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Gender-Restricted Ability

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Jen: Wings? I don't have wings!
Kira: Of course not. You're a boy.

When you get down to it, there's not much difference between what men and women can do. Even if on average one gender or sex is more suited to the role, as long as it doesn't involve reproduction, there will be exceptions to the rule. And sometimes even then. Even with physical appearance, if nudity isn't required, there are some people who can convincingly pass themselves off as the other gender. And this isn't even getting into transgender people.

Not so in fiction where your access to the supernatural powers or ability to use the Applied Phlebotinum may depend on your gender. If so, there are rarely any exceptions to this rule. Although with this being said, woman do tend to have a leg up, if this trope is used/in effect. This is especially true, if they hail from an harem anime/manga (for obvious or not so obivous reasons to justify an Improbably Female Cast) or feminist-oriented works.

This trope doesn't apply to cultural gender divides, only to times when certain magic or supernatural powers are restricted to one gender. In the case of magic, sometimes the sexes will both have access to it, but use it in a fundamentally different way which in this case expect Unequal Rites as they disagree over which system is better. If only one gender has access to it however, than it will result in a Sliding Scale of Gender Inequality with (just as stated above) the woman being usually favourized. This trope is a common way of making a character a Supernaturally Validated Trans Person.

Might be hand waved by Bizarre Sexual Dimorphism. Compare Gender-Restricted Gear, mostly found in Video Games. Super-Trope to Magic Is Feminine. Compare Gender Incompetence.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Baki the Grappler: Only man can inherit/manifest the hanma-blood. This may be the result of it being tied to the y-chromosome.
  • Blood+: Chiropterans. The queens are always female and they are always twins. The chevaliers who create them are always male. It is never said that it is not possible to create female chevaliers, but since the chevaliers are intended to mate with the other queen, female chevaliers would have little use.
  • Claymore: Subverted. All of the eponymous yoma-infused warriors we meet are women, but it's eventually revealed that the Organization did create an all-male generation early on—which had Gone Horribly Wrong, as nearly every member of it Awakened and became a major monster: Isley, Rigardo, Dauf, and Chronos we see much later in the manga were all members of that generation. The Organization stuck with women from there on, with the justification being that they have better self-control over their temper than men, so they're less likely to be goaded into accidentally going over their limits. Also, the process of going over one's limits and awakening, while excruciating, is also orgasmic. Men are less likely to pull back from awakening than women, since A Man Is Always Eager and All Women Are Prudes.
  • Corpse Princess: Only young women within a certain age range can be made into Shikabane Hime.
  • Cross Ange:
    • All Norma seen are female, and it's never suggested that any male Norma have ever existed (Tusk doesn't have Mana-powers, but he's an Old Human, not a Norma born of Mana-users, nor does he have a Norma's Anti-Magic). The show never explains why this is the case.
    • Among the DRAGONs: only the females go back and forth at will between human and draconic form, and their dragon forms are pretty much universally smaller and weaker than male DRAGONs, with the exception of Aura, their progenitor. It's never made clear if male DRAGONs cannot become human, or if it's just a societal custom to remain draconic after a certain age.
  • Dual! Parallel Trouble Adventure: The giant robots can only be driven by female pilots, with the exception of the male protagonist. This is because the race that made them put them in gender lock for females only... and the male pilot also is a male mech. It also restricted certain functions in the mechs as well.
  • Freezing: The girls have extreme speed and strength with the ability to summon weapons while the boys are debuffers and hold down the enemy. No explanation really comes forth as to why, except of course the obvious ones.
  • Fushigi Yuugi: The (male) gods can only be summoned by a girl, who must also be a virgin. Men and boys, however, can serve as guardians for the Priestess, if they are granted the right powers.
  • Leviathan: The Last Defense: It's explicitly stated in the intro to episode 4 that only women are capable of using magic. Though for some reason Bahamut's father is called a mage and has powers.
  • The Mage with Special Circumstances Wants to Live Peacefully: Only men can be born with magic powers. Myth claims that The Maker set things up this way to encourage chivalry towards women, but the story never gives a confirmed answer. The main protagonist, a woman who happens to be the only known exception to the rule, keeps her powers (or her true sex depending on circumstances) a secret due to the risk of All of the Other Reindeer or becoming a target for Human Trafficking for her value as a Breeding Slave. Late into the story, it is revealed that women technically have magical power, they just cannot use it for some reason, they can only pass it down to their descendants. Women with massive amounts of magical power, including the main protagonist, are born with a Power Tattoo.
  • Magilumiere Co. Ltd.: Played with; Though females are the ones who become magical girls, it is mentioned in #17 that males also can use magic but currently don't because of Power Incontinence where they release too much magical power and there is no tech that can allow them to at the present.
  • Mnemosyne: When a time spore enters a woman's body, she becomes immortal. When a time spore enters a man's body, he becomes a mindless winged killer (called "angels") whose survival prospects are rather grim. The anime also is one of the few series to explore how this affects intersex people. If a time spore enters one of them, they get the best of both sides, becoming immortal with the ability to fly and enhanced strength.
  • Mobile Fighter G Gundam makes a minor point of this near the end, when Ulube is reading over the research notes about the Devil Gundam, explaining why Wong wanted Allenby to be its core. It's justified that since the Devil Gundam was meant to be the ultimate lifeform, it requires an organism capable of creating life, a woman, as its core. According to the show, the ability to give birth makes women the "top of all living things" and they have the most amount of energy.
  • My-Otome: The nanomachines that give the Otomes their powers can't be used by anyone but virgin females because of a chemical in sperm that destroys them on contact.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica: Kyubey only ever offers adolescent girls the contracts that will make them become Magical Girls. Why he never does the same with any males or females of other age groups is unspecified. One theory is that because Kyubey's species, the Incubators, are trying to harvest energy via emotions, they figure that's the demographic that has the strongest emotions.
  • Ranma ½: The effects of the Dragon's Whisker herb appear to only affect males. A bald man who drinks a soup or tonic made from it will have their hair regrow, a man with hair who drinks it will have their hair grow out of control until it falls out completely unless bound with another Dragon's Whisker. A woman who drinks it... nothing. Turns out to be useful for Ranma who drank the soup by accident and has to have his hair bound... or use his Jusenkyo curse to temporarily halt the effects while several older, bald and balding cast members fight over one used to bind his hair when they find out.
  • Sailor Moon: Only female holders of Sailor Crystals/"True Star Seeds" can be Sailor Senshi. Rarely, men are born with them, which will give them powers (Mamoru being male is why we have Tuxedo Mask instead of a Sailor Earth), but not make them Sailor Senshi.
  • Shitsurakuen: Intentionally subverted. Only men are allowed to wield the Weapons, while women are forced to be their submissive Contracts that supply the Weapons. The protagonist is seemingly a Big Bad-approved Spanner in the Works, a girl with the determination to rescue the girls from their fate, given the tools necessary from the academy that instituted the male-dominating rules.
  • Ultimate Muscle: It is declared that the "Burning Inner Strength" can only be attained by the males in the Kinnikuman family.

    Comic Books 
  • The Darkness only gets passed to males. When a son is born, the current Darkness user dies, and the kid inherits the abilities when he goes through puberty. Luckily for Jackie, he had a daughter.
  • In The Sandman (1989), certain forms of magic (such as walking the moon's road) are exclusive to women; even a trans woman can't go. There was a passing reference to the Sandman example being based on chromosomes (the character who brought it up didn't know a whole lot about the subject) while Word of God suggests that the ancient deities and witches just can't get over some old prejudices; there is nothing that inherently prevents a biological male from practicing "female" magic, except a deity that can't get her head around the idea. As seen later on, Death feels no need for such discrimination.
  • In pre-Crisis Shazam! stories, Billy and Freddy got their powers from famous "gods" (Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles, and Mercury), while Mary's came from six "goddesses" (Selene, Hippolyta, Ariadne, Zephyrus, Aurora, and Minerva). Functionally, however, they had all the same powers...even though they probably shouldn't have, since Mary's set sometimes provided gifts like "beauty" instead of things useful in a fight. (Also, yes, ignore the fact that Zephyrus was male in actual mythology.) Post-Crisis, Mary also gets her powers from the male set.
  • Witchblade: For the most part, only women can wear the Witchblade, though there has been at least one male case.
  • Wonder Woman: As they were originally envisioned, the Amazons all had lives prior to becoming immortal Amazons, in a ceremony implied to involve the magical spring on Paradise Island, however only women could become Amazons and men were unable to.

    Fan Works 
  • In Total Command, only women have quirks. So far, the only exceptions to this restriction happen to be Izuku and All For One's Brother.
  • The ability to use Chakra in To Walk on One's Own Path is restricted entirely to women. One of the reasons Minako is so protective of her son, Naruto, is because she knows he would not be able to defend himself against her many enemies.

    Films — Animation 
  • Pom Poko: Only male tanuki can use their... testicles to fly and as weapons, as befitting Japanese mythology. Justified for obvious reasons.
  • In Turning Red, only the females in Mei's family are granted the ability to turn into a giant red panda when they come of age. An early draft gave Mei a male cousin, named Leo, who could also transform into a red panda, but the Director's Commentary on the DVD says that in the final version, the ability is limited to Sun Yee's female descendants, making it currently unknown what happens to male descendants whenever they get highly emotional.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Ambushers: A flying saucer that the protagonists need to find can only be piloted by women; the electromagnetic waves it emits are fatal to men.
  • The Dark Crystal: Only female Gelflings have wings.
  • Dragonheart: Vengeance reveals that female dragons of the Dragonheart universe can shapeshift into animals, while males can take the form of rocks or water.
  • Fast Color: Superpowers seem to be a female-exclusive ability in this world, for they alone are seen or mentioned as having them.
  • Good Manners: Possibly implied. It's unclear if male werewolves are the only ones that can transform into wolf-like beasts or not, as Ana is never shown to have such an ability, whereas Joel does, though werewolves cannot transform at will.
  • Hereditary: Only a male can successfully and safely be a vessel for King Paimon. Females possessed by Paimon end up becoming enraged, demonic, and ultimately ends with them being decapitated. A passage in one of the books Annie reads also specifies that Paimon can only be invoked by men.
  • Martyrs: The Mademoiselle tells Anna that females (particularly those in their 20s and 30s) are the most likely to be able to achieve martyrdom which entails withstanding great torture, deprivation, and agony to achieve a transcendental state that allows one to see beyond death and into the afterlife. However, male martyrs aren't unheard of (though interestingly, the only examples of male martyrs shown in Mademoiselle's book are prepubescent boys).
  • Perfect Creature: The vampires were all male born from human mothers, with no female ever yet born.
  • Red Sonja features a powerful artifact that can only be wielded by a woman, disintegrating any man who touches it.
  • Santo en El Tesoro de Drácula: The time machine invented by the famous Masked Luchador hero El Santo has an unusual limitation. Santo determines that only healthy young women are strong enough to survive the trip.
  • Thelma: Thelma discovers that her paternal grandmother shared her powers. Her father doesn't, though, implying that they're only inherited by females.
  • In Witchslayer Gretl, it is noted that magic-users are almost always female, with warlocks being so rare that they are practically anomalies; at one point, Hansel states that, in all of his years of witch-hunting, he had never encountered even one warlock prior to the events of the story.

  • The Andalites in Animorphs show that male Andalites have larger tail blades, which allows them to attack opponents more effectively in combat. The Andalites who are Estreens and are much better at morphing than other Andalites tend to be female. Male estreens are not unheard of, but rare.
  • In Annals of the Western Shore, members of the Upland clans can be born with different magical abilities. In some clans, only one gender is empowered (only Caspro men can "unmake," only Barre women can control animals), while one clan is mentioned where men and women have different powers. However, both sexes can pass on the gift "gene" to their children.
  • The Arts of Dark and Light:
    • In Selenoth, Elves of both sexes are magical beings, with a much higher incidence of innate sorcery than any human race, but the magical potential of female elves is tied to their maidenhood. Male elves appear to have no such limitations, nor do human wizards of either sex.
    • The sworn brothers of the Michaeline Order in Amorr are recruited from boys born with the supernatural, ostensibly God-given ability to see and dispel magic. The Order is traditionally male since no girl has ever been known to possess such gifts, though there is In-Universe debate on whether such a girl should be accepted as a Michaeline sister if one was found.
  • Holy spellcasters in The Banned and the Banished get their powers either from the god Chi (for males) or the goddess Cho (for females). The two deities are equally powerful, but Chi splits his power among a large number of casters, while Cho only gives her power to one woman at a time. This means that female casters can store twice as much Mana and have access to three times as many spells.
  • The Barbarian and the Sorceress: Barnabus tells Rom only men have the intellect to learn sorcery. He's quite wrong, however, as Kira picked it up while helping him learn from ancient scrolls.
  • In Black Jewels, female magic is almost always more potent than men's. Ranking within the Jewels can extend to Queen for females, whereas male ranking extends only to Warlord Prince. However, the magical power depends on the darkness of the jewel of an individual.
  • In The Blood Ladders, female magic works within the body (healing and transformation) while male magic works externally (mostly telekinesis). This is given as a reason why mermaids (elves using transformation magic) tend to be female, and why elf warriors are always male (though some were assigned female at birth).
  • In Captain French, or the Quest for Paradise, the women of planet Corinth have a special ability that involves them going into a trance and then being able to precisely determine their soulmate. Over the generations, the men have learned not to argue with this prediction, as results have spoken for themselves (a side effect is the lowest level of marital infidelity in all of human space). The ability is real, but the origins are veiled in mystery, usually dating back to the planet's settlement by humans. The most popular legend involves a special native flower, which is claimed to be the source of the women's prescience, but which wilts away when a man lays his eyes upon it, even from far away. According to the story, the latter reason is why the flower is now extinct and why only descendants of the original colonists have the ability.
  • Almost the case with the Jordain in Counselors and Kings. Jordaini girls are almost always stillborn, so that the vast majority of actual Jordaini are men, but occasionally a Jordaini female will survive. Cassia, Jordain to King Zalathorm is the only one we actually meet. It turns out that Tzigone, one of the main protagonists, is a Jordaini birth gone wrong, so she has the Anti-Magic abilities even though she's not considered a Jordain.
  • The Courtship of Princess Leia: For some reason, Allya's descendants only could use the Force if they were female since no one had seen a "male Witch" as they call it until Luke. Given that Force ability is hereditary, perhaps in her case, it was carried solely by the female sex chromosomes (though it would be an outlier as this is never seen in any other case of Force sensitives).
  • Averted in Discworld, at least in the areas where most stories featuring wizards and witches take place. Wizardry and witchcraft are separate forms of magic that are mostly gender divided, but this is a social split related to prejudices on both sides of the fence. Exceptions do exist, such as the early mention of wizards in Krull not caring much either way. It's suggested that wizardry being systematic was more suited to men while witchcraft being initiative/emotional was more suited to women. Interestingly, despite her initial reservations, Granny Weatherwax is eventually convinced that Eskarina's mindset is wizard-like and that trying to shape it into witchcraft simply because she's female is a bad idea. Incidentally, both Granny and Archcancellor Ridcully have expressed the opinion that witchcraft/wizardry isn't primarily about magic, because magic is so easy that even wizards/witches can do it.
  • Dragonriders of Pern: Golden (queen) dragons will only Impress on women and bronzes only on men. For other colors, general rules exist, but exceptions can be found.
  • Dragonvarld: Humans with dragon magic use it differently depending on their gender. Females only use it defensively, males offensively. There is one exception in Marcus, who can do both. It affects them differently as well. Females have a temporary weakness which comes from doing magic. Males, however, are usually driven mad by it. However, by selective breeding Grald now has males who remain mentally stable whom he's raised to serve as elite soldiers along with the woman, making up a whole army.
  • The Archive of The Dresden Files is always the daughter of the last Archive, so the title is self-continuing.
  • Zigzagged in the Dune universe:
    • The Bene Gesserit are an all-female order of holy-warrior-diplomats, with many of their skills reliant on Charles Atlas Superpower, and those skills can be taught to men without issue. However, their greatest abilities, limited Spice-induced prescience and the ability to commune with the "ghost-memories" of all their female ancestors, are granted through an initiation ritual involving an extremely toxic form of Spice, and results in either superpowers or death. Every single man, no matter how well-trained, who attempted this ritual died. The Bene Gesserit implemented an extremely long-term eugenics program to produce a man that would be capable of surviving this, who would be called the Kwisatz Haderach. In fact, the Kwisatz Haderach would have even greater abilities than any Bene Gesserit, including expanded prescience and the ability to access the ghosts of all ancestors, not just female ones (the ghost-memory thing is apparently stored through chromosomes, meaning it is impossible for women to ever access male memories). Paul Atreides, aka Muad'dib the Prophet, was the first man to successfully undergo the ritual and survive.
    • In the Legends of Dune prequels, the Sorceresses of Rossak are, as the name implies, all female. The males of Rossak have no Mind over Matter powers. As such, they are relegated to servant or business roles.
  • Earth's Children is a dual example. The Neanderthals live their lives along sharply divided gender lines, and due to how their brains are structured, cannot do otherwise. It's not tradition that says male Neanderthals hunt and females take care of the kids. Rather, they are literally hardwired into these roles and cannot function when taken out of them. Ayla, being a modern human, can and does, deeply disturbing them in the process. Yet, her jaw almost drops when she sees Jondalar, a man, cooking. Ironically, it's now believed that Neanderthals had less of a gender divide than Cro Magnons.
  • The original Earthsea trilogy features mostly male wizards. In fact, there is a proverb: "As weak as a woman's magic." Later books reveal that this is more of a cultural restriction, however.
  • Fates Parallel: Of a sort. In cultivation, what matters most is if someone is yang-aligned or yin-aligned. The overwhelming majority of men are yang, and women are yin (at least for humans). Trying to learn or use techniques of the wrong alignment is dangerous and difficult, usually requiring completely rewriting the technique from base principles. Since the God-Emperor of the Qin is male, he taught his entire country the yang-aligned version, and through a self-reinforcing tradition of sexism, no one ever bothered to develop the yin-aligned version, meaning yin-aligned cultivators can't get strong enough to change anything. Lee Jia is, with the help of a master mage and a master cultivator working together, able to slowly adapt yang-aligned techniques for herself.
  • Genome: In Dances in the Snow, Faster-Than-Light Travel is fatal to women (at least, human women). The reasoning for this is never explained. However, the only way for women to go to other planets is by becoming a Human Popsicle. This also leads to a lot of sexism, particularly from starship crews, who derogatorily refer to women as "cargo". At the end of the novel, it's mentioned that a genetic cure has been found to allow future women (not the ones being subjected to gene therapy but their children) to survive FTL travel and even become pilots. None of this is mentioned in the original novel Genome (Dances in the Snow is its prequel), where Genetic Engineering Is the New Nuke, so this is no longer an issue (two of the main characters are women and have no problems surviving space travel).
  • In The Halfblood Chronicles, the female elves have only weak magic compared to males. However, it's implied that the differences in magic are due to training rather than innate ability, as female elves in that society generally have little freedom, and are only taught "small" magic. There are brief mentions of powerful elven ladies who learn to wield magic in a masculine way. Also, some male elves have difficulty with using small practical magics commonly used by females simply because they haven't been trained in the same way.
  • In His Dark Materials, in Lyra's world, witches are a One-Gender Race, possessing magical tendencies and long life. Their male offspring (fathered by human males) are normal humans. Male witches did exist elsewhere in the multiverse, though they are only mentioned once.
  • In If I Pay Thee Not in Gold by Mercedes Lackey and Piers Anthony, only the women in Mazonia have magic (of conjuration). As a result, all men are either slaves or treated as second-class citizens if they've been set free.
  • Kämpfer: Kampfers have to be female. When a Kampfer bracelet finds its way onto the wrist of a boy, it turns him into a girl whenever he becomes a Kampfer.
  • In Kroniki Drugiego Kręgu, only boys are believed to be born with magic. It's later Subverted Trope with the introduction of Jagoda (a very powerful female Observer) and as the series goes on, more and more girls with magical abilities are discovered. They remain much rarer than male mages though, which makes them (especially Jagoda) very good candidates for the Super Breeding Program.
  • Lensman: In First Lensman, Mentor explains to Jill why it is impossible to create a Lens for a female. Mentor is lying his head off, as Clarissa will prove later in the series, but for the first couple books, that's how the Lens works. He's not exactly lying, given that he also outright tells her that there will at some point be a female Lensman. He doesn't, however, mention her daughters, who aren't technically Lensmen ... they just have all the powers even without having a lens and can generate their own out of thin air purely by thinking hard.
  • Let's Start An Inn On The Dungeon Island: In the new world, only women can use magic, nobody really knows why. When word gets out that the protagonist can use magic, he needs to have bodyguards because of the Victoria Era setting where he'd be very, very socially vulnerable, and everybody wants to exploit him.
  • The German booklet series Maddrax has the women of the 13 islands. Almost all of them are telepathically gifted, but men rarely have this ability. This is one reason why their folk are a matriarchy.
    • Men from the 13 islands can be quite empathic, but also this is not common.
    • There are, however, also the taratzes, which is a species of mutated giant rats. They are stronger, faster, and more resilient than humans, but usually not particularly smart. The taratze kings are an exception, however, and in the entire series of books, a taratze queen has never been seen.
  • In the world of Miss Ellicott's School for the Magically Minded, only girls are capable of performing magic. When Chantel is with the Council of Mages, however, she discovers that boys used to be able to perform magic too.
  • In later Night Watch (Series) novels, only female Dark Others can become witches. The witches are Closer to Earth and tend to rely on amulets than straight-up spells. However, they also rather quickly become old hags and are forced to use magic almost constantly to maintain their Hot Witch appearance. In the final novel of the main series, it's revealed that witches were the third type of Others to appear in the world, back during the Stone Age, after vampires and shapeshifters. They started wearing amulets in the form of jewelry to protect them from men, and Muggle women then picked up the jewelry-wearing fashion for the same reason (i.e., if a man isn't sure that a jewelry-wearing woman isn't a witch, he won't try to assault her).
  • In Old Kingdom, the Clayr (prophets who live in the glacier) are almost all women; the rare occurrence of male Clayr are seen as anomalies. Plus, Clayr who choose to have children with men generally always have daughters.
  • In On Stranger Tides, it is mentioned that some kinds of magic are only available to men and others only to women. One of the villains is a sorcerer who has access to both kinds, having figured out how to identify a woman with strong magical potential, marry her, then use the marriage bond to gain control over her magic.
  • In the Jackie French novel Oracle, the narrator is a child acrobat. When he hits puberty, his body becomes bulkier and traditionally masculine, putting him out of a job (although his male mentor didn't have this problem).
  • Subverted in The Otherworld.
    • Witches are female, sorcerers are male. They can use each other's magic, but not as well as the proper users can. Witch magic generally relies on incantations or healing brews, while sorcerer magic uses gestures. Witch and sorcerer genes are sex-linked and supposedly incompatible with each other, requiring them to breed with mundanes. However, there are hints in Dime Store Magic and Industrial Magic that witches and sorcerers may be more alike than they think, particularly the revelation that neophyte witch Savannah Levine is the daughter of a witch and a sorcerer, supposedly impossible. It is also pointed out that social stigma prevents sorcerers and witches from having sex together.
    • Industrial Magic suggests that sorcerer magic and witch magic are branches of the same school. Witches only know the first level of their magic, as they eschew the second-level spells (such as curing hiccups) as useless. Unfortunately for the witches, learning the second-level spells is the only way to unlock the upper-tier spells (contained in the witches' own Great Big Book of Everything, but dismissed as unworkable). Most supernaturals dismiss witch magic as weak and useless, as both witches and sorcerers believe that the basic tier of witch spells is all there is.
  • In Pact, the Thorburn and Duchamp families base their ancestry around being female. In the case of the Duchamps, this involves becoming a One-Gender Race using magic and birth control to ensure that they bear no male children, while the Thorburns simply designate a sole female as the heir to their lineage. Rose Thorburn, the current heir, has command of the Thorburn voice, which she uses to command respect from supernatural creatures, while her Distaff Counterpart Blake handles the physical aspects like making ritual diagrams.
  • The Power: The electricity-generating skein organ is apparently linked to having double X chromosomes, as only cisgender females plus a few intersex males get it.
  • Reign of the Seven Spellblades: Downplayed. Female mages are able to use their wombs as an emergency battery of mana, which can give them an edge in Wizard Duels. It's not a decisive edge, though, since magical strength is very much dependent on the individual: on average, male and female mages' capabilities are about equal.
  • The Saga of Darren Shan only has a few female vampires, and no female vampaneze. Although it is easily possible to turn women into vampires, it is rare. Arra Sails, a female vampire, once said that vampires can't bear children, which is a bigger problem for women than for men.
  • Secret City:
    • Only the women of the Lyud' can use normal magic. A Lyud' male using magic means that the situation has already somehow passed the Lyud's Godzilla Threshold.
    • Only the men of the Chud' can use magic.
    • The Moryana creation rite can only be survived by a woman.
    • A Daykini can only take a female host, although not restricted by species.
    • All Tat' Lords are male.
  • In the Sector General novels, Educator Tapes can't be tolerated by human females. This started as Values Dissonance because the first book was written in The '50s, but we later learn that it's a species restriction; alien females (those species that have females) can and do use them.
  • Shatter the Sky: Only a girl of the Verran people can become the Prophet, as their people are mystically linked with the dragons who provide this gift. Even then, only a few actually can do it.
  • The Silerian Trilogy: Before the conception of Baran and Mirabar's daughter, we only hear of male water magic users. There is a reason they're named "waterlords", after all. No "waterladies" appear or are mentioned.
  • An enforced case in the Sword of Truth series:
    • There are only female Confessors, but not because males can't get the power. It's because when a male has the power, it's a much stronger version, without the cool-down that female confessors have, and because of this they end up using said power to get everything they want. After the first generation of tyrannical male Confessors was dealt with, all male Confessor babies are killed shortly after birth.
    • There's also differences between Wizard (male) magic power and Sorceress (female) magic power. In practical terms, they can do more or less the same things: throw wind, fire, and lightning around, create spell forms, etc. But they're stated to work differently, such that each gender doesn't properly "get" how the other works. At the Palace of the Prophets, for example, it takes several hundred years for the sorceresses to teach young wizards how to use their gifts properly, but it takes a much shorter amount of time for a male wizard to teach another male wizard.
  • In Temeraire, certain breeds of dragons will only bond with female aviators. Most notably the acid-spitting Longwings, around which England's primary aerial combat formations are based. Since this series takes place during The Napoleonic Wars, an era where it was still illegal for women to wear pants, the fact that England's aerial defense is held together by women military officers is not permitted to be known outside the Aerial Corps.
  • In the Thieves' World series, only men can become mages. There are, however, indications that this is a social restriction with no inherent basis.
  • In Three Days to Never, one of the characters is a sorcerer who, it turns out, was born female and went to extreme lengths to gain access to male magic.
  • In The True Game, several of the Talents are gender-limited, or at least rare in one or another sex. Healers and Midwives, for example, appear to be mostly female, while Armigers, Sentinels, and possessors of Necromantic Talents appear to be mostly male. Harpies and Queens are of course always female, while Kings and Princes are of course always male (though given that many women amongst the Gamesmen are encouraged to hide or deemphasize their talents, it's hard to know how common certain talents really are amongst them).
  • Downplayed in Undefeated Bahamut Chronicle, where females generally have higher compatibility for Drag-Rides than males. There are exceptions, such as main character Lux having higher compatibility than the female average, but the difference is such that men make up the majority of Red Shirts and Mooks while women make up the majority of high-level Drag-Knights.
  • Male Hradani in The War Gods suffer from the Rage, which, until it's later learned to be controlled and directed, turns them into bloodthirsty berserkers. Female hradani do not experience the Rage (and as a result are the default gender for hradani judges and diplomats). The Rage was imposed on the hradani by the evil wizards who enslaved them; apparently those wizards wanted their female slaves producing warriors instead of being warriors. The flipside, however, is that while in the Rage they are essentially immune to all but the most powerful magic, making them a dire threat to most magic users on the battlefield who they will instinctively attack.
  • In the Warlock of Gramarye series, psis on Gramarye have sex-linked powers — Witches (women) are telekinetic, and Warlocks (men) can teleport and levitate themselves. The hero and his family are the only exceptions, due to not being entirely out of the same gene pool.
  • In the Warlock Series, the Wyverns who can dream are all female. They are surprised to find males who can dream even among humans, and despite their marginal acceptance of that, in Ordeal in Otherwhere, Thorvald appoints Charis to be the person actually dealing with them, as a female.
  • Witch World has female virgin witches. They are shocked when Simon Tregarth, a man from another world, has the same powers (and more shocked when a witch marries him and keeps her powers).
  • The Wheel of Time has a great variety of differences between male and female channelers of the One Power.
    • For instance, women draw from the saidar half of the Power, are able to gauge each other's Power Levels by proximity, can initiate links with other channelers to combine powers, and typically have better mastery over Wind and Water. Men draw from the saidin half, can use Fire to take in and redistribute heat (women can only take it in and consequently burn themselves or even burst into flame), can naturally sense women channeling by way of goosebumps, are much stronger on average, and typically have better mastery over Fire and Earth. How various weaves are formed is also gender-dependent: women create Gateways by making two areas 'similar', whereas men bore holes into the fabric of space.
    • As well, men and women approach control of their respective magics differently: women control Saidar subtly, gently encouraging it to do as they want, and lose control as soon as they try to force it to do something. Men, on the other hand, must seize Saidin, controlling it by force and fighting against it, or they will be killed by it.
    • Men and women can't even see the flows that the opposite sex channels most of the time, and can only block them by use of a special weave. Quite a lot of these distinctions is drawn from the philosophy of Yin ("soft" control, passiveness, air, water, etc.) and Yang ("hard" control, aggressiveness, fire, earth, etc.).
    • Interestingly, we've seen The Dark One resurrect two of the Forsaken in opposite-sex bodies, without any change in their power type or strength. Either souls have an innate sex, or this is the Dark One we're talking about, and further speculation is pointless.
  • Among human wizards in the Young Wizards series, males have an affinity for the elements of fire and earth, while females have an affinity for water and air. This generally doesn't matter much, except in Wizards Abroad, when the characters have to deal with Empathic Weapons which are embodiments of the four elements.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Battlestar Galactica (2003), while gender is apparently irrelevant for most professions, including the priesthood, oracles, who have prophetic abilities and can tell the will of the gods, have been women in every case we have seen or heard of.
  • Buffyverse:
    • Slayers are always young girls.
    • Averted with witchcraft: though most practitioners are female, there are male users. In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Giles borrows the power of an entire coven to take on Dark Willow, Angel and Xander are both shown to use spells, Oz and several frat boys accidentally summon the demon of fear, there are a few guys in UC Sunnydale's Wicca group, and the third season has a warlock named Michael. On the other hand, there are no real prominent good male dedicated spellcasters on the show to contrast with Willow, Tara, and even Jenny Calendar. There are powerful but not "good" male spellcasters such as Rack and Ethan. In the comics, there is also Clive, who is a warlock and the spiritual leader of a witchcrow.
    • In Angel, there is also a group of powerful beings who occasionally determine someone as their champion, to fight against evil. The respective champions are almost always demons (at least partially), and almost always male.
  • In the Doctor Who 2011 Christmas special "The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe", only women are deemed strong enough to carry the whole Forest's essence in their head.
  • Echo (2024): So far as the series has shown, the abilities of the Choctaw protectors are only possessed by women in Maya's family.
  • The Power (2023): The electricity powers are mostly exclusive to women or girls, as people soon realize. However, it turns out Ryan, who's intersex but identifies as a man, also has it. Ryan guesses that it's due to higher estrogen levels in his body.
  • The Wheel of Time (2021): Magic (the One Power) is divided strictly by gender here. Only women touch Saidar, the female half, as only men touch Saidin, the male half. Touching Saidin leads to eventual insanity because it was tainted by the Dark One, which caused the Breaking of the World. The episode "Saidin, Saidar, Stone" of the animation The Wheel of Time: Origins says that Saidin and Saidar require vastly different techniques (a very important point in the books, as well as their different specializations), but it hasn't come up in season 1.

    Myths, Religion & Folklore 
  • Christian mythology (i.e., the kind of stuff you'd find in the Malleus Maleficarum and only tangentially related to the teachings of the Bible) holds that magic can be practised by both sexes, but women tend to go for it more because men have the Lion's Share (pun not intended) of God's grace. Women, being (supposedly) less blessed, tend to go elsewhere.
  • Amusingly averted in Norse Mythology. A majority of witches are female, but only because their magic relies on contact with another person's semen. Yes, that means the Uke can have magic powers too. One way that gay men and transgender women could live openly and still be moderately tolerated in Norse society was to practice witchcraft. Of course, they were still ostracized, but people still sought their services, and not many would want to anger a witch. And to further make the point: Odin is a male witch since he wanted to learn all the magic of the world. This means exactly what you think it means.
  • Eastern Slavic Mythology:
    • Male users of demonic/unholy magic power can sometimes partially overpower the will of their supernatural masters and use their power for good. In very rare cases it was even possible for a vampire to be a sort of good guy who protects his homeland and people who live there from threats, supernatural ones in particular. That said, they are still doomed to go to hell after death as their souls still belong to Devil. In contrast, female witches are always slaves to the will of their masters.
    • Only males can be born with magical powers. A woman must sell her soul to become a magic-user — and will still be weaker than a male mage. In fact, even the sorcery-associated god (who is male) of pre-Christianic times was believed to be rather misogynistic. In contrast, Eastern Slavic mythology also have a good number of very badass non-magical action girls. In other words, while for the most world Magic Is Feminine, in ancient Rus(sia) Magic is Manly while physical violence is gender-neutral. And yet, for whatever reason, in western fantasy Eastern Slavic-themed cultures often make a point of having either mostly female or outright female-only magic-users. Even worse — both Eastern Slavs and some native peoples of Siberia had a theme of female (but not male) magic being weakened/outright blocked by cold — but a generic western portrayal of supposedly Eastern Slavic-inspired spellcaster is very often a female ice person. Makes one think where this wrong but weirdly persistent idea even came from.
  • Unicorn mythology says that they will only befriend virgin women. Not all modern authors keep this trait. See the Unicorn and Virgin Power tropes for details.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Forgotten Realms, only female drow are trained to be priestesses. Male drow can also learn the magic, but in the company of the drow men are not worth much. However, drow see arcane magic (which has higher power potential than divine) as more suited to males. Thus, being a mage is one of the few ways for a man to achieve power in their oppressively matriarchal society. Now, a mage with too much potential probably won't be allowed to live long enough to reach it, but still.
  • Pathfinder: Shardra Geltl, the Iconic Shaman, is from a family whose shamanic abilities always ran down the female line. Shardra is transgender, which let her inherit them despite having been assigned male at birth.
  • Ravenloft:
    • In the 2E setting, the followers of Hala included female clerics and male wizards, ostensibly because the goddess taught that each gender was better suited to that sort of magic. Subverted in the 3E Ravenloft products, which left its Halan prestige classes open to both sexes.
    • Also, the only Vistani to be gifted with the Sight are females. This is because a long-ago prophecy warned them that a male Seer would one day become the dreaded Dukkar and destroy their people, so they kill any male offspring that develop the Sight.
  • Vampire: The Requiem:
    • The Qedeshah bloodline is a motherly lineage that draw their origins from a group of temple prostitutes. Part of their bloodline-specific curse is that after joining the bloodline, they can only Embrace females. Attempts to Embrace men result in the man experiencing agonising, incapacitating pain for 24 hours before they expire horribly, the Qedeshah "mother" suffering a portion of this pain through the sympathetic connections of their shared blood. Men are not barred from joining the bloodline from outside the family tree, but upon doing so their vitae is rendered sterile and they can no longer Embrace childer or create ghouls, earning them the position of eunuch.
    • The Yagnatia bloodline appears to be patriarchal to outsiders. In fact, the female vampires of the bloodline are in charge, because due to the influence of a powerful witch on the bloodline's originator, only they can perform the ritual that allows Yagnatia vampires to perform the Embrace (if they try it without the ritual, all they get is a corpse).
  • In Warhammer, both the Dark Elves and Bretonnians only have female magic users. Whether this is a cultural or natural restriction depends on who you ask; males of other factions are perfectly able to use magic, but each faction accesses and uses magic in a different way. In at least some versions of the fluff, the lack of male Dark Elf wizards was related to a prophecy that one of them would topple the immortal Dark Elf king. Obviously, male study of magic was not encouraged. Regardless, some versions of the fluff (such as the 7th edition Dark Elves book) implies that there are male sorcerers, who obviously conduct their work in secret (and get customers from those nobles who don't want to owe Morathi and her minions a favor).
    • There was never any kind of mystery about low numbers of male Dark Elves mages (which is "relatively" new lore by itself first with its first appearance being 6 edition). Most of them indeed are killed during childhood (as a person is born mage, not taught to be one) because of the prophecy. Still, in Hag Graef (second largest city) there are all-male covens of warlocks (though they are cursed by the king and thus have quite painful existence). Mages from outcast Shade clans are also usually male. As for Brettonia — children with magic abilities are given to (always female) priesthood of the state religion. Girls become priestesses while boys disappear. There are at least 3 versions of their fate — older editions implied that they become servants of Wood Elves. In the infamous End Times books they apparently transformed into superhuman semi-elvish mage-knights who will serve Elven gods in a new world that will be created once the current one will be destroyed. Finally, according to an event in Total War: Warhammer they become paladins.
    • Interestingly, some fans of Total War: Warhammer have a misconception that Elven mages in general are almost exclusively female. Sometimes one can even hear that Teclis being a male archmage is an extremely unusual thing. This is completely wrong — while Dark Elves have female prevalence among mages due to their king's paranoia, among Wood Elves both male and female mages are equally common. High Elven mages are usually male; in fact, the only female spellcaster of importance is the Everqueen, who is not even an archmage in usual meaning. Earlier edition explained that by stating that outside of Avelorn (Everqueen's queendom), High Elves find the general idea of women on the battlefield to be "barbaric", which created interesting contrast with their Dark cousins. For some strange reason, in Total War: Warhammer every single Elven mage (with the exception of DE king, said archmage Teclis and a guy who use an amulet to cast spells) is female, which led some people to believe this being the case in lore as well.
  • In Warhammer 40,000, the series of enhancements used to create a Space Marine is only usable on men. Justified since the enhancements are based on the biology of the Primarchs, who were all men because they were cloned from the Emperor. Older source material also stated that acceptance of the implants and the ensuing muscle growth required the increased testosterone output in men.
  • In Witch Girls Adventures, unsurprisingly, only females can be witches. Though they have a male counterpart in the Immortals. Though female characters with the Half-Otherkin heritage can be half-Immortal, although they're outnumbered 10 to 1 by the males. (Immortals are fond of joking about how their progenitors weren't quite as sexist.)

  • In BIONICLE, only the female Skrall have psionic powers. However, it turns out that these were given to them by an Eldritch Abomination purely for its own amusement, and are not a natural ability at all.

    Video Games 
  • Ace Attorney:
    • Only Fey women can be spirit mediums. This actually causes massive social damage to the Fey clan — because the Fey family holds their spiritual powers so highly, their men feel deeply unappreciated, and their home village of Kurain has one of the highest divorce rates in the country. (Maya implies that her young cousin Pearl hasn't seen a successful relationship in her life.)
    • In the crossover game Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, only women can be witches. No explanation is given for why this is or how it works, and given The Reveal that magic is a mass-hypnosis-induced sham, there may just not be a reason at all.
  • Achaea features the Siren, a female-only race who eventually get the ability to charm others with their good looks as they level up.
  • In Bayonetta, only women can become Umbra Witches and only men can become Lumen Sages. Witches' power comes from making pacts with demons and are enhanced by the light of the moon, while the Sages commit to serve Laguna and are enhanced by the sun. The forbidden union of an Umbra Witch and a Lumen Sage is what kicks off the events of the game.
  • In BioShock, only female children under six can be implanted with ADAM slugs. This makes them invincible and able to puke up EVE serum. They also heal instantly (this is not as good as you think; one fell down the stairs and broke both legs, which then healed cockeyed. The doctors had to re-break her legs several times to put them right). However, one researcher discovered that if you manage to restrain them and tear out the slug, you kill them instantly and get a huge shot of ADAM. Enter papa Frankenstein...
  • Borderlands: Sirens are women born with mystical, eridium-fueled Psychic Powers. Not only can Sirens only be female, but there are only 6 of them at any given time. Troy from the third game seems to break the rules by being both a man and a seventh Siren, but he's actually the result of a quirk in said rules; he's not a true Siren, just the former parasitic twin of one, his sister Tyreen. Part of Tyreen's Power Tattoo spread to him when they were born — presumably mistaking him as being part of her body — causing them to effectively share her Siren powers when they were separated. Troy doesn't really have any powers of his own, his body just leeches them from Tyreen to keep him alive, hence why the Twins go around stealing powers from other Sirens.
  • Castlevania:
    • It is shown that only males from the Belmont clan could use the legendary whip. There was one instance of a woman using said whip, but it has since been declared non-canon. A possible loophole that was only shown with males performing it is the Morris clan ability that, through the help of someone from the Lacarde clan, the Morris clan member defeats the spirit of the previous Belmont who used the whip. So far, all playable females either have to use magic or their own less important weapons to combat Dracula's evil forces.
    • Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin does this full force. Charlotte being the girl is physically much weaker and also doesn't have access to athletic abilities aside from jumping off Johnathan's shoulders while he gains the ability to slide, mega jump, and just be all around nimbler. To further make Charlotte's situation worse her own abilities and advantages appear to be simply because of her own family lineage being great mages (greater than the Lecardes) rather than her being a girl. It should be noted that in the extra game modes that feature a male and female team the girl never gains access to these abilities while their male ally has to usually make the harder platforming without them.
  • Colorgrave Universe:
    • Prodigal: While visiting the Colorless Void, the monsters that live there aren't hostile towards Oran despite not liking humans because only the females can be mages, so they don't see him as a too much of a threat.
    • Curse Crackers: For Whom The Belle Toils gives more information about mages. In the world of Ledamra, there are seven different races of people gifted by the seven Scales (including the aforementioned monsters), as well as the Ungifted, who resemble normal humans. However, only the female gifted (and possibly Ungifted who are descended from gifted) can use magic. This might be because the Scales and their creator were all female.
  • In Dead Space 1 and 2, only female Slashers have the ability to spit explosive globules. This is averted in 3, thanks to the necromorphs only having male corpses to infect. However, they're extremely rare (read: three in one of the last areas of the game) and are shown to have had to re-grow several organs that were repurposed into muscles during the infection, wasting resources to achieve something that just happens normally (well, as normal as an Artistic License – Biology Mystical Plague can be) to someone with two X chromosomes.
  • The Disgaea games have many Evilities that only affect a certain gender in both positive and negative ways. Later games also give male and female versions of the same class different abilities and skills.
  • In Epic Battle Fantasy 4, some of the Special Skills, which can only be used by a single character, are restricted to either Matt and Lance, the males, or Natalie and Anna, the females:
    • Male Only:
      • Giga Drill
      • Power Metal
      • Death Metal
      • Ion Cannon
    • Female Only:
      • Revive
      • Gaia [X]: Gaia Seed, Gaia Bloom, and Gaia Blossom
      • Toxic
      • Absolute Zero
  • In Fatal Frame, it is noted that women are much more likely to develop a spiritual sixth sense, though there are rare cases that a man gains one. This is used to justify why the majority of the games' protagonists are female. The game also uses a ridiculous version when it claims that women are too weak to move furniture out of the way, as an attempt to justify a few Broken Bridges.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • The Sorceress power in Final Fantasy VIII is only passed down through women, with each woman passing the power to someone else upon her death (it appears that it's usually the closest woman, so long as she holds the proper potential). This power is the central focus of the game, as every Sorceress is powerful enough to change the course of the world or control the fabric of reality itself. An in-universe legend posits that the Sorceress power is really the immortal spirit of a god who'd once gone to war with humanity and lost, and escaped by hiding himself in the body of something mankind instinctually wants to protect: women.
    • In Final Fantasy Tactics, only female characters can be dancers, and only male characters can be bards. This is in spite of the fact that Final Fantasy V, which used a similar class-changing system, had no such restriction. Final Fantasy XI wasn't restricted, either, so now we have to deal with Galka flamenco dancers. Thanks a lot, SE.
    • In Final Fantasy Tactics and A2, the status effect preventing Ribbon accessory can only be worn by female characters. In A2 that means only Viera, Gria, Adelle, and Frimelda, but Humes, Bangaa, and Nu Mou can learn a passive ability that lets them wear one anyway. In Advance, all generic teammates but Viera have Ambiguous Gender, so only Viera and Ritz (who is a Viera for gameplay purposes) can wear them.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • The series has female Dancers and male Bards, though they essentially do the same thing. The trend is broken starting with Fire Emblem: Three Houses, which lets you choose anyone to be your dancer, including from the male cast, followed by Fire Emblem Engage'', which introduces a male dancer, Seadall.
    • In addition, only females can ride Pegasi, explained at one point as the weight (amusingly, generic enemy Pegasus knights count as male stats-wise). Another explanation claims that it's because it's hard enough for a woman to get her Pegasus to trust, while a man is incapable of gaining a pegasus' trust. In Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon & the Blade of Light and Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem, the enemy pegasus knights are male, but they appear to have been retconned out of the series, as they're gone from the remake. Fire Emblem Fates features indisputably male Sky Knights (read: Pegasus riders), capped off by a massive Lampshade Hanging when Selena asks one of them about it. Said lampshade goes on to state that Pegasi are simply emotionally sensitive, and if you think one won't tolerate you, you make it so jittery it won't — implying that the rest of the series (or at least Awakening and the modernized Archanea games, which it shares a world with) only think pegasus riding is female-only in a folkloric Self-Fulfilling Prophecy. Subaki also suggests that certain breeds of pegasi are less sensitive to men than others, though it still falls into this trope, as every other game in the series has the sensitive-to-men breeds.
    • In Shadow Dragon, the spell Excalibur can only be used by men, and the spell Aura can only be used by women (despite it being used by a male character in the game's story). It is also noted that Falchion can only be wielded by male descendants of Anri, though this is proven false when Lucina wields it in Awakening.
  • In Jade Cocoon, only women are permitted to carry out the ritual of purification, transforming firefly cocoons into white cocoons so that the soul of the monster in the cocoon is pacified and a cocoon master can call upon the monster's aid in battle. If a man attempts the purification ritual, it will result in a black cocoon, a thing of great evil that fills anything it touches with despair.
  • Princess Zelda from The Legend of Zelda herself appears to be this, as only women from the royal family can receive the magical powers their mothers and grandmothers before them have. However, this also implies women can't have access to the powers granted from the other two Triforce pieces by any means.
  • Almost every LEGO Adaptation Game has a high jump ability restricted to certain types of characters; in LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean, the first LEGO Indiana Jones, and the first LEGO Movie Videogame, the female characters have it.
  • MapleStory has this with the Nova classes on both ends. Only males have ever seemingly been chosen to become Kaisers and the latest Kaiser (the one playable in-game) is male. The female Nova Tear got her own powers via a pervert dragon called Eskalade who prefers and seemingly only gives his powers to females, turning them into Angelic Busters, and both are very different with Kaiser's attacks using lots of blades and Angelic Buster's attacks being much more girly in nature using purple and general light colors.
  • In the Ogre Battle series, males and females have entirely different classes available to them, with no class in common. The starting female class is Amazon, while the starting male class is Fighter. Some classes are obvious counterparts (The female Dragon Tamer and the male Beast Master for example). However, some of the Tactics Ogre games do not follow this formula, instead being like Final Fantasy Tactics with a handful of classes being gender-specific (like Dragon Tamer, Beast Master, Witch, and Dragoon) and others being shared amongst both genders (like Knights, Wizard, Clerics and Fighters).
  • A few Pokémon species are subject to this:
    • Some can only evolve if they're a certain gender: Only female Combee or Salandit can evolve, for example.
    • Others are gender restricted for one possible evolution: only male Kirlia can evolve into Gallade; only a female Snorunt can evolve into Froslass.
    • Meowstic varies greatly between the genders, filling different roles on a team with each gender having a distinct Hidden Ability. Males fill a support role, gaining a large variety of status moves alongside the Hidden Ability Prankster, giving those moves increased priority. Females take a more offensive role, replacing those status moves with offensive special moves, their Hidden Ability is Competitive, raising their special attack when their stats decrease.
  • Siren Games has the players use actual humans, but only men can pick up automatic weapons, climb ledges higher than their heads, and beat some enemies by hand-to-hand combat. Girls, on the other hand, only can use light weapons up to semi-automatic pistols, can only climb ledges up to around their hips, and their melee attacks at best just temporarily stun their enemies.
  • Street Fighter tends to use this trope a lot with boys and girls when it comes to health and ability respectively. In IV for example the two ninjas Guy and Ibuki. Both are speedster-type characters, but Guy can struggle in certain matchups, so he gets 1000 health. Ibuki is better equipped to deal with more opponents but has 900 HP which is the standard for many female characters. In the same game, Ryu is an all-round fighter who can't specialize in one style and has 1000 HP, Sakura practices the same style but has more offensive ability and ways to get in and has 950, M. Bison and Rose are said to be counterparts and Bison has 1000 HP while Rose has 950. Zangief is the game's premier grappler who can struggle to get near his opponent and has 1075 HP in V while Mika who is also a grappler and has some pretty massive breasts has 950 HP.
  • In the Valkyria Chronicles games, only women are able to psychically control the energy of Ragnite, and even then, they have to be descended from the titular Pre Cursors to do so. However, Muggles Do It Better. The Valkyria, for all their power, wiped themselves out to the point that there's only about a handful left (spread out over all 5 games), most of which are named characters, one of which is a Reluctant Monster, and midway through the first game, one of them uses a Dangerous Forbidden Technique that destroys herself and the surrounding city. Those that aren't have the "honour" of being the forsaken children powering the Atlantic Federation's high-energy research program. Normal humans utilize Ragnite in much the same way we do oil. It's speculated that at the height of their power that this was not the case and Valkyrian men had their own powers, but nigh on 2,000 years of interbreeding with humans changed things. It's equally likely that Valkyrian men got shafted in the phenomenal cosmic powers department.
  • Warcraft:
    • In Warcraft III, all female Night Elves have the ability to become invisible at night when not moving, said to be a blessing by the moon goddess. However, on the other continent, this ability is shared by the (all-male) neutral bandit creeps. Lore-wise, nothing stops a male Night Elf from learning this as well; it's just that their Sentinels (who use said invisibility as part of their tactics) are all-female.
    • For thousands of years, in night elf society druidism was restricted to males and Moon priesthood was restricted to females. It was only towards the beginning of World of Warcraft that both occupations were made available to both genders, something considered to be a great societal change.
  • In the later Wizardry games, The Lord class is male only, while the Valkyrie class is female only.
  • Any WWE games that allow blood will only allow it for male wrestlers, likely to avoid the dreaded M rating and the wrath of Moral Guardians. Justified as WWE has never let a female wrestler intentionally bleed on camera in Real Life either. Some of the older games also wouldn't allow females to be used in some Gimmick Matches (particularly the more violent ones), but since WWE started treating women's wrestling as legitimate competition and created a Distaff Counterpart to just about everything (they've even done Hell in a Cell and Elimination Chamber matches with women) these matches are now playable with female wrestlers in the newer games, with the exception of First Blood matches.

  • Apricot Cookie(s)!: Only girls have the ability to become Dainty Defenders of Light, marked by the presence of a bird companion. Boys instead get a deck of cards to duel others with, though that didn't stop Apricot from briefly trying (even if she was bad at it). Starlet Pony, born biologically male, uses a loophole in the system to fight as a magical girl: she owns a magical girl-themed trap card and made it her Transformation Trinket, giving her the card's abilities and appearance when used.
  • In Drowtales, traditional summoning or Elendlari can only be performed by females, due to what Word of God describes as something related to their ability to bear children. The Origin of the Jaal'darya story elaborates on this as being related to the ability to separate one's own aura from that of the child growing inside them when they give birth, with the same technique being used to create a traditional summon. Nether summoning has no such gender restriction (though it's still only taught formally to females in school) which is one reason it's become increasingly popular.
  • In El Goonish Shive, the ability to summon magical hammers out of nowhere is female only and they can only be used to punish men for making inappropriate comments towards women.
  • In Footloose, men's magic is (semi-artificially) restricted to the Fae realm, and there vastly weaker.
  • In Homestuck, certain classes in Sburb/Sgrub are only available to certain genders, and all other classes are weighted towards either males or females.
  • The Law of Purple has the Myranians, a race of aliens of whom only the females have psychic powers.
  • Muted: In New Orleans, women are the only people who can cast magic, while men cannot (however, they can pass down the magic, and any daughters they have will be able to cast magic). However, it is noted that the restriction works by gender self-identification, rather than physical sex, meaning Transgender female witches do get the ability to cast magic (and transgender men will lose theirs) once they come out as such, and genderfluid witches will have their power levels fluctuate unless stabilized by the LaCour. Nyra reveals in Episode 42 that there are some witch clusters that avert this trope and the "source family" in a given cluster (the LaCour in New Orleans' case) can decide whether to invoke this trope or not.
  • In Sacred Pie, the sacred objects can only be used by men, regardless of species. This is a side effect of Lucifer creating them for his own use.
  • In Sleepless Domain, only girls can receive "the Dream" that turns them into Magical Girls. However, this is not strictly tied to biological sex; it's shown that transgender girls can also become magical girls. This can even occur before they transition, as Zoe was still living and presenting as a boy when she got her dream.
  • Stand Still, Stay Silent: One of the magic systems is a deliberately Sadly Mythtaken version of the Norse Mythology example mentioned above, in which magic is acquired via blessing from the Norse gods. This results in the trope being downplayed by having most Icelandic and Norwegian mages being female, but the one that's part of the main Ensemble Cast being one of the few males. When he gets proper magic lessons, he's the only man in the entire classroom.
  • The Wotch:
  • Yellow Brick Ramble: This is a comic adaptation of The Marvelous Land of Oz, the second novel of the Oz series, told from the Trans Audience Interpretation. In the comic, the main character Tippetarius "Tip" Tryfle begins the story as a pre-transition transgirl living with her mother, the witch Mombi. There's a rule in the land of Oz (not created by this comic; it's from the original novels) that men can not be witches, so Tip takes advantage of this rule by suggesting she could be Mombi's apprentice witch to try to convince Mombi to transform her into a girl. It doesn't work, because Mombi Wanted a Gender-Conforming Child.
    • This is not a case where Magic Is Feminine, since men in the land of Oz can be sorcerers or wizards instead.

    Web Original 
  • Release That Witch: Witches are exclusively female and always obtain their powers before adulthood. They are also sterile and persecuted by the masses. This becomes a mystery when the demon hordes contain male and female magicians.
  • RWBY: Although the world does not believe in true magic, it secretly exists in the form of the Maidens of the Seasons, who wield Elemental Powers. When a Maiden dies, the magic transfers to a young woman who is in the dying Maiden's final thoughts. If the Maiden's final thoughts are of a man or a woman older than 30, the magic transfers to a random young woman. However, the magic actually originates from a man, an "old wizard" who sacrificed his magic to empower four kind-hearted sisters who once helped him; ever since he gave them his magic, it has stayed gender-specific. Ancient humans all had the ability to use magic, but only two individuals survive from that era — the Big Bad having Complete Immortality and the Big Good having Resurrective Immortality. The Maidens' magic originally belonged to the Big Good, and it passes by copying his gender-restricted reincarnation cycle: when his physical body dies, his soul, Aura, and mind transfer to an eligible young man, who becomes his next host.
  • In Salamando's "Sex Mage World" stories, a mysterious event grants all women 19 and older the powers of Sex Magic, a combination of sexual-themed magic and psychic abilities that allow women to read, manipulate, and control men's bodies and minds with ease. Only women have this power, and most women are immune to one another's powers, while men are always vulnerable to it. However, while men don't gain magic of their own, their lust provides the necessary ethereal energies which fuel Sex Magic spells; while women can provide some of their own energy, it greatly pales in comparison to how much a man can produce. This naturally creates a completely female-dominated society as a result, since men can't be trusted in positions of power, and their societal purpose quickly becomes being the fuel and playthings of the Sex Mage women.

    Web Videos 
  • In Adventures in Jedi School, it's explained that the reason why the Jedi Order is such a sausage fest is that women lack the proper enzymes for midi-chlorians to form, making it literally a biological impossibility for women to wield the Force and become Jedi. It's revealed that Princess Sessa is a woman who has a genetic anomaly that makes her the only woman who can wield the Force, Master Anki Mudmud planning on harvesting her DNA so that his sister Villaine can have Force-powers like him.
  • The Trait Positives in lonelygirl15 are always female, for some unspecified genetic reason. The sequel LG15: the resistance has the same thing but subverts it in the final episode, which reveals that men can be trait positive, but it's so rare it only happens once every thousand years.

    Western Animation 
  • In Gargoyles, it is not a real ability but rather a property. When male gargoyles wake up, their eyes glow white, but when female gargoyles wake up, their eyes glow red. For the clones, it is exactly the opposite.
  • In She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, the five elemental princesses are all female. The elemental powers appear to be passed from mother to daughter, but it's not entirely clear if only daughters can inherit them, or if it's just coincidence.
  • In Tiny Toon Adventures, at the beginning of the first episode when Babs amazes Buster with voice impressions by transforming into various characters, he asks her how she does it, in which she replies "It's a girl thing!"
  • In Trollz, only the females are able to wield magic. It wasn't always the case, but the Big Bad's attempt to take the magic for himself made it so only girls could use it. Males are left to their physical and mental skills, though older Troll males are able to use magic still.

    Real Life 
  • Singing voices. While there is some overlap in the alto and tenor ranges, natural male sopranos (as opposed to castrati and singing falsetto) and female basses are extremely rare and usually due to a hormone imbalance.
    • For modern-day male sopranos (also known as sopranists), you have Radu Marian and Jorge Cano who are called natural castrati due to endocrinological issues,note  and Angelo Manzotti who taught himself a special technique with his vocal chords. Michael Maniaci is the closest you'll come to a natural male soprano — his vocal cords never went through puberty, but the rest of him did.
    • As for female bases, Sweet Honey In The Rock is the only example that comes to mind.
  • Lactation, although occasionally subverted by men with a prolactin imbalance.
  • Ditto for pregnancy. While both sexes aid in reproduction, once conception occurs, it's all up to the female's body.
    • Averted for transgender people who are AFAB. While not women, they are still able to carry and give birth.
  • In both new world monkeys and prosimians, color vision is only present in some female individuals. This is because, for color vision, three different genes are required — two of which are in the X chromosome. For apes (humans included) and old-world monkeys, this is no big deal: each of our X chromosomes has room for both of these genes. But for other primates, there can only be one of these genes per chromosome, as they both occupy the same locus. This means only heterozygous female individuals can see in full color, males and homozygous females are all red-green colorblind.
  • The Navy Seals have a grueling, intense entrance process that requires extreme physical exertion and strength. So far, only one woman has passed the entrance process.
  • Certain balance tests can only be achieved by females due to their lower center of gravity.
  • Of all species of bees, wasps, and ants that can sting, only females can do it because the stinger is a modified ovipositor.
  • Similarly, only female mosquitoes suck blood from humans and other mammals, and only when producing eggs. Mature female and male mosquitos alike otherwise live off of sucking nectar.
  • Among platypi, the males are the only ones with venomous spurs on their hind feet.
  • Female black widow spiders are dangerously venomous. The males, while not completely harmless, are smaller, less likely to bite, and inject less venom when they do. The opposite is true for Sydney funnel-web spiders, in which the males are more venomous (and more likely to encounter humans, due to wandering around searching for mates).
  • Many species of anglerfish have the females as the only ones who can do anything active. Mature males are essentially parasitic lumps of atrophied flesh-holding testicles that hang off the female's body and hook into her circulatory system to live. All they can or ever do is spurt out sperm to fertilize eggs.
  • In various types of insects, such as mantids, ants, and fireflies, only the males possess the ability to fly.


Video Example(s):


Mana in the Womb

"Explore". After Pete Reston comes out to his friends as a sex-shifting "reversi", Chela McFarlane explains to him that his female form has an advantage he didn't know about: female mages can use their uteri as additional magical storage.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / GenderRestrictedAbility

Media sources: