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How could one describe an animal that is neither male nor female, because it has no sex organs?

But it could choose which sex organs to develop based on the environmental needs.

Not hermaphroditic because that means having both sets of sex organs, and not androgynous because (I believe) that describes solely appearance.

The _______ toad is...

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    Can you clarify the context? What exactly is your character (a human with a medical condition, an animated doll, an alien blob creature, etc)? What type of word are you looking for (medical, slang, etc)?
    – Laurel
    May 6, 2020 at 13:43
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    What do you mean by "no sex organs"? May 6, 2020 at 15:24
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    Sex organs de novo on demand? Is the potential for an animal to develop such a sex organ in some sense a sex organ or at least a proto sex organ? I've never run across an example of an animal that could develop sex organs from scratch based on environmental considerations. May 6, 2020 at 18:35
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    OED: asexual, adj. and n. A. adj. 1. Biology. Lacking sexual organs or function; Also of reproduction: occurring without the fusion of male and female gametes, e.g. by fission, budding, or parthenogenesis;. 1995 The life cycle is complex and includes many stages. The most common asexual form found in stool and water samples is the oocyst =.2005 What the aspens really illustrate is the power of asexual (or vegetative) reproduction. B. n. 1. Biology. An organism which does not reproduce sexually; an asexual, 1927 Medium sized and small worms become apparently normal asexuals.
    – Greybeard
    Oct 5, 2020 at 15:27
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    As context and a sentence are lacking, this BBC article on parthenogenesis might be of help: bbc.co.uk/earth/story/…
    – Greybeard
    Jun 14, 2021 at 15:57

1 Answer 1

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That depends on the exact meaning(s) that you want to convey. You might use "asexual or non-sexual" or something similar like "neuter or neutral". Specifically, as far as "having no sex organs" goes, I think "neuter or neutered" comes closest to your meaning.

The "neuter" character is...

https://www.thefreedictionary.com/asexual

https://www.thefreedictionary.com/neuter

I also found "genderless" and a number of other interesting possibilities here:

https://nonbinary.miraheze.org/wiki/Agender

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    This isn’t a particularly clear choice. I have never heard “asexual” used to refer to a lack of sexual organs when it refers to a human... or humanoid (which I assume the op’s character is). I have mostly heard it used to refer to the asexual sexuality, or some other similar meaning like not having sex. I think that “non-sexual” has the same problem.
    – Laurel
    May 6, 2020 at 13:35
  • @Laurel. Thanks, but I have to disagree with you. In biology there are some primitive organisms that are "asexual" in that way and one of the definitions of "asexual" fits the question. I agree that it is less common than the typical usages. I also consider "character" in the example to be not a particularly clear choice of nouns.
    – user22542
    May 6, 2020 at 14:00
  • @DS - Please see the first adjective definition for "asexual" at the TFD link that I provided. I understood that definition completely. I think you may be mis-applying the social definition for "asexuality" to the biological definition of "asexual".
    – user22542
    May 6, 2020 at 16:05
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    The problem you're encountering is twofold. First, you should provide the definition of the sense you're thinking of in the answer itself. Rather than simply providing a link, give a quotation that shows the meaning you're thinking of. For instance, Merriam-Webster's definition of its first sense of asexual is: "lacking sex or functional sex organs // asexual plants." Second, the question itself is unclear (Is it a person who never had sex organs, or somebody who's had them removed?), so an answer here could be premature. May 6, 2020 at 17:01
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    Thanks @Rattler. I'm glad that fit in here. Apparently different literary types need to be taken into account as well. I have a science background and, not knowing the nature of the actual "character" in the example, I offered my answer, I thought the end link was a helpful one for "added" possibilities - at wiki/Agender (for more options). Wow...I actually ask questions on SE to get helpful answers... Anyone else?
    – user22542
    May 6, 2020 at 18:10

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