The Viali have a mutation in their genome, which causes them to have two distinct sexes, and six genders. The distribution of each gender is roughly equal, being about 20% of the population. They also have gender-specific native plumage markings, and a distinctions between how one sounds and looks, and what genitalia they bear.
For most other forms of life there is one set of genetic chromosomes which controls the creature's sexuality and what sex they have. The Viali are different, in that their genitalia and their secondary sex characteristics are split into two unique chromosomes. It is unknown when this split occurred in their evolutionary history, however it is nonetheless an integral part of their society, both in the past and currently. This split of sex across two chromosomes has created the existence of "swapped" individuals - those who's genitals are of the opposite sex versus their secondary characteristics - and hermaphrodites, individuals who carry both male and female genitalia. Hermaphrodites are a special case in terms of genetics, in that they have a third variation of the primary sex chromosome which is an intricate combination of both male and female sexes. They are, however, unable to self-reproduce.
The Viali call one's gender a combination of their two distinct sex classifications. One's primary sex can have three classifications: female, male, and hermaphrodite. One's secondary sex can have two classifications: female and male. A combination of these two classifications produces a Viali's gender, of which there are six:
|Gender Name||Primary Sex||Secondary Sex|
All Viali bear a cloaca on the posterior end of their underside, but the internal structures of one's cloaca differs depending on their primary sex. A Viali's cloaca is vertically elongated and more slit-like, versus round. This is to accommodate the extra stretching space required for copulation. There are three variations in cloaca anatomy, one for each primary sex: male, female, and hermaphrodite. Male (Lis or Vina) Viali have a prehensile penis which tapers to a point, and extends from the center of their cloaca. Female (Vin or Liva) Viali a vagina located in the center of their cloaca, as well as a clitoris and clitoral hood located superior to the vaginal opening. Hermaphrodite (Naya or Nayu) Viali have both a vagina and penis, starting from the anterior end of the clitoris, their organs are in the order of: penis, clitoris, vagina. All Viali have an anus that is it the posterior end of the cloaca.
Due to the Viali's violet blood color, the inside of the cloaca is a deep violet shade, as well as any other exposed skin and internal tissues. The male penis however is a slightly lighter shade of purple, more akin to their actual blood color.
A Viali's primary sex consists of their reproductive organs, and alongside that, what gametes they produce naturally. One's sex organs are controlled by a different set of cellular instructions than their secondary sex characteristics, so there can exist Viali who for all intents and purposes are male, but they have female genitals, or vice versa. This also has lead to the development of male- and female-hermaphrodite individuals.
A Viali's secondary sex includes one's vocal tone range, native plumage markings, subtle differences in gender-based behaviors, and other minor characteristics. These traits are entirely separate from one's primary sex. A Viali can change their plumage markings at any time, to look however they want, however there are native markings coded in a Viali's genetics - based on their secondary sex - which help define what they are. Male (Lis and Liva) individuals predominantly have stripes and chevrons on their neck, ears, arms, back, and thighs. Female (Vin and Vina) individuals predominantly have freckles and dots on their cheeks, forehead, ears, neck, forearms, and thighs. Hermaphrodite (Naya and Nayu) individuals are the exception and their bearing of both male and female genitals gives them both chevrons and freckles. This isn't a hard rule, however, as there are instances of individuals having more exotic markings, or male markings in one area and female makings everywhere else, i.e. chevrons on their neck, freckles everywhere else.
A Viali's vocal tones (when speaking, not chirping) are higher-pitched in general, but still voiced and with deeper tones. Individuals with a female secondary sex have a higher-pitched range of voice versus those with a male secondary sex. However the difference in pitch isn't vastly different, but nonetheless noticeable. Behaviorally, Viali of all genders act in almost the same innate way. However, male-secondary-sexed individuals tend to be more quiet and thoughtful. On the contrary, female-secondary-sexed individuals are generally more playful. All Viali are naively very friendly, loving, and open.
Main Article: Differences in the Sexes
As described above, Viali of different genders share their respective natural differences. Because of this six-way split of gender, the Viali are categorized as a sexual hexamorphic species - six genders. However, innately in their biology they still adhere to the duality of male and female, with hermaphrodites blurring the line between the two. Even with six genders, the number of male-organ-bearing and female-organ-bearing individuals is still roughly equal in numbers - Vin, Liva, Naya, and Nayu genders bear female organs, while Lis, Vina, Naya, and Nayu genders bear male organs.
Gender in Culture
In Viali culture, sex and one's gender plays an integral role. It is not the case where being one gender is better than being another - the Viali express complete gender equality due to the greater number of genders available - but rather, it is important for social interaction, bonding, and an expression of freedom. Viali rarely ever cover their pelvis or undersides, leaving their cloaca visible from the front if they stand with their tail lowered, or from below if they are flying - this is normal and not seen as taboo. The Viali are also relatively sex-oriented, and often enjoy sexual activities alone, with their pack-mates, or partners. Activities like this are also deemed acceptable in public, unless specifically stated in the area. It is seen as a deep expression of freedom and openness when a Viali is nude in public, and it is generally encouraged for one's own moral and happiness to enjoy themselves and express their body in the public spaces.