Why is the plague sex-linked? Was this a deliberate policy decision or just an accident of genetics? In current and future society, it seems like if you were waging biowar against a remote population you’d want to be after both genders…
BTW, “Sacramento” (unless this is not the California city).
I’m not the author but I have an idea PO8. I would think it is a deliberate policy. Not to be sexist or anything but the bulk of any experienced fighting force is men. Also, if you go after even the women, there would be an even larger loss of life. If there was ever a break out on Terra from the same thing, they would probably have just eliminated the whole human race. By just targeting men, you weaken their fighting force and are able to claim a ‘fighting’ victory against an enemy (always a morale booster), plus the fact that using bio-warfare is extremely banned and public backlash would end the current regime. If it didn’t end the regime, any and all other colonies would instantly declare war and band together against them. I think as a back-up if there was a break out on Terra, this would not eliminate the human race. While men make procreation easier, we really aren’t necessary with their level of tech. Cloning, while probably banned in that era, would be used to either create more life or the necessary amount of men to keep the species going. As it is, in a worst case scenario, between three and five men should suffice to keep the human race going without side-effects from inbreeding assuming there was a large pool of women to choose from and diversify it. But with only three to five women we would be more than likely be doomed. We probably wouldn’t be able to diversify enough fast enough because women donate the majority of genes to the offspring (50.1% or so I’ve heard). That is why you don’t go after both genders.
The things I found alarming was the fact that A) they used bio-warfare at all (which is forgiven because it made for an interesting story) and B) they used bio-warfare without coming up with a counter-agent or vaccine first to safeguard themselves. But then again, intelligence isn’t the first thing you tend to think about when it comes to governments and their plans.
Hello long time reader first time replyer I agree with alot of what Caridian said whith designing the virus to target men to minimize casulitys if it ever got out. Also if such a destractive plaque where to target the whole popluation It mite be very obvious that it is geniticly engineered and lead to the terra systems destruction. Also you got to remember that a regime that is interested with power mite not want a countermeasure developed because if one was then eventualy the other factions mite find out about it or a future target would develop a counter agent.
“Not to be sexist or anything but the bulk of any experienced fighting force is men.” LOL—nice disclaimer, but… There are many examples of effective armies that are of mixed gender, and the percentage of women in military service is increasing sharply over time. “Over a thirty-year period, the percentage of females in US Army military forces has increased from 1.6% in 1972 to 15% in 2001 [2, 3], and this trend is projected to increase in the near future to 20% . In Israel, military service is mandatory for both males and females, and the percentage of female involvement reaches approximately 30% of the total military force.” (http://ftp.rta.nato.int/public//PubFullText/RTO/MP/RTO-MP-HFM-158///MP-HFM-158-13.doc)
If the goal is merely to decimate, not eliminate, the target population, it would probably be a better choice to link a designed disease to a genetic property like eye color that isn’t known to be correlated to anything interesting.
This “genetic plague” is a little mysterious anyhow, as its mode of transmission is apparently a virus or something. If you’re doing biowarfare with viruses, why make them gene-linked at all? It is also traditional in this kind of research to have a control built into such an engineered disease in case it gets loose.
Lets face it: on the “Sliding Scale of Silliness vs Seriousness”, the “genetic plague” is well on the “wouldn’t be cool if all our characters were beautiful, sexy women” side.
PO8, you’re missing a big part of the disclaimer… I said bulk, as in majority. Your examples actually prove my point. Females make up 30% of the Israeli armed forces. That means 70% of it is still male and make up the bulk of its forces. As for the upward trend of females in the armed forces, great, but they have a long way to go before they are equal in numbers.
As for the target trait of the virus, it’s probably better to go with males. It’s more widespread and will take out a majority of the enemy leadership and fighting force.
I will also fervently agree with your last two paragraphs though, especially the last one.
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