The Andorian and Aenar species have four distinct sexes and a union between all four sexes, an act known as the shelthreth, is required for procreation. Two of the genders, thaan and chan appear what humans would approximately call masculine, and the other two genders, zhen and shen, appear what humans would approximately call feminine. Most Andorians and Aenar accept the terms "male" and "female", and the commonly associated gendered pronouns, while dealing with species who more closely identify as primarily binary gendered out of a desire to not get involved in a discussion of gender and reproduction.
Biological Sex and Reproduction
In the primary Andorian language, the distinctions are as follows:
- zhen - This sex roughly corresponds to female, and is the sex of the Andorian who will carry the zygote to term.
- shen - This sex 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 sex roughly corresponds to male.
- thaan - This sex also roughly corresponds to male.
The gametes of each "male" sex contain one quarter of the number of chromosomes necessary to produce offspring. During the conception of an Andorian child, the thaan fertilizes a shen's egg with his gamete. The chan then also fertilizes the egg. This produces a fertilized egg that develops into a zygote. The shen then transfers the zygote to the zhen's pouch, where it develops into an embryo. The Andorian fetus is incubated and nourished to term in the zhen's pouch. The zhen does not contribute genetically to offspring.
In some Andorian linguistic traditions, Andorians have name prefixes which indicate which of the four genders they are. The prefixes thus encountered are as follows.
- Zhen - zh' (eg. Shathrissia zh'Cheen, Charivretha zh'Thane)
- Shen - sh' (eg. Pava Ek'Noor sh'Aqabaa, Avaranthi sh'Rothress)
- Chan - ch' (eg. Thirishar ch'Thane, Thanashal ch'Shonnas)
- Thaan - th' (eg. Thelianaresth th'Vorothishria, Shelerib th'Zharath)
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.
Selected information acquired from Andorian genders on Memory Beta. Aspects are modified in an attempt to be more gender inclusive in nonrecognition of the complexity of human gender beyond binary. The history section is left out entirely, due to it's frequent back and forth nature that does nothing to add value to the species.