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"Look—as far as I'm concerned, Steady Freddy can put on falsies and go woo the hermaphrodite vote in Quartz."
―Cordelia's thoughts on playing politics[src]

Hermaphrodites were a genetically-altered subspecies of humans with both male and female organs, created approximately 200 years BMVK during the rush of experimentation brought on by the invention of the uterine replicator[1]. Beta Colony had a population of hermaphrodites, most of whom lived in the community Quartz. Hermaphrodites often preferred to be referred to by the gender-neutral "it" rather than "he", "him", "she", or "her".[2][3] In polite address, the term "honorable herm" was approximately equivalent to "gentleman" or "lady".[4]

Bel Thorne was probably the best-known hermaphrodite in the Vorkosigan Saga.


Unlike the ba of Cetaganda[5], who had no sex organs at all, Betan hermaphrodites had dual sex organs[6].

Behind the scenesEdit

There exists speculation that hermaphrodites were created with an extra chromosome, called the Z chromosome. There is no textev for this beyond the fact that Cetagandan Haut and Ba had such a system (mentioned in Diplomatic Immunity). No known authorial statements exist to confirm this belief, however.

Notes and ReferencesEdit

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