The perception of gender among natives of Yuriba differs dramatically from most outside points of view in that it assumes 'female' and 'male' to be separate species. This unique perspective often creates confusion between Yuriban locals and visitors.
Gender or Species?
The Yuriban perception of gender is rooted in the basic assumption that all life is female. Males do not exist in Yuriba; as such they are not included in Yuriban thought naturally. The introduction of males from outside the island has forced Yuriban philosophy to adapt to include them, but this process of incorporating the existence of a completely alien form of life has been extremely difficult.
In Yuriba, all females are considered (in thought and in life) to be of the same species and thus capable of reproducing freely. Conventional thought differentiates between "human" and "cat-human" and so on and so forth, but in Yuriba, all forms of humanoid female are considered to be subspecies of the species "female".
As members of the same species, females in Yuriba are capable of reproduction through the process of memetic exchange. This process is as much a spiritual phenomenon as a physical one and is generally considered to be impossible outside of Yuriba. It is routine on the island, however, and seen as the only natural means of reproduction.
Because Yuribans consider female to be a master kingdom, they logically believe that males are actually the females of their subspecies of the female kingdom. It is not uncommon for a native to refer to a male as 'she' or 'her'. Some see intercourse between a female and a male as a type of bestiality - akin to intercourse between a female human and a female animal. The concept of heterosexual relations is thus seen as strange and often repugnant to natives. Meanwhile, visitors to Yuriba almost universally have difficulty comprehending the idea that by Yuriban standards, men and women are not of the same species and thus cannot reproduce.
Most Yuribans are bothered by the idea of conception between a man and a woman, considering it lacking in the elements of mind and soul present in the process of memetic exchange. However, Yuribans are comfortable with the idea of male-male sex, as they consider males to be the female of the male species; thus, two men are capable of reproducing, but a male and a female are not, as they are of different species.
The radical differences between Yuriban gender perception and foreign gender perception makes discussing the issue extremely confusing. It is considered a topic to be avoided save by the truly interested or by the foolhardy, as it can often lead to bitter arguments and confusion, especially among natives who find it difficult to understand the concept of a world in which males and females are the same species.
Yuribans have difficulty comprehending the concept of a masculine god, as their basic premise of gender (all life is female) automatically excludes the idea of a male deity. There is no word for "God" in any Yuriban dialect: "Goddess" is the accepted term. For more on how Yuribans view outside forms of religion, see Non-Yuriban Faiths.