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Andorian gender: Misc

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The Andorian and Aenar species are unusual in that there are four distinct Andorian and Aenar genders, and a union between all four genders, an act known as the shelthreth, is required for procreation. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine novel: Avatar)

Two of the genders, thaan and chan are roughly male, and the other two genders, zhen and shen, are roughly female. Andorians and Aenar accept the terms "male" and "female", and the pronouns "he"/"she"/"him"/"her" etc., while dealing other species, as it avoids confusion and unwanted questions.

In the primary Andorian language, known as Andorii, the distinctions are as follows.

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Genders

zhen – This gender roughly corresponds to female, and is the gender of the Andorian who will carry the zygote to term.

shen – This gender also roughly corresponds to female and is where all Andorian life originates. Although the zhen carries the infant, the child begins as gametes from the shen.

chan – This gender roughly corresponds to male.

thaan – This gender also roughly corresponds to male.

Reproductive process

During the conception of an Andorian child, the chan adds his gametes to those of the shen, which have already been fertilized by the thaan. The shen will then transfer the zygote to the zhen's pouch.

Name prefixes

Andorians have name "prefixes" which indicate which of the four genders they belong to. The "prefixes" thus encountered are as follows.

Polite form of address

Zha, Sha, Cha, Tha

Bondmate

zh'yi, sh'za, ch'te, th'se

Parent

zhavey, shreya, charan, thavan

Offspring

zhei, shei, chei, thei

Sibling

zhi, shi, chi, thi

Parent by marriage

zhadi, shidei, chada, thadu

Child by marriage

zhri'za, shri'za, chri'ze, thri'ze

History

The unique paradigm of the four Andorian and Aenar genders have long caused reproductive problems on Andor. By the year 2155, the Andorian population was noticably dropping and the Aenar species numbered less than 5000. The Andorian thaan called Shran speculated that the Aenar were slowly going extinct. (ENT novel: The Good That Men Do)

By the year 2376, the Andorian species was also slowly dying out. The required union between all four genders, and a shrinking window of fertility created a reproductive crisis to which there was no known solution.

While in the Gamma Quadrant, an Andorian chan, Starfleet ensign Thirishar ch'Thane, discovered a unique genetic turn key that existed in the non-viable eggs of a species known as the Yrythny. The eggs provided the solution to the Andorian's crisis by making it possible to widen the window of Andorian fertility and making it possible for a zhen to have more than one child at a time. (DS9 novel: Worlds of Deep Space Nine volume one, Andor: Paradigm)

The status of the Aenar is unknown. It is possible that the Aenar died out by the 24th century.

Disclaimer: The writers and editors at Pocket Books extrapolated the four Andorian genders from Data's line in the TNG episode "Data's Day" that Andorians marry in groups of four. They freely admit that one does not necessarily equate to the other, but felt that this interpretation afforded the best storytelling opportunities. For an alternate view of Andorian reproduction, see the TNG novel The Eyes of the Beholders.

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This article uses material from the "Andorian gender" article on the ST Expanded wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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