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I've found very few references to female Sith. I know there were some powerful female Sith, but there aren't many of them.

Is there a reason there are so few female Sith?

I looked through the Wookiepedia, including the main article on Sith, and there was one female Sith from the time of The Brotherhood of Sith and two (or three) other than that, and that was it. While there aren't many female Jedi, there seem to be fewer female Sith.

This is a case where I'd accept an answer like @Sydenam's or @Aye's comments, as opposed to a purely in-universe answer. Or maybe it's that there are fewer female Force-sensitives than male ones. But whether it's due to sexism, or that male authors write better male characters, or that there's something in-universe that causes it, there's still very few female Sith, so it'd be interesting to know if there's a reason for that.

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    there are only ever 2 Sith lords, so there's very few men at well. And oh, just because few were mentioned doesn't mean there were few, just that they weren't notable enough to get mention. – jwenting Dec 9 '11 at 7:01
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    There aren't many female Jedi either, IIRC. – sbi Dec 9 '11 at 10:23
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    I would guess because the stories are typically written by men, or male characters are preferred, some sort of sub-conscious gender stereotyping. – Sydenam Dec 9 '11 at 12:52
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    @Sydenam - don't attribute to malice what can be likely explained by incompetence. Brothers Strugatsky - who were the foremost Soviet SciFi authors, very good and very influential, openly stated that they had almost no lead female characters because as writers, they knew they sucked at writing female characters and couldn't figure out how to do that right, despite trying. To be honest, I have seen some of female hero characters added to SciFi "just for diversity" who were so bad, it'd be better if they didn't even try (David Weber is one of the rare exceptions to this) – Alax Dec 9 '11 at 15:29
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    There's a Glass Ceiling! – Zoot Nov 2 '12 at 19:49
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Since I'm very familiar with Strugatsky brothers, I'll expand on Aye's comment with some details, though if Aye comes back later and feels like they'd like to make into their own answer I'll gladly delete mine

As was noted, in many cases the sci-fi writers (who are mostly male) sometimes simply can't write a good female lead character. And some are good enough at their art/craft that they don't want to do second-rate work just for the sake of having a female heroine.

A good example of this, as Aye noted, were Strugatsky brothers (the most notable Soviet scifi writers), who generally wrote very good characterizations and were always stressing the fact that for them, science fiction writing was writing about human nature and human behavior, with SciFi scenery to assist in that goal. However, their heroes were overwhelmingly male, and they addressed the topic with the fans:

  • Arkady Strugatsky stated said the following in an interview to "Knowledge is Power" magazine on 3/17/1982 (English translation mine, Russian source http://www.rusf.ru/abs/int/ans-kafe.htm ):

    ВОПРОС: Почему в ваших произведениях, как правило, женщины в главных ролях не выступают?

    QUESTION: Why are there usually no female main heroes in your works?

    .

    А.Н.СТРУГАЦКИЙ: Женщины для меня как были, так и остаются самыми таинственными существами в мире. Они знают что-то, чего не знаем мы. Лев Николаевич Толстой сказал: все можно выдумать, кроме психологии. А психологию женщины мы можем только выдумывать, потому что мы её не знаем.

    A. N. Strugatsky: Women, for me, were always and still remain the most mysterious creatures in the world. They know something we men don't know. Leo Tolstoy said: "you can imagine anything you want except for psychology". And we can only imagine the psychology of a woman since we don't know it.

  • In an ongoing offline Internet interview, Boris Strugatsky has stated the same several times.

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    That's a rather pathetic cop-out. Female authors seem to have no problem imagining the "psychology" of men, just as most good authors today have no problem creating believable characters from other cultures (or, heck, even from alien species) without actually being from those cultures. As with drawing females, it just takes some study and practice. Also, women are as diverse as men, and you could quite literally gender swap certain fictional characters by simply changing their names and physical descriptions without the reader being the wiser. – Lèse majesté May 8 '14 at 1:15
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    @Lèsemajesté - seriously? I find male characters in many female author's fiction to be... how should I put it politely... extremely poor and subpar. *cough*\50 Shades*cough*. Or pretty much 90% of fanfiction written by women. You'd have to do a lot more than indignately comment to prove the "no problem" assertion as a general rule. Drawing isn't even remotely similar - you can SEE a female as well as a male... you can't SEE inside other people's heads. – DVK-on-Ahch-To May 8 '14 at 1:27
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    Bringing up a single title from a genre that you're likely dismissive of anyway doesn't prove anything. And I hadn't expected you to be so skeptical (or possibly ignorant by choice) of a self-evident fact: Ursula Le Guin, Rowling, Mary Doria Russell, Madeleine L’Engle, Anne Rice, and pretty much any female author of note in or out of speculative fiction has written competently portrayed male characters. Or are you suggesting that female writers should just stick to portraying females? – Lèse majesté May 8 '14 at 1:51
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    And, no, readers don't have any more of a psychic link to the mystical workings of the female mind than authors do. They infer motives and personality through speech and behavior, just as we all do. Unless the writer is completely isolated from a particular gender, you've given a pretty poor excuse for not being able to write believable characters of that gender. – Lèse majesté May 8 '14 at 1:53
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    I think a point is that male authors can often get away with not writing any major female characters, but a female author who says, "Well, I just won't write any major male characters" is unlikely to go far in science fiction. – Pixel May 8 '14 at 20:00
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One possible explanation: The Sith philosophy is very much about things like competition, domination, power. These are concepts that far fewer women than men find appealing. Women tend to prefer cooperation, reconciliation, harmony.

Some claim these differences are mainly imposed socially, others that they have physiological roots (hormones) and represent an evolutionary advantage. But that doesn't really matter: if these differences exist in the Star Wars universe as much as in ours (and there is little reason to believe otherwise) then they easily explain the small number of female Sith.

There is one flaw to this theory though: the "female" concepts line up pretty damn well with the Jedi philosophy, and there is no corresponding lack of male Jedi. At least that prevents Star Wars from becoming a focus of hate from anti-feminist paranoiacs.

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    "These are concepts that far fewer women than men find appealing. Women tend to prefer cooperation, reconciliation, harmony." Have you ever worked in an office/corporate environment with women? Many are cutthroats. Nothing could be so far from "cooperation" and "harmony" :P Oh, trust me, they are both familiar with and frequent practitioners of competition! – Andres F. Jan 8 '13 at 2:02
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    @Andres: Many are, but what's the ratio between women who are like that vs. men? Sheryl Sandberg talks about her surprise at how few women actually try to get raises or attempt to reach C-suite positions, resulting in an "ambition gap" between genders. This is, of course, a cultural phenomena and doesn't make as much sense when talking about an entire galaxy, but it's not completely implausible. – Lèse majesté May 8 '14 at 1:23
  • @Lèsemajesté not to mention that the Start Wars universe is fictional and reflects our contemporary culture. – Michael Borgwardt Mar 21 '15 at 17:51
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    I would say, from what I know of this topic, that women tend to lack the overt ambition necessary to become a prominent Sith. They don't necessarily tend more towards the Light Side, but they would tend to use the Dark Side in ways that don't conform to the way that the Sith usually operate, i.e., focused primarily on overt competition. That said, 1. this is based on a contentious examination of Earth's Western human society only, and 2. in settings such as the Korriban/Sith missions in KOTOR, there seems to be no marked differences between the male and female Sith modus operandi. – Wolfie Inu Oct 13 '15 at 5:18
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Actually, 4000 years before the Star Wars movies, there was a full-fledged Sith empire and republic where thousands of Sith and Jedi existed in the galaxy. There were many female Sith and some very powerful like Darth Acina, Darth zash, Darth lachris and countless others.

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    This would carry more weight if you actually counted female Sith vs male in that time. Merely asserting "countless" based on a few examples is a major logical fallacy. – DVK-on-Ahch-To May 8 '14 at 1:30
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Love is forbidden to Jedi. While it is not an emotion forbidden to Sith, by any stretch, taking on lovers seemed to be looked upon as abnormal, as it was dangerous and could lead to weakness by being ruled by one's emotions, instead of ruling them.

I would imagine this has something to do with the Sith being more one sex than the other.

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    This is very much not true. Sith avoid attachment but have no problem with lovers or even partners. This is made very clear in the EU – Chad Feb 24 '12 at 19:20
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    I'm not really sure what you're implying here. You say that it's "looked upon as abnormal, as it was dangerous" and that you "would imagine this has something to do with the Sith being more one sex than the other." Do you mean that taking lovers is dangerous because the Sith are largely one sex, or that the Sith is largely one sex because taking lovers is dangerous? Actually, I don't really understand either position. – PrinceTyke Aug 13 '15 at 19:37

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