from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Alternation of sexual and parthenogenic generations, as in some aphids.
- n. The state or condition in which conjugating gametes are dissimilar in structure and size as well as in function.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. The state of conjugating gametes that are different in size, structure and function
- n. Marriage or similar union between people of different sexes, or social strata, such as races,.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. The process of fertilization in plants by an indirect or circuitous method; -- opposed to orthogamy.
- n. That form of alternate generation in which two kinds of sexual generation, or a sexual and a parthenogenetic generation, alternate; -- in distinction from
metagenesis, where sexual and asexual generations alternate.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The state or quality of being heterogamous; mediate or indirect fertilization of plants. See extract under Chermes.
- n. In biology, heterogenesis, or alternation of generations, considered as an alternation between sexual and asexual reproduction or between parthenogenesis and bisexual reproduction.
- n. Marriage or mating or pairing between unlike individuals, as contrasted with homogamy, or the mating of like with like.
And my recent concentration on language regarding union or marriage types (homogamy and heterogamy), on the one hand, and sexual dimorphism/gender on the other, made me sensitive to my first lesson.
I don't think we need to introduce spouses, or label our marriage licenses, with the terms homogamy and heterogamy.
I recently suggested we call same-sex/gender marriage (or similar unions) homogamy and unions between people of different sex/gender heterogamy.
(Plus, why "sex" instead of "gender"?) Also, unlike "gay marriage," for example, homogamy and heterogamy don't presume to differentiate people based on their sexual orientation -- which is not a prerequisite for any kind of marriage.
Sociologists have done statistical surveys of religious homogamy (marrying somebody of the same religion) and heterogamy (marrying somebody of a different religion).
The unusual development of the sexual organs in diclinous flowers has been alluded to under the head of heterogamy, and other cases where the symmetry of the flower is rendered regular, by the development of parts ordinarily suppressed, will be found in the chapters relating to deviations from the usual number of organs.
That harmonises with the fact that homogamy, as it is called, predominates over heterogamy, that like is attractive to like.
The abhorrence of incest is an interesting and significant phenomenon from our present point of view, because it instructively points out to us the limits to that charm of parity which apparently makes itself felt to some considerable extent in the constitution of the sexual ideal and still more in the actual homogamy which seems to predominate over heterogamy.