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Gender Rarity Value

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"2001 A.D. - The world as you know it is no more. A deadly virus has wiped out 99% of the female population and the few surviving women are now worshipped as QueenLords. You are Griffin Spade, warrior and Battlelord in a post-apocalyptic future. With only the BattleTanx at your command, you must save mankind from extinction! Fight your way across the wasteland that was once America and rescue the QueenLords from roving gangs of mercenaries and thugs."
— From the box of BattleTanx

The world has just been rocked by a near-Gendercide. Nearly the entire male or female population has been killed by The Virus or something similar. Alternatively, a particular people would be a One-Gender Race were it not for the occasional exception of a male/female being born. Occasionally it won't be a scarcity individuals from one gender so much as a scarcity of fertile individuals, which for most intents and purposes amounts to much the same thing (see also Only You Can Repopulate My Race). Though it does make it harder to tell which individuals are reproductively useful.

When any of these happen, the rarity of the surviving gender will leave them to one of at least two fates.

  1. The rare gender will attain high status (perhaps even virtual godhood) and wield great political power because they're the only ones with the "wherewithal" to keep the species viable.
  2. The rare gender will lose all status (perhaps even virtual slavery) because they're extremely valuable breeding stock that has to be possessed and protected if you want to keep the species going.

Note that the former is more likely in limited-fertility scenarios and a Lady Land or No Woman's Land is almost inevitable in the latter. And let's not forget the Double Standard Rape: Female on Male factor.

While there are other possibilities and variations between these two extremes these are the two most commonly encountered.

Rare Gender Worshipped

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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Animal X female dinosauroids capable of giving birth are valued highly, though expected to give birth as frequently as possible. It's unclear how much Yuiji's poor treatment is because of the gender imbalance, and how much is because he's human. If nothing else, K-01 is literally worshipped by male dinosauroids as divine although this might be purely the result of her psychic powers influencing their minds.
  • A large part of the plot of Nagasarete Airantou is that Ikuto is the only male on the whole island. Making him the only one who can help repopulate it. The end of the anime has an inversion: The men from Airantou had drifted to another nearby island, creating the exact opposite situation when Ikuto's sister washed up there. We see her, and she describes a situation that is almost identical to what Ikuto went through, just as a girl on an island of guys instead, where the men on the other island are all treating her respectfully wheras many of the females with Ikuto have various levels of intent to claim him as their own.
  • In Ōoku: The Inner Chambers, due to the Redface Pox, women outnumber men 4:1. As a result of the Gendercide being due to health reasons, men basically don't have to do anything except breed: women didn't stop doing household chores, they just took over traditionally male work as well. Having a husband becomes extremely expensive and most women resort to male prostitutes to have an heir. Only men in the Ooku have any form of political pull that isn't the result of being married or a son to anyone with political power.
  • Plenty of Sci-Fi Yaoi mangas have the setting of a severe lack of women, leading to those women only interacting with the best of the best (by choice or by force) while the lesser men enter homosexual relationships for love and sex. Alternatively, some of the "good" men buy themselves lesser men for entertaining purposes. The most famous example for the latter would be Ai no Kusabi.

    Comic Books 

  • One of the basic assumptions in the film Children of Men is that people have suddenly become infertile, and no one is sure why. When a woman who is not only fertile, but actually pregnant, is found she's fought over like she was the last slice of pizza at a frathouse poker game.
  • Hell Comes to Frogtown, in which "Rowdy" Roddy Piper plays Sam Hell, one of the last fertile men on Earth (and is thus in high demand). Along with Sandahl Bergman doing a sexy dance and a man-sized frog with a three-headed penis! Who utters the classic line after Bergman's dance: "You have aroused the three-headed snake!".
  • The Invitation (2022): Evie turns out to be highly valued because in the Alexander family, her white aristocratic English relatives, she's the only woman. Deville habitually marries one woman of their family along with two others which serve him, and so he's intent on her being his bride as well. They're willing to overlook Evie having biracial ancestry, although not all are pleased by it.

  • In Wen Spencer's A Brother's Price, male children are a lot rarer then female children. This results in a society with reversed traditional gender roles, and arranged polygamous marriage between a man and multiple women (usually sisters), and by multiple think anywhere from 5 to 30. Also a literal Gender Rarity Value, a "Brother's Price" is how much a family gets for selling their brother. Usually it's just a swap for another family's brother or a straight sale to a family for cash. The male ends up marrying all the women in the new family, unless they split it between older and younger sisters. However there is also the option of selling him to a "Crib" aka whorehouse, where he'll spend the rest of his life drugged to the eyeballs on fantasy world viagra impregnating women who can't afford to buy a husband.
  • Discworld
    • Female children are rare among the Nac Mac Feegle. These girls become Keldas, leaders of Nac Mac Feegle clans. The fact they're a lot smarter (and saner) than most of the men helps too.
    • In Interesting Times, Rincewind was nearly taken in by a tribe of woman warriors who lost their menfolk to a very specific plague. Then he's summoned back to Ankh-Morpork by wizards.
  • Dragonriders of Pern
    • The golden "queen" dragons are both the rarest dragons and the only fertile females. Queen dragons make up about five percent of the entire dragon population, while greens (the smallest and lowest-ranking) are about half the population. Interestingly, greens are also female, and are only sterile because (like the males) they are fed firestone to allow them to breathe flame. Brief scenes involving a young gold dragon seem to suggest that if they were to withhold firestone from a green (either from hatching, possibly allowing them only a small ration thereof; or from a mature green) they may produce viable clutches. This does produce mild Fridge Logic moments with the primary plot point from the first novel, but they may be Hand Waved or justified by the fact that it's said that green clutches produce smaller, weaker hatchlings than gold clutches. Also, only golds produce another gold, one per clutch or less. When you need dragons to keep your planet from being devoured by Thread, you want big, strong dragons with stamina, thus from golds and not greens.
    • In the first novel, the dragons' numbers have dwindled during the Long Interval to the point that the last operating Weyr has only ever had one living queen dragon at any time.
    • In Dragonsdawn, the origin story of how the colonists came to Pern and how the dragons were created, it's revealed that the above points are likely a misinterpretation of the ACTUAL reason green dragons are sterile: They were bio-engineered to be that way.
  • On the Honor Harrington planets of Grayson and Masada, women outnumber men three-to-one due to rushed genetic engineering (by people who had intended to be Space Amish no less) to cope with Grayson's heavy-metal-rich environment, but it's the men who are in charge. This is largely due to a religious beliefs that held women were incapable of bearing serious responsibility in men's areas. Graysons, at least, had become fairly chivalrous about this in recent years, whereas the Masadans were full-on He Man Woman Haters.
  • Through a good portion of Inheritance Cycle, Saphira angsts about being the last living female dragon in Alagasia, thus the duty, she feels, falls to her to repopulate the world with the two remaining eggs that are still under control by the Evil Empire. later when it is found that there is another living dragon, she quickly responds to the urge to ensure the continuation of her species, which is not reciprocated. She hatched around a year ago. Counts because there are plural males, just unhatched. Oh, and Glaedr receives VIP status for having a pulse.
  • A Memoir by Lady Trent: Eighty percent of Draconeans are born female, and the few males serve as priests and scribes, while the females occupy most of the labor, leadership, and warrior roles.
  • Robert A. Heinlein's The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress. Due to the Moon having a very low women:men ratio, the women are completely in charge when it comes to sex, and any man who attacks a woman will find himself Thrown Out the Airlock. When some Earth troops rape and kill a prostitute, the Lunar colony uses it as a pretext to start The War of Earthly Aggression early.
  • In the dystopian novel Prized by Caragh O'Brien, the sequel to Birthmarked, Gaia leaves the Enclave with her baby sister to find her grandmother. She is captured by a society called Sylum, where female babies are rare. The society is a matriarchy where women are prized and men and childless women are looked down upon.
  • Explicitly invoked in Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan Saga. When advanced reproductive technology comes to patriarchal Barayar most people naturally use it to favor boys but motherless, sisterless (but not brotherless, and that's a very important point) Drou Koudelka uses it to make sure all four of her children are girls. Her husband Commodore Koudelka later admits he was only amenable to this plan after he was convinced that gender rarity value would make his daughters very hot commodities in the future. And sure enough the four sisters of "Team Koudelka" all end romantically attached to rising stars in the military, commerce, government and the sciences.
  • In Frank Herbert's The White Plague, a geneticist is driven mad when his wife and twin daughters are killed by an IRA bomb, so he takes revenge on the world by creating a disease which is carried by men but fatal to women. By the end of the book, a new set of customs is revolving about the status of women, with an odd combination of worship and slavery. (Basically, society expects that the women will have multiple children by multiple men, but the women can choose whom they want to procreate with so long as they aren't exclusive. Spinsterhood is not an option for a human race that came close to extinction.)

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Star Trek: Voyager episode "Favorite Son" features a species called the Taresians, whose population is only 10% male, leading to the males being highly prized and honored with multiple wives. An important plot point is Harry Kim turning out to be a Taresian implanted in a Human womb and therefore growing up Human until his hidden Taresian genes kick in. Ultimately, this is subverted by both Harry not really being a Taresian (he was secretly implanted with their genes) and Taresian males dying on their wedding nights so that their wives can absorb enough genetic material to reproduce.
  • Wonder Woman (1975): Steve Trevor is the only man that has reached Lady Land Hidden Elf Village Paradise Island in millennia. The younger Amazons have strange feelings, so Queen Hippolita declares that an Amazon will escort him to his country.
    Princess Diana: But all the girls will want that task.

    Video Games 
  • The BattleTanx games on Nintendo 64 and PlayStation had a plague wipe out 99% of the female population. The remainder were dubbed QueenLords and the remaining men fight over them with tanks. The sequel reveals the plague was unleashed by Cassandra, a psychic who wanted to weed out any females unable to use The Edge.
  • The Hrothgar in Final Fantasy XIV have a staggeringly low female populace, which makes seeing one in the open nigh unheard of. What little females that are there are revered and protected, giving rise to the matriarchal culture the Hrothgar have and crowning one as their queen. The males take the name of their queen as their surname, with the A- prefix denoting their continued service, or the -sch suffix for the one they left service to, usually as a result of their passing.
  • The Gerudo in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time have only one male child every 100 years, and he becomes their king. Unfortunately, one male child, Ganondorf, isn't happy being the king of just the Gerudo.
  • Mass Effect:
    • The krogan were hit by a Depopulation Bomb that causes 99.9% of births to be stillborn (amazingly, this actually stabilizes the krogan birthrate). As a result, females who can reliably bring larger litters to term are considered extremely valuable, and to prevent themselves from becoming pawns of the tribes, women have segregated themselves into single-sex clans. One planet is mentioned to have once been the main base of a notorious female krogan warlord, who was one of the last women around who could reliably bear living offspring - and who parlayed that into a position of enormous power, gathering a literal armada of male krogan to her banner.
    • For Salarians, the race is 90% male, but they rarely wield political power. The females wield the highest ranks through being clan matriarchs. This is subverted for the Salarians, however, because the females closely regulate the gender of their children, enforcing the 90/10 ratio. There's a logical reason for their doing so, as well. Salarians are "haplo-diploid oviparous" reproducers. Basically, females lay eggs frequently (at least once a year, if not more), even without any sexual contact; unfertilised eggs hatch as males, fertilised eggs hatch as females. This is balanced by a 40-year lifespan, but the salarian colonies still tend to require careful self-regulation to avoid overpopulation. Flavor text in the third game reveals that the salarian homeworld suffered a critical Overpopulation Crisis before they instituted this rule.
  • Non-plot point examples in the Pokémon games:
    • Many monsters are more likely to appear as one gender over the other. The Starter Pokemon, Fossil Pokemon and many others like Eeveelutions and Lucario have a gender ratio skewed to favor males and only 12.5% (or one in eight) are females. This specific gender ratio is put in place mainly to make it harder to breed more of them as females determine what species hatch from eggs.
    • At least two species (Combee and Salandit) need to be female in order to evolve and they also have the same gender ratio.
    • One family (Litleo and Pyroar) apparently have the opposite gender ratio (only one in eight are male). The only difference is that the males have a flaming mane (what with being a fire lion and all).
  • In World of Warcraft, female dwarf characters are rather rarely played. While they aren't really "worshipped" in any way, they happen to be treated as sort of an oddity/rarity by some playersnote , and sometimes have to be actively sought for, more so than female characters of other races (e.g. for the achievement, which requires a player to put a set of rabbit ears on female character of every race, level 18 or higher).

  • Laura of Collar 6 came from such a place. The island of Sybion has several thousand women, and about fifty men. Religious texts decree the men are descended from gods and are to be worshiped as such. Upon coming of age, women become part of a man's harem with the ultimate intent to bear a male child.
  • In Draconia Chronicles, male tigers live in a peaceful enclave while the females get sent into combat. Male dragons, in their turn, are so rare that only the queen is allowed to speak with them.
  • Penny Arcade parodied Fallout with Vault 43: 20 men, 10 women, and one panther. Presumably the panther helped even out the gender ratio a bit- or made things worse.

    Western Animation 
  • Futurama:
    • An episode involves travel to Alternate Universes by way of cardboard boxes. Prof. Farnsworth sticks his head into one, and withdraws it, covered in lipstick prints. He comments: "All women! I think I'll put this one aside for later."
    • In "The Late Phillip J. Fry" , Professor Farnsworth creates a time machine that can only go forward in time. The Professor, Bender, and Fry go forward in time through several different periods. Eventually they reach one where the Earth is populated by gorgeous young women. They offer to fix the boys' time machine so they can get back to the right time period...AFTER they have a fertility banquet to honor their visitors since men are very rare in their society, so "even very old and stupid males are prized". Bender, being the odd one out and angry that the other two didn't want to stay in a previous time period full of killer robots, cuts their visit short out of petty revenge.
  • Not as extreme as the other examples, but in Galaxy High there are far fewer women attending than men. When Aimee arrives she instantly becomes popular and gets an admirer while Doyle is ignored, despite both being new and unusual students.

    Real Life 
  • Species of gregarious sequential hermaphrodites will form social groups of one dominant female and several subordinate males, or vice-versa. It's not so much that the uniquely-sexed individual becomes dominant, rather the dominant individual becomes uniquely-sexed.

Rare Gender Enslaved

  • Wen Spencer's A Brother's Price features a world where many more women are born than men; it's speculated to be around the rate of nine girls to every boy, but since male fetuses often miscarry and baby boys tend to die, the ratio is in fact even more skewed. Everything, therefore, is run by women while men are property to be traded and protected. There's mention that infanticide of girl babies actually still happens in this world; male children are valuable as investments and property, whereas girls must be trained and taught to work.
  • In the Garrett, P.I. Verse, goblins produce five or six male offspring per female born. Goblin culture is too macho-oriented to settle for polyandry, gay relationships or equal rights, so one-third of their males die in fights over females before age 23. Female goblins with any sense tend to ditch their husbands and run off to the human lands, first chance they get.
  • Speaking of Olympians, in Greek Mythology, The mythological all-woman warrior tribe, Amazons are said to have kept in contact with an all-male tribe called the Gargareans, who they'd come in contact with to have kidnap, rape, and murder so they can have offspring, then chuck the male kids back to the tribe and take all of the female children born. As you can see, Amazons were extremely nice people.
  • Second Stage Lensmen: The natives of Lyrane II have a strict one-child policy ... but it's one person per parent, the extremely rare male birth doesn't count because they aren't "persons". Males are only allowed to live until puberty because Lyranian science hasn't (yet) come up with any other way for a person to become pregnant. Once a given male has serviced his quota of persons, he's promptly killed.
  • The Olympians in Jack Chalker's Well World series are an offshoot of humanity deliberately engineered to fulfill The Dragon's harem fantasies which combine inbred female loyalty and subservience imperatives with nigh-irresistible male sexual prowess and a low male birth rate to reduce future competition. Then he gets killed. 200 years later it's the males who are kept in communally owned harems because after his death the women immediately decided that the best way to protect, coddle, and serve their rare and precious male children was to keep them in guarded creches and raise them to be little more than gigalos and sperm donors.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Doctor Who serial "Galaxy Four" features this with the Drahvins. We only ever meet the females and their leader, Maaga, is initially confused when the Doctor's companion Steven asks about their men. When she does understand her response is an offhand remark that they keep as many males as they need and simply kill the rest.
  • An episode of Sliders had the Sliders land on a world where the bulk of the male population was killed in biological war. The result is that remaining men are kept in facilities with the intent of using them to breed future generations. This goes to the ridiculous extent that the two world superpowers (based on male population count), the US and Australia, constantly steal each other's males. Men are rated on a number of "encounters" per month. A particular stud is famous for having the average count in the 200s (that's over 6 women per day), and a man is forcibly separated from his wife and placed in a repopulation facility. And she's not allowed to even see him, much less sleep with him, because she's not attractive enough for their eugenics program. Professor Arturo laments the lack of artificial insemination technology on this world, and he'd be happy to help them out, if only they cared what he had to say instead of how many "encounters" he could have in a day.
  • The Star Trek: Enterprise episode "Cogenitor" features a species who have three genders — the third gender doesn't pass on any genetic material, but their involvement is still necessary for the male and female to successfully reproduce. The "cogenitors" are treated in a manner not befitting pet hamsters — they aren't even given names, let alone education or freedom (the cogenitors make up less than 3% of the population, setting themselves into this trope nicely).


    Video Games 
  • With one exception involving Time Travel, players only ever see female Mithra in Final Fantasy XI. They are, mechanically, an all-female race. They do have males, but according to the game's backstory, males are rare and kept sheltered to ensure their species' survival. They typically stay home and raise the kids while the females hunt and adventure.
  • In Meet and fuck: Star Mission, males have declined "due to a succession of wars". Males are kept in cryostasis untill The Federation needs a few sperm samples, thawed, thrown a sandwich and a vial. Once the samples are collected, they get stuck back in the freezer and shipped to another colony.

    Web Original 
  • Deep Rise: The only sentient life form that cannot be found on earth is called the Signaler, a race of quadrupedal lizards whose gender can be controlled; the more heat you force-feed the egg, the higher the probability the signaler hatches as a male. Since males look like comatose dumbasses and rare because it takes multiple eggs on the sides to ensure the central eggs get enough heat, they're treated as breeding stock and trophy sons. When their technology gets advanced enough to invent incubation chambers, an entire world war erupts over the treatment of males in a matriarchal society, with the nazi expies outright raping and murdering any males born into their fold. And after the apocalypse, one of the last survivors tries to impregnate herself with frozen sperm because all the males are dead, and dies from medical complications.
  • In NationStates, the country Lovable Weirdos has no men naturally. Men are bought from the nation of Des-Bal as slaves and used only for breeding purposes with next to no rights.


    Anime and Manga 
  • In Animal X, how female dinosauroids (or Yuiji, who is capable of bearing hybrid children) are treated seems to depend on the varying values of different dinosauroid cultures, the goals and morals of the various human organizations involved in dinosauroid politics, and just the values and personalities different people have. Examples of type I and II are spread out and often combined, not to mention how the copious Fantastic Racism influences how Yuiji in particular is treated, giving the audience very little information about how a fertile dinosauroid female is normally treated.
  • In Armitage III, Mars is desperate for more female colonists to give them a viable birthrate, allowing them to claim independence as their own sovereign nation. But the women of Earth enjoy so much political power that few women are willing to migrate to Mars, where they will be expected to become homemakers and mothers first and foremost — not helping is that Mars already makes heavy use of Sex Bots to compensate for the lack of women, with the implication that many male Martians migrated to get away from the female political dominance of Earth. So Mars tries to invent artificial women who can still bear biological children, something that elicits such alarm from the Earth women that they begin threatening war on Mars, out of fear that this will undermine their political power.
  • Lurks at the heart of the Gender Bender manga Balance Policy: The world is undergoing an infertility plague with female births account for only 10% of the diminished total, so the world's governments have hit upon the solution of converting pre-pubescent boys into girls. The boys modified under this so-called "Balance Policy" are supposed to be chosen for their suitability, but the lure of substantial government incentives convinces some parents to force their sons into the program. The resulting reluctant girls naturally act out their hurt, confusion, anger and resentment at this betrayal, and even the resigned or more-or-less willing ones have issues stemming from the implicit message that they are supposed to be promiscuous breeding stock.
  • Played both ways in One Piece. The "Isle of Women", Amazon Lily, forbids men to step upon it on pain of death. This works so well that only the oldest woman on the island could even identify a man when she saw one, since all the women who leave the island for supplies and what not and know what males look like are just coming back to the island. However, once Luffy befriends Boa Hancock and gains her permission to be on the island, the women can't get enough of him and are eager to just touch him before he leaves. When the male crew of Trafalgar Law are permitted to land on Amazon Lily to tend to Luffy's injuries after the Marineford Arc, they exhibit a similar fascination with the men, with only the more hardcore traditionalists keeping them from peacefully intermingling.
  • YuYu Hakusho: Rare gender expelled with extreme prejudice. Hiei, the only male ever born to the Koorime, is thrown off the their floating island shortly after his birth. He was, apparently, conceived through his mother's interactions with a fire demon, rather than the usual immaculate conception. In the anime at least the rare males born from such events (which has to happen around the time they spontaneously become pregnant with a female child) are inherently born with fire magic affinity and are felt to be a threat, making the anti-male behavior of the old crone a case of self-fulfilling prophesy.

    Comic Books 
  • Y: The Last Man has both extremes of this trope mentioned, if not explored. The Gendercide at the start of the series is unusually thorough, to the point that the general public went years without realizing that any men survived. The hero's journey is largely motivated by his desire not to become a slave subject to variation 2. The final epilogue implies that the baby boy born to the astronaut and cosmonaut grew up to become the ruler of Russia, making future Russia variation 1. However, once reproductive cloning was perfected, men became somewhat superfluous.

    Fan Fiction 
  • Because the Dwarves are over two thirds male, Dwarf women in Fate Be Changed are kept cloistered away and pampered by their brothers, fathers and uncles. No Dwarf would even think to harm or mistreat a woman, and the Comapny is outright horrified to learn Willowyn's father threw his own daughter in the streets because she wasn't ladylike.
  • A House fanfiction series, Gone With The World in which there are absolutely no females and Blue Eyed men are capable of becoming pregnant. With this all blue-eyed men (House himself included) are rounded up in government sweeps, enslaved, shoved in a procession-line style facility and forced into sex with multiple Breeders and not allowed to see their children, in order to repopulate the world with females. a twist at the end of the first installation reveals that the reason why the proud mummies aren't allowed to see their offspring is that there are absolutely no female babies being born and the government don't want the secret released.
  • An extremely popular case of Fan Wank in the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fandom, given how few male characters there are compared to the female roster both as main, background and supporting roles (although the newer seasons have evened this out). Many Fan Fic authors have explored or at least mentioned the phenomenon in passing. Sometimes it is Deconstructed, used as justification for a herd-style society, or simply to "explain" why everyone is gay.
    • In Fallout: Equestria - Project Horizons, Stable 99 is a "rare gender is enslaved" variant masquerading as a "rare gender is worshipped" variant. A highly tradition-based society dependent on strict population control, stallions (or "bucks" as they are called) are kept as a small minoritynote  and given no rights or liberties whatsoever; they are considered breeding stock and fit only to provide reproduction and sexual release, with the mares being culturally indoctrinated to genuinely believe that stallions only care about breeding and don't need to explicitly consent to sex. Because of this brutally utilitarian view of the genders, stallions in Stable 99 have a limited lifespan, and are "retired"note  once they age past 40 and their sexual viability declines.
    • In Xenophilia, stallions only make up a quarter of the population, which has traditionally led to their being coddled, pampered, and denied any real position of social importance or power; even the more enlightened present is still essentially a gender-flipped late-1950s/early-1960s, and the fact pony mares have a biological instinct to protect stallions that basically causes them to fly into protective fury if one is endangered ensures that Equestria will always be something of a "rare gender worshipped" version of this trope mixed with a Lady Land.
  • Omegaverse fanfictions frequently employ both variants on this trope, but with the designations "alpha" and "omega" used in place of males and females. Typically, it is omegas - ie. males (or sometimes females) who undergo regular heats and are capable of bearing children - who are the rare gender, and either enslaved or worshiped as the author sees fit. However sometimes alphas - who go into ruts when presented with an omega in heat, and are responsible for impregnating themnote  - are instead. Sometimes, both alphas and omegas fall under this, compared to a wide population of betas (ie. normal humans).
  • My Hero Academia fanfic Total Command: For unknown reasons, when Quirks began to appear the 1:1 men-to-women ratio became skewed into a 1:4 ratio, and only women got Quirks. Men end up being discriminated against because they never get Quirks, but when Izuku becomes the first man known to have a Quirk, he instantly becomes the target of hundreds of women.

  • Hell Comes to Frogtown — Roddy Piper plays the most fertile man on Earth in a future where fertility is scarce. While valuable, he is forced into a government mission to rescue — and impregnate — a treasured group of fertile women.

  • Scientists, as an experiment, take two groups of people. The first is a hundred men and one woman, the second, a hundred women and one man. Each group is put on an uninhabited island, and left alone. A month later, the scientists check how the societies developed. Island one: the woman is sitting on a throne, proud as a queen. The men are around her, serving her every whim. One guy, handing her a drink, accidentally spills it. The woman says "Number 14, you are 83 now". Island two: The man is sitting on a palm tree. The women are trying to shake him off.

  • F.M. Busby's The Breeds Of Man posits a limited fertility future where an HIV cure Gone Horribly Wrong effectively prevents women from being impregnated twice by the same man because their souped-up immune systems develop immunity after the first "infection" that effectively excludes any future impregnation by any man with the same blood type. Many draconian solutions running to both ends of the Gender Rarity Value spectrum are discussed but none are actually implemented. Meanwhile, women who want more children just take the practical route and start sleeping around.
  • Maggie Shen King's An Excess Male takes current problems in the PRC and projects them onto the near-future. Due to the lack of Chinese women, the government has granted women the right to marry more than one husband, with the first husband still being the nominal head of the family, and has encouraged families to take on the women's family name (rather than the husbands') to encourage the birth of more girls. Nonetheless, families more often than not prefer male sons and girls are only deemed valuable by greedy parents hoping to sell them for an exorbitant bride price. Not that the situation is better off for the titular "excess males" who are viewed suspiciously by society and their government as volatile, sex-crazed, and potentially murderous due to their unmarried status.
  • In the sci-fi novel Godspeed, which focuses on a colony world cut off from all superluminal contact, something in the locally-grown food causes a gross imbalance in the number of men vs women, so that very, very few girls are born. As such, women on that world are treated with great respect and tend to be sheltered and hidden away from anything that could conceivably be a danger. On the other hand, unprotected women are in considerable danger: the lack of women has made many of the men sexually frustrated, and willingness to rape is quite high. The only reason the female doctor is permitted on a spaceship voyage to the outer system is because she is elderly, and therefore long past being sexually attractive or having any childbearing value.
  • French post-Apocalypse novel Malevil plays quite a bit with this trope.
    • The worshiped variety at Malevil castle. Miette is flat out told that she will not be the property of six men and is given free reign to choose a husband. In response, she Takes a Third Option and starts a Polyamory relationship. Everyone treats her with the utmost kindness and respect, except La Menou. Her sister Catie and Angès are treated the same when they arrive later.
    • The enslaved variety comes to rule La Roque after Vilmain's army captures the city. Fulbert barely kept his men from being rapists, it's a reward for Vilmain's veteran troops.
  • Masters of the Fist, a collection of short stories by Edward P. Hughes: in the aftermath of World War III, all the men in a certain Irish village have gone sterile, except for a British Army sergeant who salvaged a Challenger tank and used it to defend the place from brigands. A council of village elders therefore decrees the sergeant to now be the village's "lord,"note  who must deflower every girl of the village just before her wedding. He isn't very happy about it, especially since one of the council, the schoolteacher, is the only woman he really wanted ... but he's not allowed to marry her, because he has to be the village's stud. He's also rather squicked when the process has gone on long enough that most or all of the girls these days are his daughters.
  • The Matter of Seggri, a novellete by Ursula K. Le Guin, deals heavily with this trope. Seggri is a planet with 1 male for every 16 adults, although later medical advances lessen it to a 1:12 ratio. The men are sent off to luxury castles to compete for the right to breed while women run the majority of societal functions. As one character puts it, men have all the privilege, and women all the power. However, there is no other option for men and the castles are at best Gilded Cages and at worst Hellhole Prisons where rape and murder is not only common but encouraged to maintain their violent social order. Opening themselves up to the Ekumen does introduce the idea of education for men, however, and some men have escaped the castles by going offworld.
  • The Rainbow Cadenza by J. Neil Schulman is a rare example of both at the same time; It all starts with cheap sex-selection technologies, specifically an over-the-counter drug called Adamine which suppresses the production of X-chromosome-carrying sperm, ensuring that any child a man sires while taking the drug is male. In anticipation of World War Three, first-world nations approve tax incentives supporting the use of the drug, hoping to breed a critical mass of soldiers to be drafted. As a result, an entire generation almost totally eschews bearing female children. In the aftermath, males outnumber females by a factor of 20. And many of them have PTSD. And do to the remaining women what crazy, violent men have done throughout history.
    To counter this, the newly-created world government alters the draft; similar to the current laws for soldiers, all able-bodied women are conscripted for state-sponsored prostitution from the ages of 18-21 - any male that has paid their taxes and has not been convicted of a crime can make use of them in a controlled environment. After they finish their service, "veterans" receive a generous enough stipend that they can live comfortably without having to work, and their votes in political matters are worth 20 of a heterosexual man's(while a homosexual or an asexual's are worth 10, as they do not make use of the service). A democratic majority of women support this system as it promotes them to a status enjoyed by South African whites under apartheid a la Armitage III, with the "draft dodging" remainder becoming "Touchables" with no recognized human rights.
    Schulman wrote the book as an attack on conscription;
    Rainbow Cadenza started out by asking the question if parents who were willing to have their sons drafted to go to war to have their asses shot off would be willing—if the same utilitarian rationale was given—to have their daughters drafted to have their asses banged. If my previous sentence shocks and revolts you, then you'll know how shocking and revolting I find the draft for any purpose.
  • Alaya Dawn Johnson's The Summer Prince is set After the End and the event that triggered the apocalypse was a plague that targeted the Y chromosome. It's long since receded but it left a mark on gender inequality, so the only male politician (the titular summer prince) in Palmares Tres has no real power and is made into a Human Sacrifice at summer's end.
  • In Francis Carsac's Terre en fuite, the Tilians are a Lost Colony of humans founded by the crew of one of the ships sent to explore the galaxy after the discovery of hyperspace (they didn't know that using hyperspace turns every trip into a Blind Jump). Due to exposure to cosmic radiation, the original settlers have developed a mutation that turns the female-to-male birth ratio as 7:1. The low number of males necessitates polygamy to allow the population to grow. Being constantly at war with the neighboring Human Aliens, the Tilians have developed a Proud Warrior Race Guy culture. Strangely, despite the small number of males, only men are soldiers and have a much higher status than women (this may have something to do with the novel being written in 1960). Additionally, some men are born completely lacking in initiative and are, thus, useless in combat, being relegated to a second-class status of servants.
  • A partial example with Elena in Women of the Otherworld who is the only known female werewolf. Partial because female werewolves aren't necessary to propagate the species, because Gender Equals Breed when werewolves mate with humans, but she's still treated as a novelty and many werewolves wish they could have her with them. But the pack she's with treats her as an individual.
  • In Robert A. Heinlein's The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, men outnumber women two-to-one on Luna and thus competition for female favour is fierce, so chivalry is Serious Business and Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male is enforced by other men. A woman on Luna can beat a man until he bleeds, but if a man so much as flirts a little too aggressively, he risks being Thrown Out the Airlock.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Alien Nation, the Newcomers have a third gender that doesn't contribute genetic material, but who are necessary to enable reproduction between males and females. This third gender makes up a small percentage of their population, and while they're not worshipped, they are held in a place of honor. One episode has the villains attempt to wipe out the Newcomers by targeting the members of the third gender, hoping to kill them all so the Newcomers won't be able to reproduce.
  • The Outer Limits (1995): Subverted in "Lithia". Although Major Mercer is the first man alive in generations, no one either views him as god-like or potential breeding stock. In the latter case, this is despite the fact that, while they have semen samples stored for use in artificial insemination, logically this can't last forever. Two of the women do have sex with him, but that is portrayed as simply due to fascination with him.
  • Joxer from Xena: Warrior Princess in "Kindred Spirits". An Amazon wants to have a baby, and he's the only male around. They don't have sex, because Status Quo Is God This trope also occurs in Hercules: The Legendary Journeys.

    Star Wars 
  • Although now relegated to Canon Discontinuity, Star Wars Legends portrays a vast number of different species with different takes on society due to their gender imbalance.
    • The Gamorreans are a primitive, pig-like species with extremely belligerent and aggressive males. In a "chicken or egg?" relation, boars outnumber sows 5 to 1; boars do all the fighting, whilst sows are the peaceful sex and keep society going.
    • Dathomiri, as seen in The Courtship of Princess Leia, are a matriarchal human subspecies of Force Sensitive who developed a culture in which males are oppressed and even unconsciously prevented from mastering their own Force powers due to influence from a female Dark Jedi in their distant past. The story itself has Luke arrive on the planet and be immediately enslaved, as his being a "male witch" makes him incredibly attractive as a potential mate. However, he later proves to be largely playing along, not seriously threatened. Also, the Nightsisters — an outcast clan of Dathomiri who embrace the Dark Side — are even worse than the regular Dathomiri, with a tendency to execute their males after mating with them. Even in the canon depiction of Dathomir in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, the Nightsisters are still a Lady Land matriarchy who ruthlessly subjugate their Nightbrothers.
    • Selonians are a species of anthropomorphic eusocial otters; the bulk of the species are sterile females, clustering around the few fertile females, who keep small harems of males. The "queens" direct the dens as a whole, but it is the sterile females who are responsible for the day to day running of things. Meanwhile, males are held in scornful disregard as being of little use other than breeding stock, though a small group of "breeder's rights" activists did eventually come into being.
    • Cereans (a Near Human alien species who have notably oversized heads) suffer from both a gross imbalance between males and females that favors females and a low birthrate. Consequently, not only is polygamy the norm, it is so essential that males father as many children as possible that male Cerean Jedi like Master Ki-adi-mundi are some of the very few Jedi who were given exemptions from the blanket rule of "no lovers or children" that the Old Jedi Order held its members under.
    • The long-nosed reptilians known as H'nemthe have a population of twenty males for every female. Thus, in their society, females are often given a high status and males dedicate their lives to seeking out a mate. However, the H'nemthe mating ritual ends with the female disembowelling and eating the male as it symbolizes true love! The males are not bothered by this as they believe that in death, they will act as a spirit guide for their child.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Malifaux:
    • Gremlin females (outnumbered by males 20 to 1) are generally kept away from the more dangerous activities and so tend to survive longer than the males, who also fawn on them in hopes of being allowed to have sex. It's not a true "worship" variant, however, as the females are expected to keep up the population, so they pay for living in the comparative lap of luxury by popping out constant broods of gremlins, up to twenty at a time, and looking after them. Still, it's possible for the females to get involved in the fighting too; two of the gremlin faction leaders are female, and there's several female gremlin special characters as well, ranging from Trixibelle to a somewhat homely gremlin female who flies on a homemade rocket pack.
    • The monstrous swamp-creatures called silurids have only one female per ten males, and so females form the center of their communes, rearing their broods whilst the males bring them food and defend them against attack.
  • In the Star Fleet Universe (A Star Trek derivative game universe), some ugly wars on Alpha Centauri resulted in so many men being killed off that the planet shifted over to a matriarchal society. For a while, men were relegated to 'traditional women's' roles in society and reduced in status, though by the time of the setting, this had eased (along with the gender imbalance) for all intents and purposes they have equal rights, though Alpha Centauri women outnumber their men in Star Fleet and other branches of Federation government.
  • In Warhammer Fantasy Battles, only one tenth of all dwarfs are born female. Dwarf holds are ruled over by kings and women hold little political power but are still highly respected in their society. Women may marry more then one man in which case they are encouraged to marry brothers. Dwarf women are so prized that many of them are literally worth their weight in gold as the price of their dowry; this means most dwarf men prefer bigger brides.

    Video Games 
  • The Fallout series' Vault 69 had with in 999 women and one man. There is also Vault 68, with 999 men and one woman, but what happened within either Vault is unknown.

  • The two warring factions in the Girls' Love Space Opera Angels 2200 appear to have chosen opposite versions of this trope following the male gendercide: The Colonials appear to have opted for version one with males in command positions while the Terrans appear to have opted for version two since none of their males have ever appeared at all, which is not surprising, considering the Terrans created the Gendercide plague in the first place. One Terran pilot claims that her father didn't die in the plague: he abandoned his family to become a playboy afterwards.
  • Yinglet society in Out-of-Placers appears to be a Type 2 (rare gender enslaved) as each enclave keeps their rare females closely guarded in their midst but the protagonist soon learns that they're effectively a Type 1 society with the females using the power of their central position and their control over breeding to effectively run things from behind the scenes.

    Web Original 
  • It's complicated with foxtaurs in the Chakona Space 'verse. Vixens outnumber Todds four-to-one so they practice polygyny and males are variously strongly discouraged to forbidden from pursuing "dangerous" professions such as hunting.

    Western Animation 
  • In Futurama episode "Amazon Women In The Mood", Fry and Zapp Brannigan are captured by giant women, and sentenced to death by constantly having sex with them, aka Death by Snu-Snu. It's also indicated that the other men in the tribe all died from crushed pelvises.

    Real Life 
  • Boys are born slightly more often than girls but are slightly less likely to survive to adulthood due to a number of various factors affecting their survival: Men are more likely to inherit certain genetic diseases like hemophilia due to only having one X chromosome, men are also more likely to take risks with their lifestyles ranging from high-stress or high-risk occupations (such as applying to the military) and hobbies (Like extreme sports) to not paying much attention to their own physical health. Even when they don't take risks, there is the military draft which usually only drops men into war, even when there's a shortage, and men are more likely to be targeted for violent crime and even murder unless the motivation is specifically gender-based. The differences (on the order of 1% either way, depending upon culture) are far too small to constitute rarity.
  • Eusocial hymenopteran insects like Bees and Ants have three sexes: fertile females (queens), fertile males (drones), and sterile females (workers). These sexes are generally produced in ratios of 1:10s:10,000s; and though queens, drones, and workers all have different tasks to perform; 'worship' or 'enslavement' is just not the right terminology, as bee and ant hives cannot really be said to be composed of individuals - they are superorganisms, with queens and drones being the genitals of the composite creature. That being said, a lot of effort is devoted to the health and well-being of the reproductive units of the hive/colony at the expense of the sterile workers; but that maintenance often includes killing old or diseased or foreign queens.
  • In China, male children currently outnumber females about 117 to 100 in the recent generations. Since the beginning of the One-Child Policy in 1978, female fetuses have been aborted more often than males and newborn girls are sometimes killed or abandoned; this is the result of the law interacting with the tradition in China is that the men carry the family name and take care of their parents in their old agenote . This is especially common in rural areas where traditional social norms may be the only safety net for the elderly. It is significantly less common in wealthier urban areas, where women have much greater access to education and jobs and their contribution to the household is viewed more equitably. The rural shortage of women has made it increasingly difficult for young men to find wives and has sometimes resulted in internal and international human trafficking because families are willing to pay substantial sums for a bride, consenting or not. The Chinese government has been working to raise the status of female children and end these practices but attitudes change more slowly than laws.
  • During the colonization of America between the 1600s and 1800s, Native Americans were often targeted by the settlers for their land. The genocide and plague, while it did ultimately eradicated nearly 90% of all natives, had first initially massacred Native males in certain tribes. The shortage got so bad to the point where Native American women would attempt to purchase African slaves from the settlers simply to free and marry them into the tribe, since there were not enough native males. It's worth noting that the African slave trade had also initially targeted males, so there was plenty for them to buy.
  • In Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, the male/female gender ratio is about 2 to 1, because the countries' economies rely on large numbers of overwhelmingly male guest workers from other countries like Bangladesh. Alaska has a similar gender imbalance, as a considerable chunk of the population is employed in traditionally male manual labor jobs like fishing and oil rig maintenance.
  • A woman in technical or engineering studies or a man in education and personal beauty jobs will often find themselves the only (fe)male in the immediate vicinity. Depending on their views on the topic, and the attitudes of their co-workers, this can be isolating and unpleasant enough to drive them out of the field entirely in search of a more equitable environment, perpetuating the cycle of underrepresentation.
  • While their number have been increasing in the past years, Female Nerds still occasionally feel treated like yetis or fetishized in unrealistic ways by their male counterparts.
  • Biologists analyze the behaviors and actions of species in terms of "genetic fitness", which is basically the proportion of an individual's genes in the next generation. Whenever the ratio of a given sex goes down relative to the other, it becomes more advantageous (in terms of fitness) to have offspring of that sex, so that sex is temporarily more valuable. In the long run, this causes nearly all sexually reproducing species to have an equal ratio of males to females, even for species whose males spend most of their lives alone and thus (it would appear) don't contribute much to the group's welfare. The mothers in some species have developed means to determine the offspring's sex in response to apparent conditions.
  • As of 2011, there's mounting concern in America that the relative absence of men from higher education and the disparate impact of unemployment on male-dominated fields in the wake of the recession have left many college-educated women without opportunities to meet and have relationships with their educational and social peers. 57% of American college students are female and some colleges are quietly and controversially engaging in affirmative action benefiting men in order to avoid a skewed sex ratio that would be seen as hurting the reputation and perceived social life of college campuses. One-fifth of working-age males are currently not participating in the workforce. These trends have been seen as causing an ongoing re-evaluation of traditional marriage and relationship norms and skewing the balance of power in dating towards men, at least according to this much-discussed article. Some have claimed that the reluctance of college-educated women to accept less educated or career-driven spouses is itself a form of sexism. However, it is also important to remember that men and women bear the consequences of marriage unequally: with multiple interpretations as to why - Men tend to spend less time on household upkeep after marriage but women spend more, usually being expected to cook and clean as well as working outside the home. Women are often expected to sacrifice their own careers for the sake of their husbands. Or, on the other hand, men are expected to slave away at a difficult job to earn money, while women have less pressure to work themselves to the bone, and can - with the help of modern conveniences - live a life of relative luxury.
    • Given that black American men are much more likely than white men to be imprisoned (with both longer sentences and more occurrences of false convictions) and they are much more likely to die young, there's been a very large gender gap for black American women for years, which exerts an interesting and possibly unfortunate influence. It's worthy to note that men are imprisoned for longer than women.
    • One thing to consider is that the work inequity that typically exists between working couples doesn't exist or does so in a reduced way in traditional partnerships, namely one person works while the other takes care of household. While this is unrealistic for a lot of working class families, this relationship type is more viable for higher income individuals. What may end up happening if the trend continues is an increase in the number of "house husbands", since men are getting a reduced quality of education for multiple reasons and therefore becoming less desirable to employers, while a woman's value is rising. In order for this kind of adaptation to take hold however, there will need to be a rather radical shift in gender roles and what is considered attractive in a mate.
  • Russia has a gender ratio of 86 men to 100 women, due to a higher male death rate from various public health problems (including widespread alcoholism). This has led some people to advocate the legalization of polygamy.
  • Cucurbits (squashes, pumpkins, gourds, cucumbers, and melons) produce flowers that are either male or female. (Unlike many other plants, whose flowers have female and male parts at the same time). One delicacy is tempura-fried squash blossoms, and since the number of actual squash you'll get depends on how many female flowers you have, and one or two male flowers can pollinate all of them, it's usually the male flowers that are used for culinary purposes more than the female flowers. (Some also say that the male flowers taste better.)
    • Ginkgo trees are dioecious, which means that individual trees are male and female. The males produce pollen cones and females produce a fruit-like ovules that have seeds. Unfortunately, these "ginkgo fruits" smell like vomit or rancid butter so most people prefer planting male cultivars as opposed to female ones.
  • The "Marriage Squeeze" experienced by the Baby Boomers (more specifically, women) as they reached adulthood.
  • Ubiquitous in agricultural animal husbandry, in which female animals' ability to produce milk, eggs, and offspring routinely gets male livestock converted into meat at a younger age than their female counterparts. The exceptions are the valuable "stud" males, whose high-quality genes ensure them a long and pampered lifespan, long after most of the lower-grade males of their generation have been sent to the slaughterhouse. With modern technology, the animal's genes can be used well after the actual animal's death.
  • The gender imbalance among the Chinese population in the United States was remarkable in the late 19th and early 20th century. The male/female ratio went far as 25 to 1 in the 1890 census, because most came in as manual laborers, either not married or with families left behind in China, and only the privileged merchant class could bring their relatives. It wasn't until after World War II when the exclusion acts were repealed, family lives began and the gender ratio became balanced beginning in the 1960s with a massive influx of immigrants.
  • While the casualties of the War of the Triple Alliance are a source of great controversy, one thing that is universal is that they were disproportionately male, with the sex ratio going from fairly even before the war to anywhere from 4 to 20 women for every man depending on the area. The casualties in Paraguay were the worst, with nearly 90% of Paraguayan adult males killed. It was so bad that The Pope actually temporarily permitted polygamy there (a practice otherwise wholly forbidden by Catholicism) to bring up the birth rate after this.
  • Sea turtles' sexes are determined largely by the temperature the eggs are kept at. If the eggs are laid in a slightly warmer nest (say, one that gets direct sunlight on the beach), more female turtles will be produced. Cooler nests (say, one that is in the shade, further up the beach) produce males. Climate change may be having an impact on sea turtle nests, causing them to warm up, leading to far more female turtles than males.
    • Crocodilians also have tempurature dependant eggs. While they also face a similar predicament as turtles, they also invest parental care of these eggs and even have some degree of control over the sex of the clutch: If a given population has too many of a given sex, the mother can make adjustments by adding to or removing the rotting vegetation from the nest.
  • The settlement of The Wild West. Most of the Frontier towns started as work camps, where there were no women. Most of the men who came to those camps had left families behind, or did not have any family to begin with. When women finally did come to the West, they saw that there was a high demand for sex, and since there weren't many other ways for women in the 1800's to make money, they found that The Oldest Profession, despite its many downsides, was a very lucrative career. In fact, many of them made many times more money than their clients did on a day-to-day basis! And if and when they did decide to get married, this wasn't held against them as much as it would have been further East, because women were at such a premium, regardless of whether they were current or former saloon girls, or virgin schoolmarms. Many of the prostitutes and madams of the Old West used their newfound wealth and power to turn those settlements from work camps to actual towns with (non-sex-related) services that people really needed. This financial independence gave women in the West a level of power and influence that women further East would not have for decades.
  • A large part of the reason for the appearance of maiden aunts after World War One was that the war killed off large numbers of men, on all sides. The Spanish Flu epidemic didn't help, either, as (unlike most strains of the flu, which tend to be most serious in young children, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems), this strain of the flu mostly affected people who were young and otherwise healthy, and by some estimates killed off more people than the war did. This left a lot of women who couldn't find partners, because there just weren't enough available young men to go around.
  • A relatively new study suggests that athletes produce more females than males. This is due to the Y chromosome in sperms cells being extremely sensitive to any kind of stress including exercise and especially during spermatogenesis. As a result it tends to break down very readily while on the other hand, X chromosomes are more resilient. Worst case scenario, the ratio of woman born to male born is not 5:5 but 7:3 depending on the typical intensity of the workouts.