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Mother Nature, Father Science

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Archimedes was a brilliant inventor and a mathematician. He says to the people around him, "Don't just live in the lap of the gods. Don't be dominated by Mother Nature. You, as a man, can take control of your own destiny."
— "Ancient Einsteins", Ancient Impossible

In a great deal of media, science and technology are portrayed as inherently masculine. Men, according to this trope, approach life as a puzzle to be solved by logic and reason. Nature, on the other hand, is portrayed as inherently feminine and the women approach problem-solving by relying on their feelings and intuition.


If a show has men and women both from an academic background, the man will typically have a degree in science, math, or engineering, while the woman will have one in arts or literature. (This may be why so many mad scientists are male.) Even if both characters are scientists, expect the man to research physics or mathematics and the woman to research psychology or biology. (This particular aspect is currently Truth in Television — men usually outnumber women in university courses in mathematics, engineering, chemistry and physics, while women outnumber men in the humanities and in social and biological sciences.)

Even when a character works in a field not usually associated with their gender, gender may still affect the approach they take — for instance, a female engineer may be portrayed as understanding machinery in an intuitive way, while a male gardener might see himself more as a botanist than as a caretaker who loves beautiful flowers. Even people in the exact same careers will often change their approach; female doctors in fiction are likely to view themselves as compassionate healers, while men in the same profession will often see themselves as problem-solving scientists (hence why Dr. Jerk is virtually Always Male). This may lead to Harmony Versus Discipline conflicts.


Note that which approach is portrayed as better varies widely; see Romanticism Versus Enlightenment. In many works that come down on the side of Enlightenment, you'll see women portrayed as hysterically irrational and easily manipulated, while their male counterparts' hard-nosed, pragmatic rationalism proves to be the key to saving the day. More Romanticist works, on the other hand, often portray men as cold, arrogant, heartless, and unable to appreciate beauty or emotional realities, while the women are more balanced, compassionate, and in tune with nature (though it must be said that not all enlightenment or romanticist works conformed to these generalizations). In some works, it will be suggested that both approaches are necessary and have to balance each other (though note that this doesn't entirely get rid of the Unfortunate Implications if it's still implied that your gender determines which approach you have to take).


Nowadays, due to widespread awareness of this trope and its Unfortunate Implications, it's increasingly common to see inversions, with a sensitive, expressive man and a logical, stoic woman. Again, which one is portrayed as right will still vary, although works like this are perhaps slightly more likely to go with the "both sides are necessary for balance" approach.

Compare Clarke's Law for Girls' Toys, Men Buy from Mars, Women Buy from Venus, Mars and Venus Gender Contrast, and Emotions vs. Stoicism. See also The Smurfette Principle, Straw Vulcan, and Strawman Emotional. Contrast Wrench Wench and Motherly Scientist (usually female, but not always).


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam, protagonist Amuro Ray's father was an emotionally-distant Engineer who took his son into space. By contrast, his mother is literally Closer to Earth, having chosen to stay there and work in a refugee camp, and she's shown to be pretty irrational, even questioning why his son fired his gun to kill an enemy soldier when in danger of being shot.
  • Zigzagged in Tweeny Witches. Witch Heaven is the lush, Miyazaki-flavored valley city state of the Witch Realm fueled by magic, but it also utilizes a primitive Steampunk style of technology, advanced enough to have robots, large broomstick-like transports, a bathroom, and a telephone. Most warlocks live under the desert in Wizard Kingdom (basically the one in Neon Genesis Evangelion), surrounded by high technology with Everything Is An I Pod In The Future aesthetics. The rest of the warlocks still practice their magical tradition as the wizards for at least 2 centuries, but the military dictatorship's oppressive policy has turned them into a Dying Race living in poverty.
  • Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea: Ponyo's mother is a goddess of mercy, and her father a scientist. (Well, sort of a wizard, but a very mad-science-flavored wizard.) However, there's a bit of a subversion in that her father is motivated more by love for his family than anything else and cares deeply about nature, to the point of hating humans for unbalancing the ocean's ecosystem.
  • Sailor Moon S: The Movie is an inversion; a female scientist and her emotional boyfriend who believes in myths.
  • In Naruto the only characters who can use Mokuton are male: Senju Harashima, Captain Yamato, and Shimura Danzo. Later on, Uchiha Madara. However, the associated character traits are not present.
  • Princess Mononoke: Lady Eboshi is both of these in one; she provides food and shelter for the poor and sick, former prostitutes, and all other kinds of outcasts who don't have any other place to go, by running an industrial scale iron mine and expanding into advanced firearms development and production.
  • K.O. Beast: The Myth Arc revolves around this trope. The key MacGuffin of the series, Gaia, is revealed as one of two Master Computers created to control the Northern and Southern hemispheres of the Earth That Was. While Gaia encouraged her people to live In Harmony with Nature and set them on the path to become the Beast tribes, the other computer, Uranus, turned his side into a dystopian Eternal Engine. The world was literally split apart because of the war between the two, and the goal of Uranus, in the guise of the Human leader Czar Master, is to finally wipe out Gaia and take over the rest of the planet.

  • In the Batman universes:
    • Poison Ivy and Catwoman fit the trope. Poison Ivy can control the growth of plants with her mind and is often depicted as being mothering to plants and so in harmony with the natural world to the point that she hates anything man-made. Catwoman is not so obvious, but she has an unexplained and very odd affinity with cats. In some continuities, even tigers will discard habitual ferociousness if she gives them the right look. In contrast, the logical/scientific villains like Mr. Freeze or the The Riddler tend to be male, although The Penguin does have an affinity with birds.
    • Even Penguin shows this when compared to Catwoman. Both have an affinity with an animal (Birds and Cats respectively), Penguin shows a higher preference for high tech gadgets (like his trick umbrellas) than Catwoman who relies on a plain whip, claws, and acrobatics.
    • Then there's Harley-Quinn, the mad psychiatrist. She may have started off as a psychiatrist, but she is driven by her insanely emotional devotion to The Joker.
  • In the Superman comic book story "Father Nature's Folly" a male alien arrives on Earth, and claims that he and his mate were the creators of life in many worlds. He claimed to be unhappy with the result of his mate's work on Earth and would have mutated all life into bizarre forms had Superman not stopped him.
  • In From Hell, Sir William Gull gives a rather deranged, yet convincing Nietzschean speech about the Ancient Greek beliefs mentioned above, rationalising his actions as ensuring we would have a logical, Apollonian and masculine future of science and order instead of being dragged backwards into an emotional, Dionysian future of insanity and emotional female rule. It was well-argued enough that author Alan Moore talked himself into becoming a magician whilst writing it.
  • Zigzag in Xenozoic Tales, featuring the very science-minded Hannah Dundee and the Earth father Jack Tenrec. Both of them have leanings for the opposite side. Jack, despite his undying devotion to the natural order, loves working on cars and other machines. Hannah, more subtly, believes in the mystic underpinnings of the world, but she considers they will be scientifically explicable, once they are better understood. There's also the indication that she's been chosen by the Grith.
  • Zol-El and Alura, the parents of Supergirl. Zor-El is an artist and very kind and opened-up. Alura is a scientist and usually an example of Good Is Not Nice. A flashback revealed that she used to be an Emotionless Girl before her relationship with Zor.
  • ElfQuest is a gender flip. It has two major pairs of "sweet, mystical, peaceful boy" and "strong warrior woman" (Suntop and Ember, Redlance and Nightfall), and both are experienced as playing against type. An Animated Adaptation was proposed but canceled when Executive Meddling demanded that the personalities be switched.
  • A variant that mingles this trope with Magic Versus Science can be found in the original 1978 run of ROM: Spaceknight, produced by Marvel Comics. The evil Dire Wraiths are broken into two factions, one favoring sorcery and the other science, and the two dislike each other. Of course of the series, with perhaps some slight retcons, it's established that these factions are largely gender-locked; all sorcerer-wraiths are female, and all sci-wraiths are male. There are shown to be some exceptions, with a female sci-wraith being prominent in the early issues, but the "warlock" (male sorcerer-wraith) Dr. Dredd observes that the female Wraiths jealously guard their power and try to force away male would-be practitioners of sorcery. It culminates with the female Wraiths wiping out all of the males after they decide that science has failed them too often in their battle against the Space Knights of Galador.
  • Pacific Rim: Tales from Year Zero: Two scientists were behind it the Jaeger Program. The man came up with the idea to build giant robots, but he himself admitted that the key to making it work (love) could never have come from him. The neural handshake came from his female co-worker and she ended up becoming one of the first Jaeger pilots in the process.

    Fan Fiction 
  • In Act I of Sun & Moon, the two female Ancient Masters command the orders most in tune with nature. Terraria seeks a return to unity with the natural order, and Aqua wants to control the world with natural magic. The two males, by comparison, are far more rationalistic in their goals. Atlas is a mathematician, and Seraph is an industrialist who seeks to rule nature.
  • The Bridge goes all over the place with this. Two of its prominent characters gives us a contrast between Princess Luna and Godzilla Junior. The former is very clearly a magic user and while the latter doesn't use technology, his powers came about due to radiation he was exposed to since he was an egg. Furthermore, the most proficient magic user amongst the heroic kaiju, Mothra Lea, and naturally most of the magic-using Equestrian heroes are all female. Inversely, male kaiju Anguirus and Rodan have their roots in Magitek and female kaiju Destroyah was born out of a science super-weapon.
  • In Neither a Bird nor a Plane, it's Deku!, Izuku's adoptive and birth parents both fall squarely under this trope. Inko Midoriya is mentioned to have been a designer prior to becoming a devoted Housewife while her husband Hisashi, a nuclear physicist, worked overseas. Meanwhile, Lara Lor-Van was the head priestess of the Temple of Rao, the most prominent religious site on Krypton, while her husband Jor-El was the youngest man to have ever been admitted into the Science Guild.

    Films — Animated 
  • Inverted in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs: Flint Lockwood's mother was supportive of his scientific endeavors, while his father is mostly confused by anything more complicated than a fishing line.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Spider-Man 2, Doctor Octavius (later Octopus) and his wife Rosalie are both college professors, but whereas Otto specializes in nuclear physics, Rosalie teaches literature.
  • In The Incredible Hulk (2008), both Bruce Banner and Betty Ross were scientists working on the serum that led to Bruce's transformation. Bruce is Marvel's resident gamma radiation and physics expert whereas Betty is a professor of biology.
  • This is pretty exactly much how the Architect describes himself and the Oracle in The Matrix Reloaded. The Architect was a cold, logical perfectionist, while the Oracle was more focused on understanding human emotion and psychology.
  • The main theme of Lars von Trier's Antichrist.
  • Gender-flipped with Owen and Claire in Jurassic World. Claire is the uptight, workaholic park operations manager who refers to the dinosaurs as "assets". Owen is the laid-back and cheerful dinosaur behaviour expert who lives off-the-grid in a dilapidated trailer and shares a special bond with his trained Velociraptors.
  • A non-human example with Godzilla and Mothra. Once Mothra was fully integrated into the pantheon of the Godzilla universe following her success in her solo films, later films would establish her as the classically heroic feminine Foil to the antiheroic masculine Godzilla. A major difference between them is that Godzilla is the mutated product of nuclear radiation, while Mothra is solely a product of nature. Where Godzilla is a destructive loner with a heart full of rage, Mothra is widely venerated as a benevolent guardian of Earth, she seeks peaceful solutions whenever possible, and she often serves as a communicator and a peacemaker between Kaiju and humans, since her twin guardian fairies can translate Kaiju language into human speech.
  • Louise and Ian, the first contact science team in Arrival; Louise is a linguist, while Ian is a theoretical physicist. While their professional disagreements are played with, including Ian being affectionately Hard on Soft Science, they both ultimately have contributions to make. The "Mother" and "Father" parts become literally true by the end—or should that be the beginning—of the story.

  • Discworld is very complex and goes back and forth about this. Equal Rites brought these ideas to the fore.
    • Wizards are urban and associate with the Unseen University, thus are some variety of academia parody. They are often silly old duffers or giant nerds, but this does give the luster of hard science to their magic, and they were more powerful once in Disc politics. The leading wizard, Ridcully, is pretty pompous but macho too (and ironically was thought to be Closer to Earth, but was actually an Egomaniac Hunter). In earlier stories, they tended to assassinate each other a lot. They're also celibate because of the possibility of Sourcerors.
    • Witch stories focus around the trio of Nanny Ogg, Magrat, and Granny Weatherwax. Granny is a cynical, hardbitten, practical one who thinks wizards waste time with their 'jommetry' and 'supreme arch-whatever' just to look important. Nanny Ogg uses Obfuscating Stupidity and is a touch louche. Magrat is romantic and a little New Age and drippy. Overall, they're rural, more folk-magic, but closer to everyday concerns and problems than the wizards.
    • A few Witch characters have been seen to use wizard magic, which is a variety of Rule Magic and so there is really no reason why not. No wizard has been seen to use Borrowing or any other of the Witch specialties, but on the other hand, there has never really been any suggestion that they couldn't if they wanted to. Granny once fought a magical duel with the then-current Archchancelor, and they fought to a standstill. In Equal Rites, Eskarina Smith succeeds in being accepted as the first-ever female student of Wizardry. When she's reintroduced in I Shall Wear Midnight she's taken a much Closer to Earth approach to the discipline than the male colleagues of hers that we've seen.
    • Both forms of magic have in common that they are supposed not to be used, to the point that not doing magic is the wizards' main job. The main reason is the same, but explained slightly differently: witches believe in the power of hard work and that taking shortcuts by using magic always comes back to bite you; wizards know for a fact that any magic used will eventually present its toll, which is always more than you can pay.
  • Frankenstein constantly refers to nature as female, and the title character says he wants to "penetrate the secrets of nature". Subtle, Mary Shelley.
  • Diane Duane's Young Wizards series follows this. Nita's magic relates to nature and living things. Her male partner Kit tends to do better with technology and inanimate objects like rocks. However, later on, Nita's sister subverts the whole thing by being a computer whiz with a magical affinity for technology and silicon-based lifeforms, and both Nita and Kit eventually grow out of their original specialties into others, which is apparently common for wizards. It's left open whether their initial foci came from awareness of the trope, but newcomers to magic in the books do tend to get it in a form which behaves as much the way they expect it to as is practical (without breaking Magic A Is Magic A).
  • In the Doctor Who New Adventures novels, the mythology of Gallifrey features a group of male scientists (led by Rassilon) and a group of female witch-priestesses (led by the Pythia) struggling for control. Rassilon won and went on to found the Time Lord society. Different novels offer different opinions on whether this was good or bad.
  • In the novel Enduring Love, Clarissia is "mother nature" to Joe's "father science".
  • Inverted in E. T. A. Hoffmann's 1816 story The Sandman (1816), with superstitious, (over)sensitive proto-Emo Teen Nathanael and his hardheaded rationalist girlfriend Clara.
  • A Downplayed Trope in the The Belgariad prequels, Polgara notes that her mother encouraged her to learn by accepting, whereas her father taught her to question everything. The downplay is because, since her mother is literally a wolf, it's possible that species has at least as much to do with it as gender does.
  • In Courtship Rite, this is mostly averted; some of the top scientists in the Kaiel clan, for example, are women. Some clans believe this trope is true, though, like the o'Tghalie clan, professional mathematicians who forbid their daughters to study. Teenae, who is an o'Tghalie by birth and a Kaiel by marriage, is proof that the o'Tghalie are wrong about women; she is a mathematical whiz.
  • Jack and Annie from The Magic Treehouse, although given their ages, Jack simply has been in school longer than his sister.
  • Everything Dan Brown has ever written is an inversion of this trope. His hero is always an expert in some area of humanities, while his heroine is an expert in some mathematical field.
  • The Lord of the Rings: Despite the fact that they are a plant species, the Ents and Entwives are a play on this trope. Treebeard explains that the Ents delighted in nature and the wilds, and would roam for long periods communing with plants and animals. Whereas:
    [The Entwives] did not desire to speak with these things; but they wished them to hear and obey what was said to them. The Entwives ordered them to grow according to their wishes, and bear leaf and fruit to their liking; for the Entwives desired order, and plenty, and peace (by which they meant that things should remain where they had set them). So the Entwives made gardens to live in.
    • The Entwives then first taught humans agriculture, and how to farm the land. Their male counterparts remained wild, favouring a more intuitive connection with growing things.
  • Genderflip in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. The most prominent female character, Trillian, is a competent astrophysicist.
  • Isaac Asimov's I, Robot: Averted by the coldly logical (and somewhat misanthropic) robopsychologist Susan Calvin. Calvin is misanthropic in the sense of the word that means she doesn't much care for anybody, regardless of sex. The most emotional she ever gets is in the story "Liar!," where she becomes absolutely vitriolic towards a robot that basically tricked her into revealing that she had feelings for another person.
  • Inverted in Victoria, where the technocratic Amazons of Azania eagerly embrace science and technology, whereas their enemies in the reactionary, borderline theocratic Northern Confederation gut their universities and actively ban modern electronics. By the time they go to war, Azania uses cloning and genetic engineering for mass-scale Homosexual Reproduction and deploys a network-centric military based on air supremacy, smart artillery, drones, and information advantage, whereas the Confederation employs World War II-era armor and large forces of rugged militiamen to counter their foe's superior firepower with audacity and numbers.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Doctor Who:
    • Various male/female companion duos follow. Ian taught Science, while Barbara taught History. Ben is a Navy man with engineering training, and Polly is a secretary and teasmaid. Harry Sullivan is a doctor and Sarah Jane is a writer. Jamie and Zoe are the main inversion - Jamie's slightly stupid and technologically underdeveloped while Zoe is a TV Genius with a tendency towards Measuring the Marigolds. Vicki and Steven and Leela and K-9 play with the dynamic as well - the women are more nature-focused and the men are technology-focused, but both women have scientific mindsets.
    • Most of the Doctor's female companions, by necessity of Cast Speciation. The stereotype goes - the Doctor, male, old, science, good but a bit morally alien, The Fettered, brave in the face of danger; the Companion, female, young, less knowledgeable/humanities, good but not able to moralise as objectively as the Doctor, the Doctor's Morality Chain, scared of the spooky monsters. Sliced even more roughly - the Doctor, a male Science Hero, and the Companion, a female The Heart. It should of course be noted that these are enormous generalisations and definitely do not always apply. Romana is the most obvious inversion - she is better at physics than the Doctor, makes her own (superior) sonic screwdriver that the Doctor tries to steal, and got much better marks in her Time Lord exams than the Doctor did. The Doctor leans more heavily on the arty, philosophical end of his intelligence in the seasons he shares with her than on his harder subjects, screwing up his maths and blowing up his engineering projects but claiming to have helped written Hamlet and being able to identify genuine da Vinci paintings from the brushstrokes.
    • In "The Dæmons", the Doctor is contrasted to Miss Hawthorne, a witch. The text seems to suggest that they're not that different, however.
    • In "The Green Death" we get an interesting play on it. We get Mother Nature (the hippie commune) and Father Science (Global Chemicals) BUT the commune is made up of research scientists trying, among other things, to breed high protein fungus to act as a meat replacement. And the chemical factory is spawning maggots and in the thrall of an intentionally irrational computer who refers to its employees by cutesy nicknames and gets so distracted by picking out a soundtrack for its eventual victory that it spends most of the climactic battle singing.
    • In "The Brain of Morbius", we have a Mad Scientist and The Igor who are both male, and a fascistic Time Lord scientist who is also male. We also have an all-female 'sisterhood' cult who, despite possessing what is actually Time Lord technology, treat it as a force of nature and worship it.
    • The Rani is meant to be a genius and is usually shown doing evil science of some kind, but still falls partially within this trope in that her field seems to be biogenetics, as opposed to the engineering favoured by both the Doctor and the Master.
  • In Dona Barbara, the title character (a wealthy landlady) represents the brutish nature while Santos Luzardo (a lawyer from the big city) is the civilization.
  • iCarly: Expect Carly and Sam to solve problems in the natural (or the brawn) way and Freddie to resort to geeky gadgets and tech stuff.
    • Played straight with iGo Nuclear. Carly's projects involve a crude compost pit and an organic pesticide, while Sam used her fingers to rip an orange apart. Contrast Freddie's high-tech modern composter, Spencer's electric-powered scooter, and Cal's illegal nuclear power generator.
  • 3rd Rock from the Sun: Dick is a physicist and his love interest and co-worker Mary is an anthropologist. On the other hand, Dick is a Cloudcuckoolander alien while Mary is a cynical grump. Ironically, Dick's mission as an alien observer of humanity makes him an anthropologist as well, just on a much larger scale.
  • In the new Battlestar Galactica it seems that Head Six and Head Baltar represent spirituality and logic respectively — while both agree they represent a higher power, Head Six calls it God and believes it demands religious worship, while Head Baltar seems to have a more abstract view of this power/entity. And reminds her "He doesn't like that name."
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • The fourth season follows this theme, with the Slayers' magic vs. the Initiative's research in dealing with demonic forces, but with the leader of the initiative being the female Professor Walsh, and the expert of the Scoobies being the male Giles.
    • The first season episode "I Robot, You Jane" has a sort of inversion. Giles is Tome of Eldritch Lore and Eye of Newt, Jenny is computers and Post-Modern Magik.
  • House is Father Science in contrast to pretty much everybody else as Mother Nature, but most especially Cameron, Masters, and Adams (and Cuddy, when she's actually involved in medical matters instead of being purely a bureaucrat). In a slight aversion, Wilson (male) is probably closer to the Mother Nature role than Thirteen (female, but bisexual, so there's that).
  • The primary female scientists in The Big Bang Theory work in the fields of neurobiology and microbiology while the males take to experimental physics, theoretical physics, astrophysics, and aeronautical engineering.
  • Teen Wolf subverts this trope with the two resident Smart Guys Lydia and Stiles. Female Lydia is a mathematical and scientific genius who reads physics books for fun and can whip up a molotov cocktail from memory, while the male Stiles mainly focuses on research - largely into supernatural history - and has excellent investigative skills that rely on intuitive leaps.
  • The O'Briens from Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Miles is an engineer and Keiko is a botanist.
  • Star Trek: The Original Series: Averted with male science officer Spock and male Doctor McCoy representing both sides.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
    • Bashir and Jadzia initially appear to be an inversion. Bashir is the medical officer and Jadzia is the science officer. However, Jadzia's scientific degrees are all in exo-biology, zoology, and exo-archaeology. The only thing that gives her an apparent inversion over Bashir is that she also has a degree in astrophysics. This is later negated by the revelation that Bashir is a genetically engineered genius who can grasp science and maths as the plot demands, making him innately better at grasping, theorising, forecasting, and calculating astrophysics and engineering principles than Jadzia and O'Brien combined.
    • Later played more obviously straight with Bashir and Ezri. They're both in medicine whereas he's set up to be 'hard-core' medical and she's the 'softer' psychologist.
  • Inverted in Star Trek: Voyager. Captain Janeway is a Techno Babble-spouting former Science Officer, while her Number One is Magical Native American Chakotay. Lampshaded when they're stranded on a planet in "Resolutions"; Janeway sets up her scientific equipment, determined to find a cure, while Chakotay sets about building a log cabin. Likewise, the final season Chakotay hooks up with Cyborg Ice Queen Seven of Nine.
  • In Stargate SG-1, we have a gender flip. Daniel Jackson is a linguist, archaeologist, and anthropologist whereas Samantha Carter is a genius astrophysicist. She's also amazing at math and engineering in general.
  • Played straight in Stargate Atlantis. Weir is a diplomat, MacKay is a Physicist.
  • The X-Files:
  • Farscape: In the initial cast, there's Crichton, a scientist (if one given to explosiveness under pressure), and Zhaan, a priestess. However, this might also count as an inversion, because Crichton is very emotional, and Zhaan at least tries to be calm and logical.
    • Gender Flip: D'Argo, the Proud Warrior Race Guy of deep feeling, and Aeryn, stone-cold badass soldier. Over time, both become less and less like this, Aeryn's emotional growth (while not losing her self-control) a key part of the story, while D'Argo becomes more and more self-aware and almost meta in his thinking: "John, I'm going to tell you something I've never put into words. I really like shooting stuff. And I'm very good at it."
  • Eureka has Alison as the logical scientist and Carter as the emotional one with a stronger grasp of the human element.
  • In Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. the team's scientific team are Fitz, a man who specializes in physics and electronics, and Simmons, a woman, who specializes in biology and chemistry. However, the team's hacker and computer scientist Skye is also a woman who later Takes A Level In Badass. You also have Coulson as the empathetic team leader and May his One Woman Army lancer.
  • The Flash (2014) has Barry the forensic scientist, Wells and Stein the physicists, Cisco the Gadgeteer Genius, Ronnie the engineer, and Caitlin the biologist. You also have Barry contrasted with his love interest Iris who's a journalist.

    Mythology and Religion 
  • Averted in Norse Mythology, in which gender was used to represent different facets of both nature and logic/wisdom, rather than to distinguish them. Nature was represented by a plethora of gods, giants, and spirits, most prominently by the siblings Frey and Freya, who represent male and female fertility, respectively, while both Odin and his wife Frigg were associated with the wisdom deemed appropriate for each gender, specifically in the roles as patriarch and matriarch. (Still gender-normative, yes, but Fair for Its Day.)
  • Inverted by the Dagda or the Green Man, a Celtic nature god. He appears today in a lot of leafy-carved garden ornaments.
  • Often inverted in Classical Mythology, as deities of nature and science can come from both genders. For example, the two great rivals, the sea god Poseidon and the wisdom goddess Athena.
  • The view of nature as feminine is questioned by some modern Neopagan groups, where a Mother Nature figure, if present, is often complemented by male nature deities such as the Horned God, or the cycle of Oak King and Holly King. Nature as a whole is not completely the domain of either gender.
  • Paleolithic sites of Europe and the Middle East are filled with figures and drawings of either obese or pregnant women that are generally assumed to be fertility goddesses. From the Neolithic on, these goddesses are joined by increasing depictions of bulls or horned male figures that are rendered as personifications of agriculture.


    Tabletop Games 
  • Played straight in Eberron. In the Sovereign Host, Aureon the god of Lore and Onatar the god of Craftsmen are both males. Arawai is the goddess of Life and is female.
  • The Brothers' War arc of Magic: The Gathering gives us the eventual contrast of warring brothers Urza and Mishra, two male masters of artifice, and Gaea and Titania of Argoth, two female masters of nature. A third option is eventually presented in the mana of the land (which can be technically "nature", but is unknown to both parties), which Urza takes as he activates the Weapon of Mass Destruction to end the war. This choice activates his spark, turning him into a planeswalker.

  • In contrast to the trope title, 'Father Nature' figures do occasionally crop up. Dungeons & Dragons third edition featured two nature deities; the all-encompassing Obad-Hai, a male 'Father Nature' figure, and Ehlonna, a female deity specifically of the woodlands. Obad-Hai remained staunchly neutral, encompassing all of nature's aspects, while Ehlonna was good-aligned, and usually portrayed as subordinate to Obad-Hai. In the Forgotten Realms setting, the deities are similar. Nature as a whole is covered by Silvanus; so much a 'Father Nature' that his title is the Oakfather. Mielikki plays the same role as Ehlonna; she serves him, and while accepting that there's a natural cycle, out of tender-heartedness tends to intervene benevolently. There is a 'Mother Nature' figure, Chauntea, but she is described as specifically the deity of how humans interact with nature. Nature itself comes under Silvanus. It's still played straight with the science half of things. Of the Greyhawk deities, Boccob is the coldly intellectual deity of magic and learning, and male, while Wee Jas is the female goddess of magic and death-but called a Witch Goddess of mysticism rather than enlightenment. Of the Forgotten Realms? All four of the deities of knowledge, invention, and learning are male (Oghma, Deneir, Gond, and Milil), Azuth, the god of wizards and academic magical learning is male. The only female deities who come remotely close are Mystra, goddess of magic, and Selune, goddess of the moon, and both have an extremely mystical bent rather than academic. The story is similar for all the non-human pantheons. Averted, however, by the 4th edition pantheon, in which Nature and Magical Study are the domains of goddesses Melora and Ioun, respectively.
  • Inversion: the Magic: The Gathering card Stronghold Biologist is male, while his counterpart Stronghold Machinist is female.

    Video Games 
  • In Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri, the hippie environmentalist faction is led by Deirdre Skye, a woman, and the scientific-technological faction is led by Prokhor Zakharov, a man. Alien Crossfire then inverts this by introducing Aki Zeta-5, an Emotionless Girl leader of an entire faction of Spocks, and Cha'Dawn, a young man who is supposedly a Messianic Archetype, head of the Cult Of Planet. The expansion also played it straight with the two alien factions: the Caretakers, led by a female sworn to preserve the planet, and the Usurpers, led by a male and hellbent on exploiting its power for their own gain. As an inversion, the expert hackers (Data Angels) and the ultra-militaristic faction (Spartans) are led by women, while the humanitarian Peacekeepers, and environmental Cult of Planet are led by men.
  • In the Myst series, Atrus is an avid scientist and total rationalist, while his wife, Catherine, is more emotional and spiritual, and their Writing reflects their differing views. Their children, Sirrus, Achenar, and Yeesha also seem to follow this trope.
  • Final Fantasy VII has Dr. Hojo, who tends to initially dismiss supernatural theories about The Promised Land, and tends to see everything and everyone in terms of facts or variables. He is contrasted by Dr. Lucrecia Cresent who dedicated her career to ancient, magical occurrences within the planet. Significant in that Sephiroth is their child; the combination of polemical forces to essentially create the game's version of the anti-Christ. Though the addition of a Third Wheel known as Jenova, an Eldritch Abomination that eats a Planet's Lifestream also probably had something to do with it.
  • In Ōkami the Goddess Amaterasu is the Sun God and is in charge of restoring nature while her archnemesis is Yami, God of Darkness and creator of Technology.
  • Cooking Mama versus Science Papa.
  • The siblings Animebona and Animenkhna, the spirits of Albion and Earth, also represent Magic and respectively science. They don't get along very well.
  • Sword of the Stars: In Zuul mythology the species that genetically engineered them is "father" and the universe is "mother". Note that Zuul females are non-sapient and often are eaten by their own larvae, they use this myth as an excuse for strip-mining their colonies and pillaging other races in their search for their missing gods.
  • Averted in Portal, where the science-loving GLaDOS is clearly female.
  • Inverted in the Mass Effect series, the female Tali is an engineering genius and Wrench Wench, while the male Dr. Mordin Solus specializes in biology.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles takes place on two giants, each controlled by a god: the natural Bionis and the mechanical Mechonis. The gender roles are reversed though, as Lady Meyneth is Mechonis while Lord Zanza is Bionis. They do keep their gender's personality traits, as Meyneth cares for the people on both giants, while Zanza only cares about himself.
  • Inverted in Solstice with the male doctor, Galen, and the female mechanic, Yani.
  • Inverted in Dissidia Final Fantasy (2015), where the two primary deities are Materia, the goddess of machinery and Spiritus, the god of magic.
  • Inverted in Soulcalibur VI and more specifically its first two Guest Fighters; Geralt is a Hunter of Monsters from the medieval past, while 2B is a Robot Girl from the far future.
  • Your mysterious handlers, Kether and Malchut, from Drowned God: Conspiracy of the Ages who set you out on your journey to find 4 ancient relics have this dynamic, even if they're only portrayed as almost-blank masks. The two hate each other and often make disparaging remarks about the other, warning of the potential consequences if you give the four relics to them. Kether, the male one, may swear up and down to the player that he doesn't intend on enslaving humanity under technology, but considering his Lodge is a modern boardroom complete with sinister blinds, he's not fooling anyone. Meanwhile, Malchut, the female one, makes increasingly dramatic declarations that nature must take back the world from the "technocrats", but her ending shows that she's not entirely opposed to modern technology, as her world would bring genetic experimentation on humans should you choose her side.

  • In Gunnerkrigg Court, Surma Carver could speak with the Guides, and she served as the mediator between the Court and the magical Gillitie Wood. Her husband, Anthony, was a surgeon and, according to Jones:
    Antimony: I had no idea [Surma] worked here. She never mentioned it.
    Jones: Oh? That was your father's influence, I suspect. Yes, he never had patience for matters that didn't fall into a scientific category.
    • Anthony's views on magic aside, Gunnerkrigg subverts the whole thing pretty soundly by treating magic as another form of science. It's explicitly referred to as the "etheric sciences". Kat's dad was able to cast that one shield spell because he's a sub-user on his wife's etheric computer.
    • Kat, and her mother, both fall on the side of science.
  • Calamities of Nature makes fun of this stereotype about men and women in this comic about the many worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics.
  • Averted in Freefall: The closest we get to a Nature Hero is the "male" Stupid Good Ridiculously Human Robot; OTOH, Team Science has the female red wolf engineer. Who shows signs of SRMD.

    Web Video 
  • Keyleth and Percy from Campaign 1 of Critical Role have this dynamic; Keyleth is a kind-hearted druid who is on a quest to master natural magic and the guardianship of the four elemental planes, while Percy is a polymath gunslinger who forges his own weapons and ammunition and accomplishes many feats of engineering. They sometimes clash on how to handle a given situation, with Percy's shrewd pragmatism battling Keyleth's upright compassion, but they're also each other's best friends and have nothing but respect for each other.

    Western Animation 
  • This trope is pretty much epitomized by Dexter and his sister Dee Dee.
  • In Gargoyles, Fox's parents are a male scientist/robotics engineer and Titania. Yes, that Titania. Queen of Faerie Titania. And yet it works perfectly, in part because Titania appreciates science as a kind of "magic".
  • In one episode of The Simpsons, Bart and Lisa's school was split into Boys' and Girls' sections. The Boys learned everything pretty much the same way, but the Girls reverted to some absolutely bizarre New Age teaching methods. While the boys' teaching methods worked better, outside of class their side of the school looked like a scene from Lord of the Flies.
    Teacher: How do numbers make you feel...
  • The Secret Saturdays lives this trope. Doc Saturday is a scientist through and through, while his wife Drew is more a believer in the paranormal. Faced with any problem Doc will always seek a logical solution while Drew will explore more mystical alternatives. They're still Happily Married though so that's cool.
  • The parents of Kim Possible are both highly qualified scientists — but her father is a rocket scientist and her mother a brain surgeon.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic This trope is defied in all regards by the character Twilight Sparkle who plays the role of father science to a whole bunch of characters (both male and female) representing mother nature. This includes, but isn't limited to, the rest of her friends (which includes a farmer, an athlete, a fashionista, a party girl, and a nature-orientated animal caretaker), her plucky baby dragon male assistant, her brother that joined the royal guard and married a princess of love, and a Large Ham princess of the Night. What could be regarded as the exception is her relationship with her equally brilliant mentor, Princess Celestia, but even then Twilight's temperament is far closer to the logical analyst compared to Celestia's more whimsical nature. Twilight is a living embodiment that even a female character on a little girl's show could be a highly logical rationalist.
  • Gravity Falls Dipper and Mabel. Dipper is easily the smarter of the Pines twins and is highly intelligent and resourceful. Mabel, on the other hand, is far more goofy, energetic, and emotional.
  • Inverted in Wild Kratts, the Kratt Brothers are adventurers who regularly trek through nature to find and learn more about animals, while their female friends, Aviva and Koki, are techies; Aviva created and maintains all the technology they use while Koki handles data monitoring and communications.
  • Part of the main conflict in the Phineas and Ferb episode "Perry Lays an Egg". When the boys found an egg that they think Perry laid and then left behind, their solution to the unattended egg is a giant robotic platypus machine to incubate it until it hatches. Candace, having just watched a nature documentary, admonishes them for this cold and clinical approach and pushes them to be more hands on.

    Real Life 
  • Various studies have shown that women display greater interest in religion and spirituality, while men are more likely to be atheists.
  • This is Older Than Feudalism: ancient Greek thinkers believed that men were blessed with rationality and self-control, allowing them to handle tasks like philosophy and politics, while women lacked rationality and were controlled by their emotions and physical passions much like animals were.
  • Despite the above opinions the Greeks held about women, in both Greek and Latin 'scientia' (knowledge), and 'sophia' (wisdom), are female.
  • In Myers–Briggs, the "Thinking" function is seen as masculine and the "Feeling" function is seen as feminine. However, both of these functions are seen as equally 'rational'.
  • Ecofeminism and "difference feminism" generally play this trope straight, arguing that Western society has traditionally privileged "masculine" sources of knowledge and ways of approaching nature over "feminine" values like intuition, nurturing, and respect for the natural world. Note that neither of these is really widely accepted by mainstream feminists these days since this school of thought still upholds traditional gender roles, although they're still significant side factions.

Alternative Title(s): Men Are Logical Women Are Emotional