Difference between revisions of "Sex"
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Revision as of 05:03, 2 December 2009
Sexual reproduction is a method of biological reproduction in which each organism's cells carry two copies of the genetic software, and each of two parents passes the equivalent of one copy to the offspring.
When a cell begins to divide, the two copies in one cell become four. The vast majority of cells in a body are created with mitosis, a cell division that produces two cells, each with one pair of copies. These cells with a pair of copies are called "diploid". But each individual also has a pair of organs called gonads. Gonads are also capable of performing meiosis, a cell division that produces four cells. Once the genetic software has been copied, the copies are shuffled to contain parts of the copies from both parents. Finally, the cell divides in four, producing "haploid" cells with only one copy.
A gonad called an "ovary" produces eggs, or large cells containing most of the machinery for running genetic software. Another kind of gonad called a "testicle" produces sperm, or tiny cells just large enough to carry a copy of the genetic software and propel it to the egg. Sperm cells are suspended in a liquid called "semen" or "cum", which contains nutrients for the sperm. Individuals with testicles are called "male", and those with ovaries are called "female". These are not fully functional until an individual has metamorphosed into adult stage.
To create offspring, two adults perform a ritual called "sex", short for software exchange. Sex rituals vary per species, but invariably they end in fertilization, the entry of a sperm into an egg to complete a pair of copies inside the egg. Fertilization can occur in one of three ways:
- The female deposits unfertilized eggs, and the male deposits semen over them. Seen in fish.
- The male squirts semen into a jack on the female. Seen in mammals and birds.
- Reverse intercourse
- The female deposits unfertilized eggs into a jack on the male. Seen in seahorses.
The development of a fertilized egg inside an individual is called pregnancy
Some species are hermaphrodites, capable of performing either the male or female role in sex. Other species have two "sexes", from the Latin sexus meaning division, and each individual is either male or female. A few species, called sequential hermaphrodites, have a compromise mechanism: they start their adult life as one sex but change to the other sex later in life.
Sexes represent a division of labor between individuals optimized for pregnancy and raising offspring and individuals optimized for other tasks, such as gathering resources and protecting offspring. Thus, individuals exhibit secondary sex characteristics, or ifferences between male and female bodies. These vary in their scope from one species to another: some species have almost identical sexes, some have larger males, and some even have parasite-like males with no purpose other than to fertilize a female.
Game world vs. real world
God uses mostly the same rules in each system of his parallel simulation, but due to the free will of the subjects, things may turn out differently. Everything above applies to both the real world and the game world, except that vertebrate hermaphrodites are far less common in the real world, being restricted primarily to fish. In the period of rapid evolution after the flood, several species of the game world developed sequentially hermaphrodite sex organs as a response to population pressures. There is even a sequentially hermaphrodite sapient race, tentatively called Lesbians.