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Old Oct 4 2007, 02:19 PM   #1
Nako
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Exclamation (Potential Adult Topic) Dragons Sexual Selection

One thing that always bothered me is why a persons sexual preference changed what dragon they get. I know, I know. McCaffrey had her reasons and I respect them, but I don't understand why something like a bisexual woman couldn't be a goldrider. I mean, HETEROSEXUAL bronzeriders sometimes have to sleep with men when their bronzes caught a green. It's just something that happens. When a goldrider's gold rises, they have to have sex with a man no matter what their preference. Now, I can see why golds, bronzes and browns would go for their own gender. Just the whole 'you have ovaries. I have ovaries. We have so much in common!' is a good enough reason for me. But with blues and greens, it seems that it's something that happens. Blues go for homosexual and bisexual men. Greens go for homosexual and heterosexual girls (Because we all know lesbians and bisexual women don't exist.. yeah right) but in all seriousness, what is it that changes the entire course of what dragons do in a Weyr?

Well lets think about this. Sometimes the popular bronzerider catches the queen. Why? Human thoughts alter the hive mind of the dragons in the Weyr, thus changing the outcome. Mirrim Impressed a green because someone told her she COULD. Someone planted the thought in her mind, and she Impressed. She was receptive to green thoughts. So, over the turns and turns, people of particular types expect to Impress certain colors. It makes much more sense than hormones and all this other stuff, and isn't horribly insulting.

Disclaimer: These are just my musings. Don't take my bitterness towards some subjects to heart please. I mean to channel my negativity into humor and I ask you to take it as such.
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Old Oct 4 2007, 05:41 PM   #2
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Default Re: (Potential Adult Topic) Dragons Sexual Selection

Your musings seem well thought out to me. And I thuink I agree.
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Old Oct 5 2007, 08:31 AM   #3
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Default Re: (Potential Adult Topic) Dragons Sexual Selection

One thing I would like to add...I recall reading somewhere, that a rider could make "alternate" arrangements when their dragon participated in a mating flight. That way they could ensure that their weyr-mate, or at least a person of complimentary desires is there for the conclusion of the flight!

The thing that I had thought of in the past is that if Bronzes ONLY go for hetrosexual men.... that kind of limits the chance for a homosexual guy to be in a lead position, of wing or weyr. This never really sat totally right with me, though I would highly doubt that Anne meant anything by this accidental exclusion.

I remember something about a weyr benefitting from a true union between the Weyrleaders, as opposed to a Senior Queen being flown by several different Bronzes, thus having a change in Leadership a couple times a Turn....(during a Pass). A stable relationship between the WeyrLeaders making for a stable weyr. I believe in that concept!! Stability in the weyr would be a good/needed thing, as this is a group of very confident souls whose jobs are the most dangerous possible...of any world I have visited.... Egos may abound in this brother/sisterhood!!
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Old Oct 5 2007, 12:24 PM   #4
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Quote:
One thing I would like to add...I recall reading somewhere, that a rider could make "alternate" arrangements when their dragon participated in a mating flight. That way they could ensure that their weyr-mate, or at least a person of complimentary desires is there for the conclusion of the flight!
That discussion was in DE/RSR, when there were still a lot of female greenriders. I think there's a lot of people who don't think that would be "done" by the 9th pass. I think it probably is, but not very much - "The dragon decides, the rider complies."
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Old Oct 5 2007, 09:31 PM   #5
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Default Re: (Potential Adult Topic) Dragons Sexual Selection

I think the logistics of trying to arrange for other partners doesn't work easily. Also, the end the partner(s) not participating directly in the flight would likely not really enjoy the experience -- with their partner acting as if they are possessed, it will feel like rape; it would not be a pleasant experience.
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Old Oct 5 2007, 11:39 PM   #6
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Dragons are not natural animals, they were created by humans. The person who had the most to do with their creation had strong feelings about "correct" behavior regarding sexuality. She engineered the dragons to impress male to male, female to female. It was determined that it would be better if more fighting dragons had male riders because pregnancy became a real problem, limiting the rider's ability to fight Thread. I think that green dragons found they had to either impress with a sympathetic male or die. I don't know how it came about that homosexual males also appealed to blues. Maybe it also has to do with "supply and demand" or some sort of empathy we don't really understand in the makeup of blue dragons.

I think it would be possible, considering the closeness dragonriders have with members of their own weyr, to come to some sort of arrangement during mating flights. Riders of all the participants would be gathered anyway. Those who are in "relationships" could pair off together, still maintaining contact with their dragons, and let nature take it's course. It might even be a sort of consolation to the rider of a "loser" if his/her partner's dragon wins. The joy of shared experience works both ways.
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Old Oct 13 2007, 05:19 PM   #7
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Default Re: (Potential Adult Topic) Dragons Sexual Selection

First of all, love the first post Nako (especially the part about the ovaries). Despite being gay myself, I have to admit that I hadn't actually thought enough about the fact that a gay man would never be in charge of a Weyr. I think that at times blueriders have made it to wingleader (or perhaps wingsecond) but I can't quote anything I'm afraid. But, yes, it does seem very restrictive (at least we get an otherwise pretty fair look-in at all which is pretty good for mainstream sci-fi)

As for sexuality, I think that in the Weyrs especially there is less of the need to define yourself as being straight or bi or gay. I get the impression that as they are generally looser about their attitudes to sex in general, they probably are a bit more happy about going where their desire takes them instead of the modern Western attitude of "ugh, no, I'm well straight I am yeah girls great" which stays with us and instills a sense of shame into homosexuals of any gender (even if it is less than it was 10, 20 or more years ago).

It is striking that despite gay male characters cropping up in a great many of the Pern stories, not once do we ever meet a lesbian or bisexual lady. Are there any in fanficdom I wonder?

Personally I think the concept of stand-ins is horrendous and offensive. In my opinion, it was invented and introduced to give narrow-minded people an "out" when thinking about their beloved bronzeriders and what they would be doing on a fairly regular basis. As I said, that's just my opinion.

LOL I think I could keep going, but maybe I should stop for now!!
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Old Oct 13 2007, 08:30 PM   #8
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I was just rereading a book & it brought up a good reason why a lot of the green riders are male. A green rises offten if the rider is female then the chances of her being to ppregnet to fight thread would be greater. After all if the dragons mate so do the riders. This could cause a shortage of green dragons fighting thread.
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Old Oct 13 2007, 09:01 PM   #9
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Default Re: (Potential Adult Topic) Dragons Sexual Selection

But going *between* in the first and third trimesters of pregnancy can cause miscarriage, so it's less likely that female greenriders would fall pregnant unless they (or their dragon) happened to be injured during those crucial first few months. I'm willing to bet that a number of female greenriders would have very early miscarriages without realising they were even pregnant.

And yes, Gidget2, there are lesbian characters in fandom and bisexual characters too.
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Old Oct 13 2007, 10:05 PM   #10
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Default Re: (Potential Adult Topic) Dragons Sexual Selection

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I'm willing to bet that a number of female greenriders would have very early miscarriages without realising they were even pregnant.

Didn't Mirrim have that problem, and in DoP she was told by one of said Dolphins that she was with child?
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Old Oct 14 2007, 02:08 AM   #11
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Default Re: (Potential Adult Topic) Dragons Sexual Selection

Yes, she had been having trouble having children because she wouldn't realize she was pregnant and would go between too much.
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Old Oct 14 2007, 05:10 AM   #12
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D'oh! I knew I'd read it in one of the books but I couldn't remember which one, so rather than be definite I hedged my bets.

Thanks for the reference, Sara!
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Old Oct 14 2007, 10:12 AM   #13
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And yes, Gidget2, there are lesbian characters in fandom and bisexual characters too.
LOL Yay!

Also the lack of female greenriders in later Passes is generally considered to be because of the amount of male holders who refused their daughters to be taken on Search as they were needed to increase the population (and holdings) as handily-packaged breeding machines. Presumably any men who preferred male company would actively seek out a life in the Weyr where possible (certianly not in all cases) as it would've been known that they would be accepted there - and have a chance of Impressing. A life of openness plus the chance of a dragon or a life of hiding, suppression and guilt? I know which one I'd choose!

I imagine that a similar thing happened to reduce the numbers of female Harpers come the 9th Pass (despite there being plenty in the Interval, as seen in MHoP).
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Old Oct 14 2007, 07:06 PM   #14
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Also the lack of female greenriders in later Passes is generally considered to be because of the amount of male holders who refused their daughters to be taken on Search
And, I would guess, it got to the point where a female greenrider was an oddity, then there simply weren't any, and then there SHOULD NOT be any. Which is where Mirrim came in, of course.
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Old Oct 14 2007, 07:09 PM   #15
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And, I would guess, it got to the point where a female greenrider was an oddity, then there simply weren't any, and then there SHOULD NOT be any. Which is where Mirrim came in, of course.
Totally. The same could also be said for the rection to Menolly too.
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Old Oct 24 2007, 06:45 PM   #16
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Blues go for homosexual and bisexual men.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandi View Post
I think that green dragons found they had to either impress with a sympathetic male or die. I don't know how it came about that homosexual males also appealed to blues. Maybe it also has to do with "supply and demand" or some sort of empathy we don't really understand in the makeup of blue dragons.
Heres an idea on why the are so many Homosexual blue riders. If we start getting more male green riders then we will get more homosexual blue riders simply because a blue can only ever have a chance of catching green anyway. This could sway a blue's opinions on who to pick as rider, especially if it stayed that way for over a thousand years of evolution.
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Old Oct 26 2007, 06:16 PM   #17
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Default Re: (Potential Adult Topic) Dragons Sexual Selection

Brown riders would nearly all be gay as well though going by that. When was the last time a brown actually caught a gold? Probably a lot of bronze dragons that never catch a gold for that matter.
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Old Jan 12 2008, 03:42 AM   #18
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I've never bought into the idea of dragons selecting based on sexuality. There simply wouldn't be enough homosexual males to fill the ranks if every green rider had to be homosexual. There simply aren't that many homosexuals in the general population. The high estimates top out at about 10%.

Moreover, I was always under the impression from the earlier books that the typical habit was for the riders to pair off with willing women from the Lower Caverns and while a green might be mating with a dragon of another color, the two riders would be with women they had made arrangements with prior.

Certainly it would be more convenient for a green rider to be homosexual...if the bronze, brown or blue rider whose dragon caught the green also happened to be. This makes no sense because now we would have to populate those ranks with homosexuals as well. We also get into the bad old days of gay-baiting by raising the spectre of "turning" riders homosexual.

And of course, what are the odds that not only would there be enough homosexuals available (especially during Pass) but that they would also possess the necessary traits to Impress? This would make such individuals doubly rare, and in a very limited population of only about 1.3 million by 9th Pass. And with the premium on children and population growth, can we really expect a rate of homosexuality as high as our cosmopolitan society? It just doesn't work.

As I've said elsewhere, I believe this topic has received too much attention, having probably been created and exploited by "interested parties" for their own purposes. I would expect the overwhelming majority of dragon riders (as well as Holders and Crafters) to be heterosexual, and up to 10% to be homosexual, with those riders most likely being concentrated in but not exclusively confined to the ranks of the greens.

It would not be inconceivable for a homosexual gold or bronze rider to exist, and certainly a bisexual rider could easily function in those ranks. Where it might be problematic and "bar" a homosexual rider from advancement in the Weyr might only be the positions of Weyrleader or Weyrwoman, since an exclusively homosexual rider might not provide the proper motivation for his/her dragon to conduct a heterosexual mating flight. This would be an extremely serious concern in a queen rider during Interval. In a bronze rider it would merely be a largely ignored curiosity and unremarked upon except perhaps when explaining why such-and-such talented rider never became Weyrleader.
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Old Jan 12 2008, 09:07 AM   #19
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I've never bought into the idea of dragons selecting based on sexuality.
Despite the explicit statements by Anne and the characters?

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There simply wouldn't be enough homosexual males to fill the ranks if every green rider had to be homosexual. There simply aren't that many homosexuals in the general population. The high estimates top out at about 10%.
Uh-huh. And those figures would be based on 40 year old research on Earth using people who are honest and confident and open enough to "admit" it. In a future society that has less ..... hostile views of homosexuality, and one in which labels are less often and rigorously defined, then that "estimate" would be skewed, at the very least.

Although your general point is a good one - where are all the non-riding homosexuals if they are prevalent enough to be Impressed? Or are all such men (and in the books there are no lesbians, as had been discussed before) Searched and taken anyway?

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Moreover, I was always under the impression from the earlier books that the typical habit was for the riders to pair off with willing women from the Lower Caverns and while a green might be mating with a dragon of another color, the two riders would be with women they had made arrangements with prior.
In one book that was mentioned. There has been much fan discussion of that also, with fairly negative thoughts, and a rather staisfactory 'outcome'. Undoubtedly also by your "interested parties" with their "own purposes".

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As I've said elsewhere, I believe this topic has received too much attention, having probably been created and exploited by "interested parties" for their own purposes.
Really? And what might those purposes be, ED? And do you have a list somewhere of those "interested parties"? And why the quotation marks anyway?

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It would not be inconceivable for a homosexual gold or bronze rider to exist, and certainly a bisexual rider could easily function in those ranks.
That's awfully gracious of you to allow that.
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Old Jan 12 2008, 12:21 PM   #20
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Old Jan 12 2008, 08:54 PM   #21
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Default Re: (Potential Adult Topic) Dragons Sexual Selection

-Puts hand up-

Is it a completely stupid idea that 'sexuality' isn't really a factor on Pern as it is here on Earth? On Pern, I'm of the opinion that people have a lot more sexual awareness (Perhaps not so much in the holds as in the Weyrs). It wouldn't be taboo on Pern, or against any moral code (see: lack of religion).

If one for example, wasn't attracted romantically to one of the same sex, that wouldn't really have a standing on the sexual side of things, since a flight is just that. Lust. Individuals are lost within their own dragon's conciousness anyway.

Personally, even if someone were 'straight', they wouldn't particularly care about flights. (With the exception of course...but that's perhaps for the Bronze Dragons to notice).
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Old Jan 13 2008, 01:39 AM   #22
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Despite the explicit statements by Anne and the characters?

Considering that those statements appear to originate largely after the author was supposedly attacked for indiscreet/insensitive remarks? It strikes me as an ex post facto rationalization to placate a vocal minority.

Uh-huh. And those figures would be based on 40 year old research on Earth using people who are honest and confident and open enough to "admit" it. In a future society that has less ..... hostile views of homosexuality, and one in which labels are less often and rigorously defined, then that "estimate" would be skewed, at the very least.

It's the best information that we have and not inconsistent with personal observation. That things would be markedly different in the future is speculative, but given that they've never been markedly different in the past...I wouldn't hold my breath. The species has evolved the way it has evolved. No one said nature is fair; in fact it's rather ruthlessly unfair.

Although your general point is a good one - where are all the non-riding homosexuals if they are prevalent enough to be Impressed? Or are all such men (and in the books there are no lesbians, as had been discussed before) Searched and taken anyway?

Genetically unlikely. Our chromosomes are as much of a mish-mash as a casserole in a blender. As any number of wantonly heterosexual people have Impressed, as well as homosexual, the genes governing the necessary traits do not appear to be linked. And someone has to be producing all those weyr-brats, so again, the necessary genes are not linked to homosexuality or heterosexuality. Ergo, why would dragons select primarily on sexuality? They wouldn't. All would have an equal chance based upon some other factor--telepathic aptitude.

In one book that was mentioned. There has been much fan discussion of that also, with fairly negative thoughts, and a rather staisfactory 'outcome'. Undoubtedly also by your "interested parties" with their "own purposes".

To be frank, the entire issue of blended human-dragon sexual experiences turns the laws and mores of reality on their ear. It's not surprising that the Weyrs would come to a pragmatic solution to the issue of human-dragon shared sexual experiences. Essentially, what happens in the weyr, stays in the weyr, and no one remarks on it.

If this means that a disproportionate number of women of "loose morals" choose to populate the Lower Caverns--so be it. If it means that normally heterosexual riders have the occasional homosexual encounter by mischance--so be it. If it means that the weyr environment benefits such homosexuals as may be part of it--so be it. If it means that a queen's flight bears a disturbing resemblance to a gang-rape--so be it. It's all a necessity of the human-dragon bond. You roll with it, and when everyone has a clear head you simply don't discuss the matter by mutual tacit agreement. If, in fact, Pernese society is more "okay" with homosexuality than present human society, there is even less reason to remark on matters.

However, I wouldn't bet on the Pernese being particularly more open-minded. We know the Holders aren't. They're very conservative, and they've retrogressed to an older mode of existence out of the necessity of survival. The evidence is everywhere in the roll-back of female roles and even rights, and the emphasis on bearing children, bloodlines and strategic marriage alliances. Odds are, Holder society is down-right hostile to homosexuals and views them as non-productive consumers of resources better dedicated to people that will produce progeny. Crafter society is more of an open question. Journeyman crafters probably get out more than Holders and are probably a little more cosmopolitan. Being uprooted from one hall to another periodically for the needs of the craft probably forces a more flexible view of the permanence and acceptable variety of unions. And then we have the Weyrs, where it's politely ignored both as a pragmatic solution and possibly as a result of more open-mindedness. The current frictions on the issue in the U.S. aside, any number of military services have carried a reputation for "buggery and the lash" and there was the entire army of Janissaries. So the Lower Caverns might have a fair number of men of "questionable morals" alongside the women of "loose morals" as the Holders would probably perceive them. And if recent research on birth order is valid, there might be a reason that those junior siblings in Holds that don't stand to inherit wind up in the Crafts or the Weyrs and perhaps have a different view.

That's actually one of the things I like about the books. It's a realistic human society, warts and all, including prejudices. And that's really what Pern is all about: utopia wrecked on the reef of reality.


Really? And what might those purposes be, ED? And do you have a list somewhere of those "interested parties"? And why the quotation marks anyway?

Quotations used in this fashion generally indicate that a writer does not necessarily share the view indicated in the quotations. In this case, the quotations leave it to the reader to decide who falls in the category. Whom I might consider interested and whom another might so consider could be completely different. Regardless of who those parties are, they refuse to let go of the topic for their own purposes. And no one says that the purposes, identities or natures of all interested parties are identical. I really have no desire to discuss who is interested, or their motives. I'm more concerned with the result.

I doubt most readers of the Pern books really have a problem with a disproportionate number of green riders being homosexual, or even with riders of other ranks happening to be homosexual. The human-dragon bond simply dictates certain things and fussing about the matter is pointless. Yet, acknowledging that point doesn't mean that the world created is some sort of homosexual utopia.

Such was clearly never the author's intent, and the subsequent course of events looks a lot like the author was bullied by the threat of negative publicity to give a vocal minority what they want. And that said minority continues to demand more. And more. And more. At some point a line gets crossed between an understandable desire to recognize the obvious, and bullying. I don't care about motivations; when they reach the point of bullying, matters have gone too far. When acknowledgment gives way to retro-activity continuity, it's the same thing.


That's awfully gracious of you to allow that.

What's gracious about a logical observation? There is absolutely no reason that a dragon rider could not be homosexual and perform all of the necessary duties. The only question mark is with the necessity of a heterosexual encounter between a queen and a bronze. If sexuality has bearing on the issue and a queen or a bronze must of necessity Impress a heterosexual and only a queen rider and a bronze rider can be the Weyrwoman and Weyrleader, then yes, homosexuality would bar a rider from these roles. If, however, sexuality is unimportant and/or the dragons totally override their riders' personalities on the issue, then there is no bar.

So which would you prefer? That sexuality is a discriminator and homosexuals are barred from the top jobs, or that sexuality is not a discriminator and they can reach the top?


The author is free to set up anything she likes, of course, but I don't have to agree with it. Given that dragons are telepathic creatures, I see telepathic accessibility being the key to Impression--not pheromones; not sexuality.
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Old Jan 13 2008, 02:00 AM   #23
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I was re-reading Dragonquest recently and Brekke said to F'nor that crafters and holders have a lot more "hang-ups" about things then what weyr bred people do. I vaguely recall something similiar being said between Tai and F'lessan when they went swimming. So obviously the weyrs don't mind gay people, nudity etc...as much as what the Crafts and Holds do about everything and anything in particular. Don't mind me rambling on, it was a thought only!
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Old Jan 13 2008, 07:39 AM   #24
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Righto. Good luck.
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Old Jan 13 2008, 12:21 PM   #25
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I was re-reading Dragonquest recently and Brekke said to F'nor that crafters and holders have a lot more "hang-ups" about things then what weyr bred people do. I vaguely recall something similiar being said between Tai and F'lessan when they went swimming. So obviously the weyrs don't mind gay people, nudity etc...as much as what the Crafts and Holds do about everything and anything in particular. Don't mind me rambling on, it was a thought only!
The Weyrs naturally are very sexually liberated because the atmosphere, with green dragons flying all the time and different preferences of sexuality, is more sexually charged than Holds and Crafts.
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Old Jan 13 2008, 01:26 PM   #26
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Default Re: (Potential Adult Topic) Dragons Sexual Selection

How funny.

I was reading the slightly warm (I won't say heated, but it was definitely a tad warm) debate between Gidget2 and ElectricDragon, and my IE crashed. Wow.

Anyway - I find the best thoughts on dragons Impressing come from fandom - DragonChoice, actually, written by one of MoM's members GirlSlick.

The DragonChoice Theory goes into a very good discussion of how dragons choose their partners - and it has nothing to do with sexuality.

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Yet green dragonets would not choose boys if gender preference were truly their primary concern: in that case a girl, any girl, would be favourable, whether a female candidate standing for a queen egg or, failing that, somebody in the stands. We know this is not so from the undeniable evidence that greens have chosen boys to the complete exclusion of girls throughout most of Pern's history.

Why, then, do green dragons exhibit this willingness to defy gender convention in choosing their riders? It seems highly unlikely that Kitti had the prescience - or, indeed, the breadth of mind, given how frequently her traditional tendencies are mentioned - to foresee a need for greens to choose boys, let alone the time to programme such a clause into the dragon template. Neither is there any evidence to indicate that green dragonets are simply too stupid to distinguish between male and female minds. While few green dragons are developed in much detail in canon, much less male-ridden green dragons, no suggestion is ever made that greens mistakenly believe their male riders to be female.

The answer to the problem of why only greens choose riders of the opposite gender is much simpler: the availability of female candidates was severely restricted from a very early stage. As if the need to populate a new planet with a limited gene pool were not reason enough, the initial Threadfall losses made a woman's childbearing ability her most precious commodity, and this conflicted with the lifestyle of a fighting dragonrider.

With fifty percent of dragonets hatching out green and a diminishing number of girls on hand to Impress them, green dragonets experienced a clash between their natural survival instincts and Kitti's directive that they choose riders of their own gender. Instinct won. Green dragonets started to choose boys when there weren't enough girls, and this in turn fuelled the decline in female candidates, for there was little reason to have girls Impress fighting dragons when boys could take their place.
Now - going by that - what if the Weyrs - either knowingly or subconciously - began to seed the male candidates with males who looked as if they may play for their own team, or both? We already know that the Weyrs have fewer sexual hangups than the Holds, and possibly Crafts. So it would make sense that the Weyr would become a sancuary for those whose sexual tendencies ran down a side stream.

Since, according to the books anyway, the average age of a candidate is the mid-teens, their sexuality would already be making itself apparent - at least to them. So, you have several males who already know they like their own sex. They also know that a green dragon is female and will be flown by .... wait for it .... a male dragon ridden by a male rider. They know they won't be blamed for being chosen by whatever dragon chooses them. So they start thinking their welcoming thoughts to the greens that come out.

JACKPOT!!!!!!!!!

Granted, this isn't the case for all men who Impress greens, but it could narrow down the field a bit more.
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Old Jan 13 2008, 01:32 PM   #27
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Default Re: (Potential Adult Topic) Dragons Sexual Selection

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To be frank, the entire issue of blended human-dragon sexual experiences turns the laws and mores of reality on their ear.
Uh...why? How?

There are many SF/Fantasy stories and books out there that deal with telepathic communication, and many of them deal with the fact that sex with the body can be enhanced when both beings are also telepathic.

The Dragon/Rider experience takes this one step further. It changes things, that's true, but I don't think it "turns the laws and mores of reality on their ear". I think that it is a great concept that, when originally written, was fresh and new and probably one of the selling points of Weyr Search/Dragonrider/ Dragonflight.

It's ideas like this that every writer prays for.
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Old Jan 13 2008, 02:52 PM   #28
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I totally agree with you, Shalyn!
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Old Jan 13 2008, 08:43 PM   #29
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Default Re: (Potential Adult Topic) Dragons Sexual Selection

Shayln, you make some very nice and practical points...especially those from Dragonchoice.

In my opinion...I don't think that being a person that enjoys the same sex would have been looked down upon on Pern in the same way it has been traditionally look at on Earth in the past. Mostly because of the lack of Religion on Pern.

I believe that in the weyr it's treated as just a variance of sexual likes. I don't think anything is thought by the weyrfolk, about a rider that enjoys same sex riders, as making that rider less capible of leading a wing, or of commanding a weyr..it would just depend on his excellent capabilities to lead his men fantasticly well...and what would that have to do with his or her sexual choices....but more what color his dragon was and how talented the rider and dragon were when flying and fighting.
Who you enjoy sex with has nothing to do with how well your mind works...or how well you do your job...or especially how well you fly your beloved dragon...in my opinion.
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Old Jan 13 2008, 11:56 PM   #30
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How funny.

I was reading the slightly warm (I won't say heated, but it was definitely a tad warm) debate between Gidget2 and ElectricDragon, and my IE crashed. Wow.

Anyway - I find the best thoughts on dragons Impressing come from fandom - DragonChoice, actually, written by one of MoM's members GirlSlick.

The DragonChoice Theory goes into a very good discussion of how dragons choose their partners - and it has nothing to do with sexuality.



Now - going by that - what if the Weyrs - either knowingly or subconciously - began to seed the male candidates with males who looked as if they may play for their own team, or both? We already know that the Weyrs have fewer sexual hangups than the Holds, and possibly Crafts. So it would make sense that the Weyr would become a sancuary for those whose sexual tendencies ran down a side stream.

Since, according to the books anyway, the average age of a candidate is the mid-teens, their sexuality would already be making itself apparent - at least to them. So, you have several males who already know they like their own sex. They also know that a green dragon is female and will be flown by .... wait for it .... a male dragon ridden by a male rider. They know they won't be blamed for being chosen by whatever dragon chooses them. So they start thinking their welcoming thoughts to the greens that come out.

JACKPOT!!!!!!!!!

Granted, this isn't the case for all men who Impress greens, but it could narrow down the field a bit more.
I don't think the Weyrs seed the candidate pool with homosexuals for the simple reason that if they're open-minded about the matter, as they must be for pragmatic reasons, they have no reason to even think about the issue. You put the candidates out there and the dragons choose. Given that Weyr environment probably has a fair number of homosexuals in it by comparison to the Holds, the problem takes care of itself. After a few centuries of not consciously considering the matter and letting "tradition" dictate affairs, I doubt anyone in the Weyrs gives it a moment's thought by the 9th or even 6th Pass, or sooner.
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Old Jan 14 2008, 12:13 AM   #31
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Uh...why? How?

There are many SF/Fantasy stories and books out there that deal with telepathic communication, and many of them deal with the fact that sex with the body can be enhanced when both beings are also telepathic.

The Dragon/Rider experience takes this one step further. It changes things, that's true, but I don't think it "turns the laws and mores of reality on their ear". I think that it is a great concept that, when originally written, was fresh and new and probably one of the selling points of Weyr Search/Dragonrider/ Dragonflight.

It's ideas like this that every writer prays for.
Of course, we have no telepaths to consult on the matter. Sure, it could be wonderful. Of course, it could also be a nightmare. There are parts of ourselves we never reveal to anyone, and for good reasons.

What might be lurking in someone's mind that you would encounter if you merged with it? So let's say a telepathic man and woman have sex and in the process merge minds and she discovers that he really enjoys putting ordnance on target and really couldn't care less about collateral damage and he discovers she's thinking that she'd rather be doing it with someone richer. Interpersonal relationships are messy enough as it is...would telepathy really be such a great addition to the mix?

The author has managed to duck the issue by providing the filter of the dragons. There is no merger between the humans. And the dragons really aren't fully developed people. They're more like talking animals. They're totally accepting, loving and non-judgmental about their riders...thankfully for the riders!

There is the distinct possibility that reading another person's mind could only be the most hideous form of rape imaginable. Some authors have thought about this, and you can see it in the convenient provision of the ability of telepaths to "hold back" part of themselves, "erect shields" or otherwise sequester portions of their minds. How would it really be? Who knows? If such sequestration is not possible, what a horror!

And how would the Weyr lifestyle and mores not be totally at odds with the prevalent behavior, laws and morality of the present day? Do you know of any place where the population routinely engages in bouts of wanton sex driven by external stimulus and shrugs it off? How many places do you know where any such activity would frankly be illegal? And how many places are that accepting of sex between unmarried partners, multiple partners, same sex partners, and with such frequency? Absent certain clubs in certain highly cosmopolitan municipalities, I think you'll be hard pressed to find anything approximating the Weyr lifestyle within present laws and mores.
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Old Jan 14 2008, 12:28 AM   #32
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Shayln, you make some very nice and practical points...especially those from Dragonchoice.

In my opinion...I don't think that being a person that enjoys the same sex would have been looked down upon on Pern in the same way it has been traditionally look at on Earth in the past. Mostly because of the lack of Religion on Pern.

I believe that in the weyr it's treated as just a variance of sexual likes. I don't think anything is thought by the weyrfolk, about a rider that enjoys same sex riders, as making that rider less capible of leading a wing, or of commanding a weyr..it would just depend on his excellent capabilities to lead his men fantasticly well...and what would that have to do with his or her sexual choices....but more what color his dragon was and how talented the rider and dragon were when flying and fighting.
Who you enjoy sex with has nothing to do with how well your mind works...or how well you do your job...or especially how well you fly your beloved dragon...in my opinion.
Lack of religion on Pern might remove the "moral" aspect of prejudice against homosexuals, but it will not remove the resource aspect, and on Pern that's the hard, brutal driver, especially in the Holds. If you wind up on the wrong side of the Hold doors in a mid-Pass famine, it doesn't much matter whether you wind up there because some prudish religious nut thinks you're a pervert, or some parent doesn't want you eating food that may keep his children alive. Similarly, watch out if you're old, or infirm. It would frankly be unsurprising if there was not a tradition on Pern of the old and infirm walking out of the Hold during Pass to meet their fate in order to see that their family members survive.

Survival is a harsh, nasty competition that consistently favors those who can breed and who stand by their bloodlines. Unfortunately, these biological imperatives place homosexuals at a disadvantage. On Pern, no one may be calling a homosexual a pervert, but they might be calling them expendable. One is less prudish and judgmental than the other, but they're both fatal!
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Old Jan 14 2008, 09:04 AM   #33
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Default Re: (Potential Adult Topic) Dragons Sexual Selection

Suide is not as taboo there as it is here. I think if someone wanted to die they could take a poison or something that is a lot less painful than being eaten alive by thread. I do not believe that anyone would choose that way to die.
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Old Jan 14 2008, 09:07 AM   #34
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Suiside is not as taboo there that it is here. There are lot easier way to die than being eaten alive by thread. I think if some one wanted to die they would drink a over dose of felis os something of that nature. I do not belive that anyone would choose to die by being eaten alive.
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Old Jan 14 2008, 09:55 AM   #35
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Default Re: (Potential Adult Topic) Dragons Sexual Selection

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Do you know of any place where the population routinely engages in bouts of wanton sex driven by external stimulus and shrugs it off? How many places do you know where any such activity would frankly be illegal? And how many places are that accepting of sex between unmarried partners, multiple partners, same sex partners, and with such frequency? Absent certain clubs in certain highly cosmopolitan municipalities, I think you'll be hard pressed to find anything approximating the Weyr lifestyle within present laws and mores.
You weren't alive in the sixties, were you? Actually, I wouldn't even go back as far as that - you can easily find that type of behaviour right here and now, if it floats your boat.
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Old Jan 14 2008, 11:18 AM   #36
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Default Re: (Potential Adult Topic) Dragons Sexual Selection

I have to agree with Kath - you can find that sort of behaviour going on if you look for it.

ElectricDragon - take a look at the history of sex and sexuality on this planet. Until religion started sinking it's teeth into it, most people didn't have an issue with it.

Remove the religious constraints and issues from sex and sexuality and you get some surprising results.

FYI - it is a conservitive estimate at best that 10% of the population are gay/lesbian. Why? Becasue of the people asked by Kinsey only 10% were willing to state they were gay/lesbian (this of course was at a time when being such was taboo). That survey and report has been called into question over the last few decades by lots of leading psycologists as being inaccurate, and geared to a particular political view point. In the UK, the government believes that 5-7% of the population are gay/lesbian. Most psycologists put the figure at closer to 20% - becasue again, not everyone asked is honest about what they are.

In truth human sexuality is far more fluid, and the labels we use to define it are what screws it up. Very few human being are 100% straight/gay/lesbian - they are bisexual to a degree. I know more bisexual people then I do straight/gay/otherwise. Most of them don't define there sexuality with a lable, they just have a wider choice of people they can fall for/be with/have sex with.

Given that Pern is set in our future - and baring any sort of extreme religion taking over the world and forcing it's view on how we should all live on us, I can forsee (without hessitiation) a time when human sexuality is not so rigidly defined by terms of "gay," "stright," "bi," etc etc, and people just fall for people - regardless of what sex they are.

If the bulk of the Pern coloney are made up of people like that, then I have no problem with forseeing that they would be able to find enough sutable men as partners for Green and Blue dragons.

Correct me if I am wrong, but wasn't Mirrim's father a green rider? If so then it would seem that some green riders do have relationships with members of the oposite sex...

Whilst I do agree that the Weyrs seem to have a more open mind on the issue of sexuality then the Holds - the Holds would be hard pressed to justify removing so many people from the population as you suggest - at the end of the day they would be cutting there own noses off to spite there faces. I would imagin that most Lord Holders are educated on these facts, and probubly see to it that any males that show "homosexual tendancies" are sent to the weyrs. In fact there is overwealming evidence in the books to support that - off the top of my head, I can think of a scene from MasterHarper of Pern that deals with just that.

And no offense Electric Dragon, but gay and lesbian people have spent nearly 2000 years on this planet dealing with persicution, narrow mindedness, and prudish people - and yet, they have survived, and prospered - and (gasp) in a few countries are beginning to get equal rights and treatment. Given that gay/lesbians were able to hide from such treatment on Earth - do you not think that they would be able to survive such treatment on Pern? And knowing that they would be accepted in the Weyrs, make there way there?
Are you suggesting that Pern - which is set in our future, is less advanced socially? I'm sorry but I find no evidence within the books to support that idea. Individual characters may have there own issues with it - but human life seems to valued by most on Pern.

I don't think that Pern is that dark and dangerious a place for us homos.

Yes, Anne has some very old fashioned ideas about gay men - I have no issue with that. She's 80+ years old. She's allowed. At least she included gay men/characters in her stories - which less face it, for it's "ground breaking ideas" Star Trek never did (and no I don't count the girl on girl kiss in DS9 - becasue it never happend again with that character...). I've often wondered what happend to all the lesbians - I guess none joined the coloney, or have ever been born on Pern. More as likely they have never been written about.

Looking at the facts - what is the total number of dragonriders in Pern's population? Now how big is the total population, and is 10% (keeping this conservitive for arguments sake) of that number greater or less then the total number of dragonriders? Work that out, and then you will have an answer as to whether the weyrs would be hard pressed to find enough men to ride green/blue dragons. Remember, if we stick to the conservitive esitmate, for every one million people you have on Pern, one hundred thousand would be gay.

Pern isn't perfect, but it is what it is - fiction. Try and enjoy it as such.
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Old Jan 14 2008, 01:45 PM   #37
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Default Re: (Potential Adult Topic) Dragons Sexual Selection

Second Pass Demegraphics (rough - becasue it has been a slow day, and I was bord).

Based on info in Red Star Rising (DragonsEye), this are some very rough mussings;

Bitra had close to 25,000 people in it's borders, and was considered to be a "small hold." Given that there were about 15 major hold areas of various sizes I have decided to use this as a rough figuire for working out the population. This of course does not include the larger minor holds.

25,000 x 15 = 375000.

Each Weyr had about 500 dragons (keeping things conservitive), so that gives Pern roughly 3,000 dragonriders (500 x the then 6 Weyrs). Support personal, not sure what a good ratio is here, so I am going to go with 4:1 - so each Weyr probubly had around 2,000 support personal - given us a total of 12,000. So the total rough population for the Weyrs is about 15,000.

So 15,000 + 375,000 = 390,000 as a rough population for Second Pass Pern.

Now things get interesting...

The rough dragon population is around 3,000 - of which half are green (so 1,500 - if I have my ratio right). The other 1,500 are blue, brown, bronze and gold dragons. So looking at it logically the Weyr would need around 2,000-2,500 gay/bixsexual men to fulfil it's requirments for riders. Everyone ok with those figures?

Now onto the really fun bit;

Pern's rough total population for the Second Pass is 390,000 - of which 50% are men - so 195,000. If we abide by dear old Kinsey's idea that one in ten men is gay that gives Second Pass Pern a rough gay population of: 19,500.

This figure of course does not include bisexual men - which I don't have the figures on, but even if that accounts for one of the remaining nine out of ten men - that's still nearly 40,000 people, of which the Weyrs need 2,000-2,500.

I don't see a problem with the Weyrs being able to find enough men to fill there needs - certainly in Second Pass Pern. Obviously as the population got bigger, there was a bigger pool of men to draw from.

Again, these are very quick and rough figures Oh, yes. I made a mistake in previous post - I forgot that half the population is men, not all of it - so therefore my statement "Remember, if we stick to the conservitive esitmate, for every one million people you have on Pern, one hundred thousand would be gay..." should read; "Remember, if we stick to the conservitive esitmate, for every one million people you have on Pern, fifty thousand would be gay men."
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Old Jan 14 2008, 03:40 PM   #38
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Default Re: (Potential Adult Topic) Dragons Sexual Selection

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Remove the religious constraints and issues from sex and sexuality and you get some surprising results.
...
In truth human sexuality is far more fluid, and the labels we use to define it are what screws it up. Very few human being are 100% straight/gay/lesbian - they are bisexual to a degree. I know more bisexual people then I do straight/gay/otherwise. Most of them don't define there sexuality with a lable, they just have a wider choice of people they can fall for/be with/have sex with.

Given that Pern is set in our future - and baring any sort of extreme religion taking over the world and forcing it's view on how we should all live on us, I can forsee (without hessitiation) a time when human sexuality is not so rigidly defined by terms of "gay," "stright," "bi," etc etc, and people just fall for people - regardless of what sex they are.
...
I tend to agree with this assessment, and, especially, that no person is 100% gay or 100% straight. Instead of a 3-pronged switch which says Gay, Bi, Straight, I think of it as more of a sliding scale where someone may be anywhere from .01% to 99.99% on the scale.

While I consider myself straight, there have been a few men in my time that I had thoughts about that I surprised myself with.

Also, there have been studies that show that very homophobic men do tend to be sexually stimulated by pictures of male erotica (I'm not sure about females, but it is easier to measure male stimulation). Is this because their upbringing (either culturally, morally, or religiously) has ingrained in them a dislike of homosexuals, and the feelings that they are having confuse them, and they want to rid themselves and everyone else of those types of feelings?

So, if, as I've stated, people are on a sliding scale of homosexuality, then when the dragon emotions take over, it is easier to imagine someone getting "lost in the moment".

Now what would be truly interesting, especially since in the later stories, more women are starting to impress green dragons, would be to see a blue dragon impressed by a woman.

I could see the Holds, being the most conservative of the occupations, being more disgusted with homosexuality, and sexuality in general.

The Weyrs beint the most liberal regarding both.

The crafts would probably vary by craft in how they considered the issue, but, other than craft politics, the crafts would try to recognize people by their ability to do the job first.

GH
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Old Jan 14 2008, 05:06 PM   #39
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I tend to agree with this assessment, and, especially, that no person is 100% gay or 100% straight. Instead of a 3-pronged switch which says Gay, Bi, Straight, I think of it as more of a sliding scale where someone may be anywhere from .01% to 99.99% on the scale.

While I consider myself straight, there have been a few men in my time that I had thoughts about that I surprised myself with.

Also, there have been studies that show that very homophobic men do tend to be sexually stimulated by pictures of male erotica (I'm not sure about females, but it is easier to measure male stimulation). Is this because their upbringing (either culturally, morally, or religiously) has ingrained in them a dislike of homosexuals, and the feelings that they are having confuse them, and they want to rid themselves and everyone else of those types of feelings?

So, if, as I've stated, people are on a sliding scale of homosexuality, then when the dragon emotions take over, it is easier to imagine someone getting "lost in the moment".

Now what would be truly interesting, especially since in the later stories, more women are starting to impress green dragons, would be to see a blue dragon impressed by a woman.

I could see the Holds, being the most conservative of the occupations, being more disgusted with homosexuality, and sexuality in general.

The Weyrs beint the most liberal regarding both.

The crafts would probably vary by craft in how they considered the issue, but, other than craft politics, the crafts would try to recognize people by their ability to do the job first.

GH

I think the fact we are moving towards a more fluid take on sexuality is what allows situations like the one on Pern to exist. That, and the maths kind of back things up as well, LOL (so kudos to Anne on that score).

I think in terms of the series, as Anne wrote it (and it has to be remembered when she wrote the early books), she did have (for the time) a very progressive outlook on sexuality. Looking back on it now, it is very dated in some respects.

However, becasue it has never been shown to be a major issue on Pern, I have no issues with it. Whilst Holders and Crafters alike may have a more prudish outlook on the subject, they have never been shown to be outright hostile to young men who had shown "homosexual tendancies" - and whilst some ended up in the Weyrs, some didn't - given some of the comments in other books (such as Toric trying to bribe a Green Rider from Southern by offering to find him a "friend" "The Dolphins of Pern" - the Healer at Fort Weyr in "Moreta", ok he did end up at a weyr, but not as a Dragonrider).

I stand by my earlier comments about the Lord Holders. I think there is evidence with the books to support the idea, but I agree that they wouldn't be as liberal in there outlook as the Weyrs on the subject. Disgusted? Not sure. We know that Shagall ("Moreta") had issues with homosexuality, because he was "Hold Bred" - but would his views be the common one held by Holders and Crafters? Again, there is no evidence to support that.

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Old Jan 14 2008, 07:29 PM   #40
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Default Re: (Potential Adult Topic) Dragons Sexual Selection

Possibly it's used as an excuse by the ignorant and inflexible?
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