pregnant by them, giving birth to more (male) dogs who repeat the cycle.

  • April 6, 2012
    Millstone
    In Ocarina Of Time, the Gerudo tribe is heavily implied to function like this, with Ganondorf as an once-in-100-years male exception.
  • April 7, 2012
    Larek
    Added Maedar, which is Parasitic to Medusa (Medusa are Parasitic to humanoids) so its a Parasitic of a Parasitic.

    Like all Parasitic Genders, the Maedar cannot produce any Medusa's but the Maedar-Medusa pair can produce normal Humans, but the Human infants normally die as soon as they hatch (Medusas lay eggs), where the Meadar infants do survive.
  • April 7, 2012
    Larek
    By AD&D 2Ed Satyr are thought to be one of two [One Gender Races] are really the male and female versions of the same species. And I don't have any books from before that AD&D 2Ed.

    So Mozgwsloiku if you could look up where that Satyr description comes from, as I'm at a loss
  • April 7, 2012
    Larek
    -Lumpenprole. I have to say I've haven't seen that. But are they special Dogs?

    Because if these male dogs can mate with female dogs and produce more female dogs, Then it a simple case of intermating ability, and isn't a Parasitic Gender since there is no dependence.
  • April 7, 2012
    Loquacia
    Anybody mention Centaurs? Isn't the whole centaur myth about rapey half-horses getting women in the woods? Look out, Umbridge.
  • April 7, 2012
    Larek
    -Loquacia, Do you have a source media where that is the Case? In Greek Mythous, They are the offspring of Gods or Sons of a specific being and horses (and thus not really a race) Then later female version were added, making a full dual gender race(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centaur)

    In AD&D 2Ed, They are a full race with twice as many females as males
  • April 7, 2012
    Lumpenprole
    -Larek, websearch "pregnant with puppies" for TMI. I haven't researched it enough to answer your question.

  • April 7, 2012
    Larek
    I found a centaur, In the Xenia TV show, are all male, and mate with human women, producing only more Male Centaurs

  • April 7, 2012
    SmashingMelons42
    • In Level E, the Macbacs are an all-female race whose queen mates with one male of another race. Unfortunately, they spread a disease that causes that male's race to die out within a few generations.
  • April 7, 2012
    Earnest
    Parasitic Gender sounds more hostile than necessary, praying mantis like. How about Symbiotic Monogender Society, or Gamete Outsourcing ;D ?
  • April 7, 2012
    randomsurfer
    • In Andromeda the Magog lay their eggs in their hosts, which then burst out of them.
    • On Gor the Golden Beetle has only been seen in one book; in that book one lays its eggs in a human female host, which incubates and then tears its way out of the host. It has been unexplored as to whether there are male Beetles.
  • April 8, 2012
    Larek
    -Smashing Melons 42

    The Macbacs (I know nothing about Level E, and the Wiki is in-complete) The disease, calls viability into question. Was that just one instance? Are there thousands of races to keep the Macbacs stable for the foreseeable future?

  • April 8, 2012
    Larek
    -Earnest

    Parasitic does not mean death of the Host (like with a praying mantis), However many of these races practice Monogamy and since the paring only produces more of the One gender race, the individual of the Host race in terms of genetics is effectively dead to its Host population.

    As for Symbiotic Monogender Society; Society isn't important and several of the above examples the One Gender race is unintelligant, or has very low intelegance. The term Symbiotic has an unclear definition with two possible meanings, 1. should only refer to persistent mutualisms, where both benefit equally, but a Paracitic gender is pulling away mates from the host race with no Genetics going the other way. 2. should apply to any types of persistent biological interactions (i.e. mutualistic, commensalistic, or parasitic), again what we're looking at doesn't really fit into all of those just the one. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symbiotic

    Gamete Outsourcing, I do like this one, however the Outsourcing downplays the crucial Dependence. Outsourcing in business refers to a task that you have done, or could do, but is cheaper to have someone else do. There is not the dependence driver, only an simplicity driver.

  • April 8, 2012
    Larek
    -randomsurfer

    I didn't think the Magog would make it, as they lay eggs in hosts as a Incubator and Food source, However the Adromida wiki backs you up and says the Magog contain trace DNA from the Host.

    As for the Golden Beetle, the gametes don't match, and using a host for incubation (like the movie Alien) doesn't make it a Parasitic Gender
  • April 8, 2012
    fulltimeD
    The Delvians in Farscape were originally going to be this. The concept was that they would be a race of blue plant people who were all female and reproduced with other races by hybridization. So, if a Delvian mated with a Hynerian, then the result would be a bald, blue but otherwise Hynerian-shaped Delvian. Same thing with Luxans, Sebaceans, etc. The producers even toyed with the idea of having Delvian Priest Zhaan's father turn out to be a Sebacean, the same Sebacean who fathered Peacekeeper Aeryn Sun. This idea was later abandoned, and the Delvians were reimagined as a more conventional race of blue, humanoid Plant Aliens with both male and female sexes.
  • April 8, 2012
    Stratadrake
    Reminds me that I wrote a Nanowrimo novel of symbiotes dependent on fusing themselves to other species for both gender roles, which explains the resulting Hot Skitty On Wailord Action. Also reminds me of an idea for manticores who are a One Gender Race (male) and require a female of another species to reproduce (mutating their bodies into a manticore-like shape in the process; sweet dreams!).

    ...But we don't cite troper examples.
  • April 8, 2012
    bulmabriefs144
    Other/Complicated: Magic Woman M has some sort of lizardfolk who reproduce by impregnating women with a seed that takes them over and makes them lizardfolk. They have male and "female" lizardfolk (both have penises, but one carries the seed and the other has the sperm to fertilize it). Thankfully, there's an easy antidote, but it's some very weird sex.
  • April 17, 2012
    Larek
    Those lizard folk are Parasitoid and not a Parasitic Gender. The only use the host race as a food source.
  • May 1, 2012
    mythbuster
    Does it count if a species has been reduced to a few individuals, all the same gender, as in Dragonball Z?
  • May 5, 2012
    Larek
    Yes, a head count isn't required, and in many works, only one or two individuals are ever seen. The only tricky part is a single individual, that's just been created; that may be difficult to call a 'race'.

    For DBZ, Namicians, are a single gender, however they don't need another race to reproduce. Saians, are a Dual gender race that has lost all its known females. But they simply intermate with humans to produce Half-Half versions that are even stronger then full bloods. So they are not a parasitic gender either.
  • August 25, 2013
    SharleeD
    Exclusive But True Crossbreeder?
  • August 25, 2013
    xanderiskander
    Some of these examples, particularly the H Manga and H Game ones, may not be safe for website to host. Read the last section in There Is No Such Thing As Notability and The Content Policy And The 5 P Circuit. "works that are nothing but porn aren't appropriate to host on this site. We don't need porn in order to understand storytelling".
  • August 25, 2013
    DAN004
    Uh, the YKTTW layout kinda needs to be worked. :P

    BTW, an example:
  • August 26, 2013
    Arivne
    I did what I could to make the layout more correct, including Namespaces, italicizing work names, Wiki Wording, correcting spelling, Circular Links and a truly epic case of Significant Capitals.
  • August 26, 2013
    TrueShadow1
  • August 26, 2013
    DAN004
    @ Arivne: I mean, we can make "types" of this trope, then sort examples by media and specify which kind they go into. It looks jumbled for now...
  • August 26, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    The laconic of Face Full Of Alien Wing Wong: A creature reproduces by impregnating another species - usually us.

    What was the difference between these two again?
  • August 26, 2013
    DAN004
    ^ The difference is that that trope has a really bad name. :P
  • August 26, 2013
    SeptimusHeap
    ^^That trope is about endoparasitism in general.
  • August 26, 2013
    SharleeD
    ^^^ Face Full Of Alien Wing Wong also implies that the "impregnation" is harmful if not fatal to the chosen host, in which the offspring gestate. With this new trope, consensual relations are possible, maybe even preferred, and the partner doesn't have to suffer from a parasitic embryo feeding off it.

    • In Dungeons And Dragons, the otherwise-genderless race of doppelgangers is often depicted as breeding this way, assuming the shapes of other humanoids and seeking mates of that species.
      • In 2nd Edition AD&D, minotaurs defaulted to being an Always Male race, initially born from a curse, that impregnated captive human women to breed more minotaurs. Subverted in some specific settings, like Dragonlance, where minotaurs are more common and come in both sexes.

    • In a Real Life example, females of several species of lizards are capable of producing eggs via parthenogenesis in the absence of a male, so long as they go through the motions of mating with a related lizard species (or, sometimes, another female) to stimulate their reproductive process. The "mate" contributes no genetic information to the resulting offspring, which are clones of their mother. In a few whiptail lizard species, males do not exist and the females keep their kind going in this way.
  • August 27, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    ^ The only part in the description of Face Full Of Alien Wing Wong that "implies that the 'impregnation' is harmful if not fatal to the chosen host" is the phrase: May very well lead to a Chest Burster.

    I don't really see a meaningful difference between these two. You say that this is more specific than Face Full Of Alien Wing Wong but what actually is the difference? The description should make the distinction anyway...
  • August 27, 2013
    SharleeD
    ^ The fact that it references the term "parasitoid" makes it clear that FFoAWW is a face-hugger scenario, not a whiptail-lizard situation.
  • August 28, 2013
    aurora369
    Asari from Mass Effect are the "sexy on guy" type. Not obligately, since they are Bi The Way, but it is very much not recommended for them to mate with their own kind: succubi-like genetic abominations result.
  • February 12, 2014
    WanderingBrowser
    A tabletop game addition:
    • Throughout the various editions of Dungeons And Dragons, the monsters known as hags (literally an entire species based on the Wicked Witch archetype]] depend on mating with humanoid males to reproduce. Typically, such men are mind-controlled or fooled by the hag using shapeshifting to assume a more pleasant form. They are often eaten or simply murdered once the hag is done with them.
      • It's implied that hags can have more unique offspring by mating with certain kinds of fathers, such as powerful demons.
      • In Forgotten Realms, hags can also have male offspring of a rather different nature called Hagspawn, as well as hag daughters.
      • According to Dragon Magazine, in "standard" 3.5, a Night Hag's daughters are born totally normal and must be subjected to a long, complicated ritual before they enter puberty in order for them to become Night Hag's in turn. Disrupting the ritual ruins things and leaves them trapped as humans forever. Night hags normally bear far more daughters than they ever intend to transform, simply to ensure they always have some spares to fall back on.
      • In Pathfinder, a hag's daughters form an entirely unique race called changelings, who need to be deliberately transformed into hags, otherwise they remain their own race. It's never clarified whether changelings can breed or not, or what happens if they do. When they first appeared in the Carrion Crown adventure path, it's mentioned that hags can bear male offspring, but no further details on them are given because hags always consume them at birth.
    • In various games, most notably Dungeons And Dragons, harpies depend on humanoid males to fertilise their eggs, though some instead give them much rarer males who are kept safe for just that purpose or else let them reproduce asexually. In the Pathfinder setting, specifically, harpies depend on humanoid males to father their daughters, but tradition expects that they eat them after doing so.
      • Ravenloft features a monster called the Red Widow, a giant, sapient, shapeshifting female spider that mates with humanoids to fertilise her eggs. Then, taking this trope more literally, she paralyses the father, implants the eggs in their body, and the hatchling spiders eat him alive from the inside out like parasitic larvae after they hatch.
      • The Pathfinder take on the jorogumo has pretty much identical modus operandi.
    • Nymphs, dryads and various other "fae" of a similar nature are commonly depicted as needing to couple with mortal men to father their daughters in multiple games.
    • Medusas are commonly portrayed as relying on human males (usually petrified after the act) to produce the next generation. In Dungeons And Dragons, even though male medusas do exist in 2nd edition, they are so rare that most females have no choice but to rely on human fathers. In 3.x, Eberron removed the rarity value and made male medusas as common as the females, a footstep that 4th edition followed.
  • February 13, 2014
    Astaroth
    Klik's species in Goblins can't form new souls from scratch. Instead they travel across realities in search of new lifeforms, and when they find one they like, they implant a member of that species with some of their own lifeforce, which copies the host creature's soul and picks up a few traits of the species. The process is discussed and explained here.
  • February 15, 2014
    Green5
    In Speaker For The Dead, the Pequeninos, or "Piggies", require males to transform into trees (known as Brother Trees) by 'planting' them in order to impregnate females.
  • May 11, 2014
    jormis29

  • May 11, 2014
    JonnyB
    This sounds a lot like Face Full Of Alien Wing Wong. (And I agree, the name of that trope is awful.) The titular Aliens bred by impregnating a host (human or otherwise - one facehugger in Aliens3 impregnated a dog), and the resultant xenomorph exhibited attributes of the parasitic host (the dog alien ran on all fours; the AvP pred-alien hybrids were larger and had bifurcated jaws).
  • May 11, 2014
    Chabal2
    • Berserk: Trolls (here, they're child-sized rat-faced monkey-like things) apparently reproduce by raping human women, an entire litter of baby trolls bursting/chewing its way out of the womb a few minutes later.

  • May 11, 2014
    randomsurfer
    On Grimm one of the races of Wesen, the mermaidlike Naiad, have to procreate via their females having sex with regular humans because the males are sterile.

    EDIT: I'm surprised nobody has mentioned that the examples in the OP are all Zero Context.
  • October 6, 2014
    BartekChom1
    Kleptons are real life example.
  • October 6, 2014
    SvartiKotturinn
    Humon once made a comic in which an angel, convinced that Tengu are gay (because there are only male ones), discovers that they have females, they just find each other repulsive—that's why male Tengu live in Japan and female ones, a.k.a. Harpies, live in Greece.
  • October 6, 2014
    StarSword
    How did this get hats? The entire list is composed of Zero Context Examples.

    Literature:
    • Most of the wildlife on Qasama in The Cobra Trilogy has a reproductive organ resembling a hypodermic needle, which it uses to inject a partner species with its genetic material. The offspring then grows inside the partner species until it hatches out of it.
  • October 9, 2014
    hbi2k
    This has not been disambiguated from Face Full Of Alien Wing Wong in any meaningful way. Yes We Do Have This One.
  • October 9, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ that trope does have a Bad Trope Namer, anyway.
  • October 9, 2014
    zarpaulus
    ^^ That trope is specifically some creature impregnating a human, this would include the inverse as well among other things.

    So, Parasitic Gender would be a supertrope to Face Full Of Alien Wing Wong
  • October 10, 2014
    hbi2k
    ^ No, it's not. First line of the description: "A creature reproduces by impregnating another species." (Emphasis mine.)
  • October 10, 2014
    zarpaulus
    ^ Which seems to imply that the creature doing the impregnation is the one that needs another species to reproduce.
  • October 10, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ indeed. If your point that this also covers its inverse, then we have Only You Can Repopulate My Race.

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