Future genders
Image from Arik
One of six standard hu sexes and genders, the others being male, herm, ferm, female, and neut. A merm is a male individual with the secondary sexual characteristics of a female.

Male Pseudohermophroditism

Image from Steve Bowers
When occurring naturally among baselines and other hu clades (usually in prim or other non nanotech environments) this is male pseudohermophroditism, most often caused by a defective gene that prevents genetically male (XY chromosome) fetuses from absorbing androgen. The foetus develops testes, but otherwise continues to develop along female lines, although the vagina is often underdeveloped and there is no uterus.

In the current era the merm sex occurs most frequently as a fashion or lifestyle choice, or as a clade or peer mark. A combination of bionano, nanomedibots, and specific hormone treatments are used to alter the apperance and sex of the individual concerned. Nonsexual merms may feel "gender neutral" and often prefer the company of other merms, while sexual merms have a range of sexual behaviours open to them.

The following table can be used as a rule of thumb for identification of sex, primarily for hominid, or at least mammalian, clades.

Can naturally bear children? (ie, has female primary sexual
Can naturally contribute genetic material to others' borne
offspring? (ie, has male primary sexual characteristics)
Has female secondary sex characteristics? (e.g., in humans, enlarged breasts and lack of facial hair. Non-hominid clades often use
a different variety of features to make this differentiation: manes,
tusks, antlers, colours, etc.)
herm yes yes yes
herm yes yes no
female yes no yes
ferm yes no no
merm no yes yes
male no yes no
neut no no yes
neut no no no

Personal Weapons
Image from Anders Finer (copyright; used with permission)
A merm with the secondary sexual characteristics of a female, despite male sexual organs.

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Development Notes
Text by M. Alan Kazlev, Daniel Eliot Boese
updated by Todd Drashner 5-29-18
Initially published on 08 December 2001.