The Ame People - An All-Female Human Ethnic Group

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The Ame People - An All-Female Human Ethnic Group

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The Ame people are an ethnic group of humans of the Nokema islands of the Nousa Kingdom, they make up about 5% of the population of the Nousa Kingdom in modern times.

Physiology

Members of the Ame people look like East Asians in appearance and have a relatively pale skin, and genetically they are seen as one of the East Asian peoples, that's because in the past they had an intensive intermarriage with groups of Chinese(mostly Min, Hakka and Yue Chinese and the Tanka people), Japanese, and more recently, the Tokkijins(speakers of Town Speech).

Ame people have an unique physiology, most Ame females don't grow older in appearance after 15-20 years old, which has created an illusion that Ame females are forever young and are thus immortal; however, they still die of natural causes and often don't have a significant longer lifespan on average. As a result, death usually comes in a more sudden manner for Ame females. Another evidence that Ame people don’t grow older after 15-20 years old is that the death rate of Ame people defies the Gompertz–Makeham law of mortality, the death rate for Ame people older than 20 years old is constant, these traits are also seen on females with at least some Ame ancestry, like modern Tokkijins and Nanarulamuts.

Ame females are renowned for their natural beauty, or physical attractiveness, but most Ame females don't notice how attractive their looks are to foreigners until they have interactions with foreigners; on the other hand, the look of a person is rarely talked about among Ame people in Ame society.

Besides, Ame females usually give birth to only females, it is very commmon for an Ame female to have only daughters, and it is uncommon for an Ame female to give birth to males children. This and the fact that most cismales living in Ame communities leave when they become adults, create an impression that the Ame society is an all female society.(An explanation for the eventual quit of cismales is that they find it hard to blend into the Ame society)

The picture below shows the look of typical Ame females:
Spoiler:
Image
Lifestyle

Traditionally, the Ame people have large extended families, and several generations living together in the same house. Everyone lives in communal quarters. Child-rearing is often shared by all families in the community.

Females usually live in the community with their mothers, grandmothers, etc. throughout their lives; while males leave the community and join their fathers' communities once they grow up.

In the past Ame people were farmers and fishers. Communities in inland areas made a living by farming, they grew crops, including grains like rice, wheats and buckwheats, and potatoes. The people were largely self-sufficient in diet, raising enough for their daily needs; communities of Ame people in coastal areas made a living by fishing and pearl collecting.

In the past, economies among Ame communities tend to be barter-based, people exchanged goods or services for other goods or services without using a medium of exchange, such as money, though cowry shells were used as money in some areas in pre-modern times.

Due to the massive industrialization process of the Nousa Kingdom in the 20th century, most Ame people are now city dwellers, the largest city, which is also the largest Ame speaking community in the Nousa Kingdom, is the City of Kemiko located on the Greater Nokema Island.

Food

Traditionally Ame people mostly eat cereal grains like rice, wheats and buckwheats, and potatoes; fish consumption among people living in coastal areas is also common.

Ame people on average eat less meat than people in many other societies, only people who live by the coast consume more meat. After the introduction of Buddhism to the Ame society, vegetarianism became the norm of the society. According to some research, in the late 19th century, the vast majority of the population in the Ame society, including nuns and laypeople, are vegetarian.

Even today, the habit of sticking to a vegetarian diet is still a norm of the Ame society, many Ame people find it outlandish, weird or even disgusting and morally deplorable when they learn that many people in foreign countries eat meat a lot.

Ame divers

In communities that make a living by fishing, females often dive in water to catch fish and collect pearls, they are called the Ame divers. Women began diving as ame as early as 12 and 13 years old, taught by elder ames. In Ame speaking areas, women were considered to be superior divers due to the distribution of their fat and their ability to hold their breath. As described above, the garment of the Ame divers have changed throughout time from the original loincloth to white sheer garb and eventually to the modern diving wetsuit. The world of the Ame divers is one marked by duty and superstition. One traditional article of clothing that has stood the test of time is their headscarves. The Ame divers are also known to create small shrines near their diving location where they will visit after diving in order to thank the gods for their safe return.

The Ame divers were expected to endure harsh conditions while diving such as freezing temperatures and great pressures from the depths of the sea. Through the practice, many Ame divers were noted to lose weight during the months of diving seasons. Ame divers practiced a breathing technique in which the divers would release air in a long whistle once they resurfaced from a dive. This whistling became a defining characteristic of the Ame divers as this technique is unique to them.

As a legacy of Ame divers, underwater diving is still a very popular activity among Ame females, most Ame females still do underwater diving on a regular basis as a recreational activity nowadays.

Architecture

Traditional Ame houses feature a structure made of renewable wooden natural materials including timber and bamboo, raised on stilts and topped with a steep gabled roof, and the buildings are often built without the use of metal including nails. The houses from each of Ame-speaking regions have distinctive styles, which reflect the people's living style, including social and cultural beliefs or religious customs and occupations.

Matrilineality

Ame families tend to trace their lineage through the female side of the family. Occasionally, in fact, they may not know who the father of a child is, which does not carry stigma as in many other societies. Children belong to and reside within their mother's household and have access to its land and resources.

Ame households, villages and towns are usually led by a female leader referred to as the matriarch.

Matriarch and Sagas

The matriarch, which is the leader of a community, is usually a female elected by community members. The matriarch takes the role of leaders, but does not enjoy an absolute power, decisions and jurisdictions are usually done by public assemblies called saga.

Throughout Ame speaking areas, sagas are the public assemblies of the people of a country, province, or a community, they function as both parliaments and courts at different levels of society, including local, regional, and supra-regional ones.

Sagas meet at regular intervals, they legislate, electe leaders, chieftains and monarches, and judge according to the law, which were memorized and recited by the "lawspeaker" (the judge). Negotiations in Sagas are presided over by the lawspeaker and the leaders of the relevant community. Decisions are usually made by voting of the members of the Saga, which is usually based on the principle of majority rule, community leaders only involve in decision making when the result of vote is deadlocked or otherwise problematic.

Hairstyle

Ame females traditionally have a long hair, with fringes covering the forehead and the brows.Some females have a chin- or neck-length bob cut with fringes covering the forehead and the brows, females with short hair are usually buddhist nuns or some ostracized members.

A shaved head is traditionally unacceptable in Ame society, as a shaved head is seen as too masculine or a sign of disease and therefore unfit to Ame communities.

Population

Unlike many other societies, Ame society traditionally discourages population growth, they value a stable number of population over population growth, having a child is a big issue of the whole village, people who want a child must discuss with everyone with the village through the saga and usually a person is allowed to have a child only if there's a person in the village who dies recently. Having children without the consent from all other villagers is seen as selfish and people who give birth to children without the consent of the whole village can face serious negative consequences.

There's a specific kind of fruit that stimulates parthenogenesis for mammals in Ame speaking areas called Hinai. It is a commonplace for Ame people to get pregnant by eating Hinai fruits; however, mammals who eat hinai can only give birth to female offsprings.

Marriage

While it is possible for Ame people to get pregnant by eating hinai, they still prefer having children by engaging in a relationship with males. All on-going sexual relationships in Ame culture are “based on mutual affection.” In the daytime, young men and women express their deep liking with each other by singing, dancing and other means. With the emotional foundation to some extent, women invite men to visit their rooms at night and to leave the next morning.

The emotional breakdown marks the end of the relationship. Mostly, children are raised in the mother's home and assume her family name, and the fathers are usually not involved.

The marriage system in Ame society is a pure system, and it is based on the love, without any social rules. Such marriage practice has many positive outcomes.

While it is possible for a Ame woman to change partners as often as she likes, few Ame women have more than one partner at a time. Anthropologists call this system "serial monogamy." Most Ame people form long-term relationships and do not change partners frequently. Some of these pairings may even last a lifetime.

The large majority of women know their children's fathers; it is actually a source of embarrassment if a mother cannot identify a child's father. The father of a child will not see his child during the day, but rather at night time. The father doesn't play as large a role in the development of the child. "At a child's birth, the father, his mother and sisters come to celebrate, and bring gifts. On New Year's Day, a child may visits the father to pay respect to him and his household. A father also participates in the coming-of-age ceremony. Though he does not have an everyday role, the father is nevertheless an important partner."

Religion

Ame religion is made up of two coexisting beliefs: their own syncretic faith called Hakeroism and the influence of Buddhism.

Hakeriosm

The traditional Ame belief is called Hakeriosm. Hakeriosm is a monotheism whose whose followers believe in a distant and unknowable supreme goddess Hakero, the Mother Sky. Ame myth holds that Hakero is the creator of everything but she does not intercede in human affairs, and thus followers direct their worship toward spirits subservient to Hakero, called kere.

Every kere is responsible for a particular aspect of life, with the dynamic and changing personalities of each kere reflecting the many possibilities inherent to the aspects of life over which they preside. To navigate daily life, believers cultivate personal relationships with the kere through the presentation of offerings, the creation of personal altars and devotional objects, and participation in elaborate ceremonies of music, dance, and spirit possession.

In Hakeroism, virtually everything can be a kere, and dead people also become keres, and the veneration of natural objects like mountains, stones, trees, and the sea, and the veneration of ancestors, are very common amon Ame people; besides keres have their own personalities like usual humans, and some keres are traditionally considered malicious and sometimes even evil and demonic.

The Amitabha Buddha of Buddhism has been syncretized with Hakero in Hakeroism; besides, Jehovah of Christianity has also been syncretized with Hakero in Hakeroism, and both of the Amitabha Buddha and Jesus Christ are seen as avatars in Hakeroism.

Traditionally, to venerate keres, Ame people use pots filled with water to symbolize them, they worship the pots with food and wines, and clothings and other things. The water in the pot is believed to reflect the power of keres, and become the target for veneration, and the pots mainly serve as vehicles to carry water that reflect the power of keres, that is, what is really worshipped is not the pots themselves, but water inside them.

Buddhism

Buddhism has started to play a larger role in Ame culture since the 14th century. Today Chinese-style Buddhism is the predominant religion, but it has been somewhat adapted to Ame society. Like the Buddhist population of Chinese-speaking areas, monastic Buddhists among Ame people don't eat meat.

Nuns offer prayers of thanks and prayers for the dead, offer basic religious and secular education to young children, and counsel adults. In families with more than one female child, one will most often be sent to be a nun, and the finance and the choice of monastic leaders of a buddhist temple are usually controlled by the local saga.

While the outfits for nuns and monks in Ame Buddhism are basically the same as the outfits for nuns and monks in Chinese-style Buddhism, nuns in Ame Buddhism don't shave their head, usually nuns get a bob cut instead of shaving their head when ordained, and some nuns in Ame Buddhism, like Menishimi, never cut their hair short at all.

Language

The Ame language(Teisa Ame) is the traditional language of Ame people, it is written in a logography called Da Keitosaza mi Teisa Ame.

The use of the Ame language is still robust, it is still spoken by most Ame people of all ages living on the Nokema islands, most of them are monolingual in the Ame language.

The Ame language is usually passed to daughters by mothers, males usually don't learn the language, and in the past, Ame speakers preferred to use other languages when talking to males or outsiders.
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Re: The Ame People - An All-Female Human Ethnic Group

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Very nice work. Is the hinai fruit kept within the culture or do they export it to other areas nearby?
I'll take the theses, and you can have the thoses.
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Re: The Ame People - An All-Female Human Ethnic Group

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I'm not sure "human" is the right word here, since they're clearly not humans (or mammals, for that matter). I'm also confused by the use of the term 'all-female' - since the description repeatedly implies the presence of males.

More genereally, I'm not sure the (borderline-paedophile) sex fantasy element really adds anything novel, while at the same time being the source of most of the suspension-of-disbelief problems, so I'd ditch it.


[however, in reality, there was once reported to be an all-male ethnic group, in Papua New Guinea. I seem to recall it was implied that some of their neighbours were all-female, or at least almost-all-female.]
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Re: The Ame People - An All-Female Human Ethnic Group

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Salmoneus wrote: 19 Feb 2021 13:40 I'm not sure "human" is the right word here, since they're clearly not humans (or mammals, for that matter).
what makes you think so?
Pabappa wrote: 19 Feb 2021 13:25 Very nice work. Is the hinai fruit kept within the culture or do they export it to other areas nearby?
maybe exports to nearby areas
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Re: The Ame People - An All-Female Human Ethnic Group

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k1234567890y wrote: 19 Feb 2021 14:28
Salmoneus wrote: 19 Feb 2021 13:40 I'm not sure "human" is the right word here, since they're clearly not humans (or mammals, for that matter).
what makes you think so?
Chalk it up to a difference in technique?

I suspect it's a(n understandable but unnecessary) combination of excessively literal reading of "human" coupled, perhaps, with missing the bit about the Ame "creating an impression that the Ame society is an all female society".

I shouldn't worry about it too much! Obviously, they've intermarried with numerous historical local ethnic groups and they are not clearly stated to be some kind of fay or non-human race.

Perhaps in a future post, you could address his concerns: why is it (most) Ame females appear to stop aging between 15 & 20; and why they usually only have female children. In other words, is there some element of magic, or is there some genetic quirk, or something else going on?
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Re: The Ame People - An All-Female Human Ethnic Group

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elemtilas wrote: 19 Feb 2021 14:44
k1234567890y wrote: 19 Feb 2021 14:28
Salmoneus wrote: 19 Feb 2021 13:40 I'm not sure "human" is the right word here, since they're clearly not humans (or mammals, for that matter).
what makes you think so?
Chalk it up to a difference in technique?

I suspect it's a(n understandable but unnecessary) combination of excessively literal reading of "human" coupled, perhaps, with missing the bit about the Ame "creating an impression that the Ame society is an all female society".

I shouldn't worry about it too much! Obviously, they've intermarried with numerous historical local ethnic groups and they are not clearly stated to be some kind of fay or non-human race.

Perhaps in a future post, you could address his concerns: why is it (most) Ame females appear to stop aging between 15 & 20; and why they usually only have female children. In other words, is there some element of magic, or is there some genetic quirk, or something else going on?
For the problems with cismales:

1. they are rare in Ame society, like only one out of 1,000,000 of newborns among Ame people would be a cismale, the gender imbalance and the loss of progressive ageing is caused by some unknown genetics among the population. And so yeah, I should use "almost-all-female" here.
2. the few native-born cismales usually leave the communities to seek their fortune.
3. Ame people consistently intermarry with some other ethnic groups nearby, the native-born cismales join the nearby communities when they grow up.
4. While Ame people are humans in modern days, it is not unlikely that they might have some non-human ancestors, but this possibility is unclear.

So yeah, it is because of some genetic quirks, and they might not be 100% humans genetically(i.e. they had some non-human ancestors in days of yore), and the males are usually of foreign origins.

I am not going to appeal to "magic" btw.
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Re: The Ame People - An All-Female Human Ethnic Group

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k1234567890y wrote: 19 Feb 2021 14:47 For the problems with cismales:

1. they are rare in Ame society, like only one out of 1,000,000 of newborns among Ame people would be a cismale, the gender imbalance and the loss of progressive ageing is caused by some unknown genetics among the population. And so yeah, I should use "almost-all-female" here.
2. the few native-born cismales usually leave the communities to seek their fortune.
3. Ame people consistently intermarry with some other ethnic groups nearby, the native-born cismales join the nearby communities when they grow up.

So yeah, it is because of some genetic quirks, and they might not be 100% humans genetically(i.e. they had some non-human ancestors in days of yore), and the males are usually of foreign origins.

I am not going to appeal to "magic" btw.
Heh. Genetics might as well bé magic!

Anyway, I think that ought to settle it.

Questions: why do males leave Ame society? And also, am I right in guessing that outsider males have no part in their Ame children other than in making them? We're using the word "intermarry" which implies some kind of long term relationship between a couple. Or is it more the case that Ame women take an outsider for a time and then release him sometime during or shortly after pregnancy?
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Re: The Ame People - An All-Female Human Ethnic Group

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elemtilas wrote: 19 Feb 2021 14:58 why do males leave Ame society?
They often find it hard to "blend in", and it might as well has become a custom.
elemtilas wrote: 19 Feb 2021 14:58 And also, am I right in guessing that outsider males have no part in their Ame children other than in making them?
yeah, not much, especially considering the fact that almost all males marrying with Ame females are from other human ethnic groups and many of them are fishers and sailors.
elemtilas wrote: 19 Feb 2021 14:58 We're using the word "intermarry" which implies some kind of long term relationship between a couple. Or is it more the case that Ame women take an outsider for a time and then release him sometime during or shortly after pregnancy?
It depends, though in most cases the relationship would be a long-term one, Ame females don't change their partners easily.
elemtilas wrote: 19 Feb 2021 14:58 Heh. Genetics might as well bé magic!
lol so you think genetics itself can produce lots of seemingly magical outcomes?
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Re: The Ame People - An All-Female Human Ethnic Group

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k1234567890y wrote: 19 Feb 2021 15:02
We're using the word "intermarry" which implies some kind of long term relationship between a couple. Or is it more the case that Ame women take an outsider for a time and then release him sometime during or shortly after pregnancy?
It depends, though in most cases the relationship would be a long-term one, Ame females don't change their partners easily.
Ah, okay. I guess what I'm trying to understand is, for example, if I went into an Ame village, who would I actually see? Obviously I'd see a lot of Ame females of various ages from infancy on up. But would I also see some number of outsider males, spouses of Ame women?

This is why I asked about the few Ame males leaving home: do any Ame males ever remain to marry an Ame female of their own village? Or when you say they leave home to seek their fortune, is it meant that they find a different Ame village and marry an Ame female there?
Heh. Genetics might as well bé magic!
lol so you think genetics itself can produce lots of seemingly magical outcomes?
Absolutely! In the real world, perhaps not "magical" per se, but still no less wonderful; in a fictional world, there may indeed by magical outcomes!
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Re: The Ame People - An All-Female Human Ethnic Group

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k1234567890y wrote: 19 Feb 2021 14:28
Salmoneus wrote: 19 Feb 2021 13:40 I'm not sure "human" is the right word here, since they're clearly not humans (or mammals, for that matter).
what makes you think so?
Parthenogenesis is impossible for mammals (without medical intervention).
Spoiler:
Mammals are unique among animals in their epigenetic imprinting system. In essence, the genes inherited by the offspring are indelibly marked, imprinted, to show whether they were inherited from the sperm or from the egg. Each individual has two copies of each gene. Some genetic traits are recessive (expressed if both copies agree on it) and some are dominant (expressed if either copy demands it). But in really essential things, particularly related to the development of the embryo, mammals ensure that one and only one copy of the gene is obeyed by linking gene activation to imprinting - for certain genes, only the maternal copy is listened to, while for others, only the paternal copy is listened to. If there are two warring maternal copies to obey, or there are no paternal copies to obey, then development cannot occur. When a mammal occasionally accidentally (or as a result of human interference) produces a parthenogenetic embryo, therefore, it is non-viable. This genetic system is fundamental to all mammals, which is why no mammal has ever naturally produced viable parthenogenetic offspring. [you may have heard that we have artifically created parthenogenetic mice. This is true. But it was only possible by direct genetic manipulation of the embryos (essentially, they took two sets of genes from females, but altered one to become a male set) - and even then resulted in only one viable foetus out of 500 attempts!]

Impossibility aside, there would also be some other problems. First, although accidental parthenogenesis does occur in vertebrates (including mammals - just very rarely, and the embryo always dies), this type of parthenogenesis, which involves only a small deviation from the usual reproductive process, has the side-effect that the offspring only have one copy of each gene. In mammals, this means they cannot be viable - but even if it didn't, it would mean that the process could not occur more than once (you can't half '1' again and still have an integer...). In species where repeated parthenogenesis is possible, this is only possible because a much more fundamental rerouting of the reproductive process has taken place - in such species, ONLY parthenogenesis is possible. [it appears to have arisen among hybridised species that are infertile for other reasons already, so that only where parthenogenesis has been invented has survival been possible at all. The culprits are mostly lizards, because lizards have a weird amount of inter-species sex.] There aren't any vertebrates that regularly reproduce both sexually and asexually.

(If a group did have widespread parthenogenesis, it would have massive inbreeding depression)
And of course, immortality (non-aging) is not something that vertebrates can do. Moreover, if it were to occur, the sufferers would be overwhelmed by cancer.

In any case, given that the Ame apparently do have sexual reproduction with outsiders - lots and lots of outsiders, since their own males leave - it obvously wouldn't be possible for any weird genetic traits to be preserved (let alone such non-mammalian and non-vertebrate traits). The odds would be inconceivably large numbers to one.

You are, fairly emphatically, dealing in the realm of outright magic here. Which is fair enough*, but it's inconvincing when it's portrayed as not being magic. [and the fact that the magic elements are specifically in service of "guilt-free sex with asian children" makes it less credibly and more icky.]

[I also greatly, greatly doubt that such a totalitarianly anti-natal society could ever exist among humans. Not even the most overpopulated societies have managed to prevent population growth. Not even the most misogynistic and brutal societies have ever managed to stop women getting pregnant. Women pregnant without state approval face opprobrium? Sure - but go look at, for example, 20th century Ireland to see just how little effect that has. Women were, at best, systematically removed from their villages and imprisoned as slave labourers and their children taken from them, as punishment for unapproved pregnancies - and in some cases they were beaten and tortured and their children killed - under the aegis of a modern, powerful central state that propped up a socially, politically and to a large extent economically all-powerful theocracy that preached its no-unapproved-pregnancy message in every church in the land, at a time when the economy was so dire that the population was shrinking every generation as a large percentage of young adults were forced to flee the country for work and food and shelter abroad... and that STILL didn't stop women getting pregnant without permission. The human desire to reproduce may be second only to the human desire to have sex (which itself very often leads to reproduction).]
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Re: The Ame People - An All-Female Human Ethnic Group

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Salmoneus wrote: 19 Feb 2021 21:27 (omitted due to its length)
thanks for your criticism,,,but what would be your suggestions?
elemtilas wrote: 19 Feb 2021 15:44 But would I also see some number of outsider males, spouses of Ame women?
Possible but it would not be a commonplace.
elemtilas wrote: 19 Feb 2021 15:44
This is why I asked about the few Ame males leaving home: do any Ame males ever remain to marry an Ame female of their own village?
If they stay they would still marry out.
elemtilas wrote: 19 Feb 2021 15:44 Or when you say they leave home to seek their fortune, is it meant that they find a different Ame village and marry an Ame female there?
that can be a possibility.
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Re: The Ame People - An All-Female Human Ethnic Group

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k1234567890y wrote: 19 Feb 2021 23:24
Salmoneus wrote: 19 Feb 2021 21:27 (omitted due to its length)
thanks for your criticism,,,but what would be your suggestions?
I would suggest doing one thing or the other.

At the moment, you have something that's mostly a 'realist' anthropological conworlding project set in what is otherwise mostly our world... but then you throw in a couple of bits of pure magic in order to create this disturbing 'inhabited only by teenage asian girls who look and style their hair exactly like this one girl I'm fixating on but don't worry it's OK to have sex with them because they have adult minds, they just have child bodies' fantasy thing. It feels incongruous.

I would either bite the bullet on the magic-asian-girl-land thing and have it just openly be magic-asian-girl-land (it's a well-established genre, after all, with many literary precedents), or else cut out the magic and have it be real-world.

(I realise I forgot my footnote in my last post: I meant to say, I actually did play around with an all-female society idea once myself, and there are interesting ways you can go there. I never got far into the details, though, as I couldn't make it work satisfyingly. It was a very different tone from yours, in any case: it was essentially a country of small villages in a hell-dimension, the absence of men was part of a curse (they weren't just absent, bad things happened to them), and the place was also infested with penangalans, and secret police.)
elemtilas wrote: 19 Feb 2021 15:44 But would I also see some number of outsider males, spouses of Ame women?
Possible but it would not be a commonplace.
I don't understand your logistics here. Most Ame females prefer long-term romantic relationships with males... and yet it wouldn't be common to see any of those males? Are they kept in cages or something? Or does everyone have to travel long distances?
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Re: The Ame People - An All-Female Human Ethnic Group

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Salmoneus wrote: 20 Feb 2021 01:54
k1234567890y wrote: 19 Feb 2021 23:24
Salmoneus wrote: 19 Feb 2021 21:27 (omitted due to its length)
thanks for your criticism,,,but what would be your suggestions?
I would suggest doing one thing or the other.

At the moment, you have something that's mostly a 'realist' anthropological conworlding project set in what is otherwise mostly our world... but then you throw in a couple of bits of pure magic in order to create this disturbing 'inhabited only by teenage asian girls who look and style their hair exactly like this one girl I'm fixating on but don't worry it's OK to have sex with them because they have adult minds, they just have child bodies' fantasy thing. It feels incongruous.

I would either bite the bullet on the magic-asian-girl-land thing and have it just openly be magic-asian-girl-land (it's a well-established genre, after all, with many literary precedents), or else cut out the magic and have it be real-world.

(I realise I forgot my footnote in my last post: I meant to say, I actually did play around with an all-female society idea once myself, and there are interesting ways you can go there. I never got far into the details, though, as I couldn't make it work satisfyingly. It was a very different tone from yours, in any case: it was essentially a country of small villages in a hell-dimension, the absence of men was part of a curse (they weren't just absent, bad things happened to them), and the place was also infested with penangalans, and secret police.)
right right thanks for telling
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LinguistCat
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Re: The Ame People - An All-Female Human Ethnic Group

Post by LinguistCat »

I don't have much to directly comment on but I do have some to direct at Sal about parthenogenesis that he seems to have misconceptions about. I'm only saying this because I did a lot of research on parthenogenesis specifically and genetics more broadly for a nonterrestrial species I worked on a few years back.

First, AFAIK he's correct about why mammals don't reproduce this way. I'm not sure there's a way to scientifically get around it beside a wizard did it unexplained biochemistry or biology. That said, we could find out tomorrow that it's actually easy to fix the issues Sal brought up and it's only a fluke that humanity never figured it out.

However! There are parthenogenic creatures that are capable of sexual reproduction: Whiptail lizards for example primarily reproduce asexually but can on occasion interbreed with males of a closely related sexual species.

On the flip side, many sexual species (komodo dragons, many sharks and others) will reproduce asexually when no partners are around for mating. Komodo dragons specifically are a WZ sex-determining species, so unlike humans where - hypothetically - if a someone gave birth to a child that was produced parthenogenically, they would produce a daughter (or at least someone with XX chromosomes). In the same case with a komodo, they would produce only males because female komodos are WZ and males are ZZ while genotype WW is non-viable.

And this brings me to the other misconception that Sal seems to be under regarding parthenogenesis: Most complex species that use it in some form do not "halve their genomes". Many of them have two copies of chromosomes, but assuming the mother is from a normally sexual species, only one chromosome of each pair is passed on. However, during parthenogenesis (as opposed to self-fertilizing), this single set of chromosomes is doubled and goes on to develop normally. I think only certain eusocial insects use unfertilized eggs without a doubling of the genome to produce offspring parthenogenically, and then they also use it for sex differentiation, so all males have half a normal set of chromosomes, and females have the full set.

If I'm wrong on that point I'd love to know. But otherwise, you can't generally tell an individual produced through parthenogenesis and one through sexual reproduction except that the former would match for most genes on all chromosomes (since some small mutations would occur after the point that the genome doubled).

I hope this is helpful to understanding this form of reproduction better for anyone thinking of making species with this ability, either as their primary means of reproduction or as a fall back.
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Re: The Ame People - An All-Female Human Ethnic Group

Post by k1234567890y »

LinguistCat wrote: 20 Feb 2021 05:11 (omitted)
thanks for telling
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Re: The Ame People - An All-Female Human Ethnic Group

Post by Salmoneus »

LinguistCat wrote: 20 Feb 2021 05:11 I don't have much to directly comment on but I do have some to direct at Sal about parthenogenesis that he seems to have misconceptions about. I'm only saying this because I did a lot of research on parthenogenesis specifically and genetics more broadly for a nonterrestrial species I worked on a few years back.
(so did I!)
However! There are parthenogenic creatures that are capable of sexual reproduction: Whiptail lizards for example primarily reproduce asexually but can on occasion interbreed with males of a closely related sexual species.
OK, I kind of glossed over this.
Certain types of lizards are really weird, sexually, because they freely hybridise, they're often polyploid, etc. Basically, their reproductive mathematics is much freer than for other vertebrates in several ways. One effect of this is that it enables all-female species; a degree genetic diversity is maintained through a combination of polyploidy and occasional hybridisation. [they have sex mostly with other female lizards, but occasionally get confused and have sex with a male lizard of another species, and occasionally this results in offspring, and it doesn't matter whether the offspring is fertile (hybrid offspring are generally infertile, though I think they can be fertile for some lizard mixes) because they go on to reproduce parthenogenetically]. Essentially, these lizards have done away with the idea of reproductive 'species' altogether, and instead evolve through competition between large numbers of parthenogenetic lineages.

But two things should be noted. First, just as parthenogenesis happens as a rare accident for bisexual animals, so too bisexual reproduction with other species happens as a rare accident for parthenogenetic species. They don't freely alternate between the two forms of reproduction: one is overwhelmingly common, while the other is a rare anomaly. And second, by definition there are no lizard species that regularly reproduces in both ways - because the offspring of these unusual hybridization events are a different species.

[the human version would be: there are only female humans, but occasionally some of them have sex with orangutans, and occasionally that results in a hairy, confusing, prehensile-footed ape-woman who goes on to create a rival non-human species of ape-women that wars against humanity.]
On the flip side, many sexual species (komodo dragons, many sharks and others) will reproduce asexually when no partners are around for mating. Komodo dragons specifically are a WZ sex-determining species, so unlike humans where - hypothetically - if a someone gave birth to a child that was produced parthenogenically, they would produce a daughter (or at least someone with XX chromosomes). In the same case with a komodo, they would produce only males because female komodos are WZ and males are ZZ while genotype WW is non-viable.
This used to be thought to be true. However, it's now believed not to be: komodos do produce parthenogenetic offspring more often than many species, but it's still rare, and it doesn't appear to be related to circumstances (i.e. absence of males, arrival in uninhabited territory, etc). It's just accidental. So far as I'm aware, there are still a few species where it's been argued that there's facultative parthenogenesis, but none where its demonstrated. [among vertebrates - it happens among invertebrates, and plants]
And this brings me to the other misconception that Sal seems to be under regarding parthenogenesis: Most complex species that use it in some form do not "halve their genomes". Many of them have two copies of chromosomes, but assuming the mother is from a normally sexual species, only one chromosome of each pair is passed on. However, during parthenogenesis (as opposed to self-fertilizing), this single set of chromosomes is doubled and goes on to develop normally. I think only certain eusocial insects use unfertilized eggs without a doubling of the genome to produce offspring parthenogenically, and then they also use it for sex differentiation, so all males have half a normal set of chromosomes, and females have the full set.

If I'm wrong on that point I'd love to know.
No, you're right. I was confusing my homozygosity with my haploidy for a moment there!

The distinction is instead that in species where there's accidental parthenogenesis, the offspring are homozygous - they have two sets of genes, but they're (nearly) identical. This produces the problems that a) this means that if they have one gene for any recessive disorder, no matter how rare, they almost certainly have two, and therefore they're far more prone to having serious genetic disorders, and also b) although they differ from their mother, they'd be genetically identical to any offspring they themselves had by parthenogenesis. Although I was wrong to say it halved the number of gene tokens in the offspring, it does halve the total number of gene types (because half are now just copies of the other half). So for it to be a viable reproductive strategy, species need to evolve a more fundamental deviation from the normal process, which allows offspring to be heterozygous. Which is what whiptails and the like do. But doing so makes it harder for them to reproduce sexually.
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Re: The Ame People - An All-Female Human Ethnic Group

Post by elemtilas »

Also, as a general comment on the direction of this thread so far: let's not forget that this is someone else's fictional world. I don't know about any of the rest of you, but I did nòt read any disclaimer or other notice that this world is a straight up hard science setting. It's obvious that this world works a little differently, and rather than tell people how we would do it, perhaps if there's unclarity, one should simply ask "why is it this way?" Or "I don't know if your setting follows life as it's known on Earth strictly or not, but this doesn't seem workable. What's the differential factor that makes it work in your world?"

Suffice to say, we all do research on a wide variety of topics in order to give shape to our visions and dreams. Some do more or less research and some are more knowledgeable in some areas than other. Just because it seems that some aspect of a world doesn't correspond to known science doesn't really give just reason to attack or denigrate or make assumption rather than just asking and discussing.

I frankly don't care whether the Ame fit anyone's preconceived notions of how biology must work. I'm just happy to read a little hit of wonder, whether that wonder is hard science or pure fantasy!

Perhaps the discussion of parthenogenetic lizards can be split off before this thread becomes any more hijacked?
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