Created By: zarpaulusJuly 5, 2013 Last Edited By: oneuglybunnyJuly 21, 2013
Troped

Sex Shifter

Character, or species who can change their gender as an innate trait.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Some species, mostly fish, amphibians, and invertebrates, are capable of changing sexes under certain circumstances. In fiction it is sometimes possible for other creatures, even humans in some cases, to do this as well.

Subtrope of Gender Bender, may involve Bizarre Alien Sexes.

Anime and Manga
  • In One Piece, Emporio Ivankov ate the Horm-Horm Fruit which allows him to inject hormones from his fingertips, among its many applications include male/female hormones which can turn himself or any recipient into an opposite sex.
    • In a different way, Mr. 2 Bon Clay ate the Clone-Clone Fruit which lets him alter his body into someone else's that he had touched once, including women.

Comic Books
  • The Skrulls in the Marvel Universe can change their sex as well as appearance. In Runaways Super Skrull in training, Xavin, is engaged to Karolina for an Arranged Marriage set up by their parents as a peace keep measure between their races. Karolina isn't interested not because she isn't sold on the marriage thing, but because she's a lesbian. Xavin handily solves this by showing her his/her female form and and Karolina has no complaints.

Film

Literature
  • Virginia Woolf's Orlando more or less spontaneously turned into a woman. The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen reinterpretation has that happen every few years, owing to his/her father Tiresias.
  • In C.J. Cherryh's Chanur Novels stsho are somewhat prone to "phasing" with little warning, assuming a new gender and personality.
  • M.C.A. Hogarth's Jokka can change genders at two points in their life, once in the first seven years of their life and again in the second seven. Some never Turn, others Turn once, some Turn then Turn back to their original gender, and a few rare individuals have the chance to be all three sexes.
  • In F.M. Busby's The Breeds of Man geneticists searching for a cure to an infertility plague caused by an AIDS cure Gone Horribly Wrong accidentally turn some people into serial hermaphrodites that alternate between male and female monthly based on menstruation.
  • The Left Hand Of Darkness has a planet where the human-descended inhabitants are asexual most of the time, except when they're in "kemmer" and become either men or women, as well as very lustful.

Live Action TV

Tabletop Games
  • In GURPS "hermaphromorph" is a five-point trait that allows a character to do this.
  • Eclipse Phase has a "sex switch" BioMod that enables one to do this (and comes standard with Pleasure Pods), though the process takes a week.

Webcomics
  • Incubi and succubi have shapeshifting powers in Amber Panyko Williams' Dan And Mabs Furry Adventures universe. This includes gender changing at will, though it takes much time and practice to do well. Abel Rewanz demonstrates the boy-to-girl morphing in strip #690, and again in strip #1038, much to Daniel's chagrin.
  • The artificial lifeform Penelope from Ben Nu~nez's Just Another Web Comic was built as a sentient sex toy by Mad Scientist Eryl Keydon. Penelope can change gender and species on command, though she seems most comfortable as a female feline. See volume 2, page 32 where Penelope recites her tech specs, though be advised: this web comic is patently Unsafe For Work.

Web Original
  • In the Chakona Space universe skunktaurs, a sister project to the chakats, can switch between male and female at will. Though they also have an annual cycle that forces a sex change.
Community Feedback Replies: 15
  • July 6, 2013
    Koveras
  • July 6, 2013
    StFan
    • Dungeons And Dragons
      • The Changelings from the Eberron setting can change gender along with appearence. They are described as developping a "mental gender" at puberty, but can switch to the opposite gender at will, as well as becoming hermaphrodite of genderless.
      • The ancestors of the Changelings, the Doppelgangers, can also take the appearance of any humanoid of either gender. In their true form, they are entirely sexless. For both races, the sex change is complete -- they can fully reproduce as either sex.
  • July 6, 2013
    kjnoren
    Literature:

    • The Left Hand Of Darkness has a planet where the human-descended inhabitants are asexual most of the time, except when they're in "kemmer" and become either men or women, as well as very lustful.

    (The example arguably fits better here than under Gender Bender. There might be more examples there to steal.)
  • July 6, 2013
    randomsurfer
    FWIW in Juriassic Park the book they use any ol' random DNA and it's only the dinosaurs with frog DNA which can switch genders; in the film there's a throwaway line in the Infodump video saying they used frog DNA in all dinos.
  • July 7, 2013
    DAN004
    Um, can someone elaborate when to put examples on this trope and when to put it in Gender Bender?
  • July 7, 2013
    Koveras
    As far as I can understand, Gender Bender is about any instance of instant sex-change, even singular events, while this is only about characters who can do so repeatedly.
  • July 7, 2013
    oneuglybunny
    Webcomics
    • The artificial lifeform Penelope from Ben Nu~nez's Just Another Web Comic was built as a sentient sex toy by Mad Scientist Eryl Keydon. Penelope can change gender and species on command, though she seems most comfortable as a female feline. See volume 2, page 32 where Penelope recites her tech specs, though be advised: this web comic is patently Unsafe For Work.
  • July 7, 2013
    zarpaulus
    Basically this is when the gender bending isn't caused by anything external to the character (i.e. curses, technology...)
  • July 7, 2013
    DAN004
    Okay, I see :)
    • In One Piece, Emporio Ivankov ate the Horm-Horm Fruit which allows him to inject hormones from his fingertips, among its many applications include male/female hormones which can turn himself or any recipient into an opposite sex.
      • In a different way, Mr. 2 Bon Clay ate the Clone-Clone Fruit which lets him alter his body into someone else's that he had touched once, including women.
  • July 14, 2013
    paycheckgurl
    The Skrulls in the Marvel Universe can change their sex as well as appearance. In Runaways Super Skrull in training, Xavin, is engaged to Karolina for an Arranged Marriage set up by their parents as a peace keep measure between their races. Karolina isn't interested not because she isn't sold on the marriage thing, but because she's a lesbian. Xavin handily solves this by showing her his/her female form and and Karolina has no complaints.
  • July 14, 2013
    dvorak
    Live Action TV
    • Mork from Mork And Mindy states that Orkans' "parts are interchangeable"
  • July 15, 2013
    oneuglybunny
    Webcomics
    • Incubi and succubi have shapeshifting powers in Amber Panyko Williams' Dan And Mabs Furry Adventures universe. This includes gender changing at will, though it takes much time and practice to do well. Abel Rewanz demonstrates the boy-to-girl morphing in strip #690, much to Daniel's chagrin.
  • July 20, 2013
    IAmATropist
    Delete this comment
  • July 20, 2013
    zarpaulus
    When did this get five hats?
  • July 21, 2013
    Morgenthaler
    Related to Shapeshifters Do It For A Change.

    • Part of the late-film reveal of Splice is that the genetically engineered chimaera DREN can change her gender from female to male. S/he then proceeds to rape her scientist "mother", and impregnating her with its offspring.

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