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Usually, the "ports" on the computer are female but this one in specific appears to be a male port. I have never seen one and google images are also causing a confusion from seeing this:

enter image description here

If that's right then I guess the serial plug/connector should be female?

It would also help if the same is cleared up for parallel ports.

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Ron's right. I would add that the port right next to it is an (S)VGA port. If you see a similar port with only 9 holes, but a female port, then that is likely a video port (pre-VGA, quite possibly using EGA or CGA), not a serial port. – TOOGAM Jan 18 at 23:40
    
Possible duplicate of Is DB-25 port Serial or Parallel? – sawdust Jan 19 at 0:07
    
Dang that is an older PC, it has ps2 ports. – Moab Jan 19 at 0:45
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@Moab: Really? I have seen those same purple and green ones on modern motherboards as well. – user12184 Jan 19 at 1:00
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@Moab: Like this one for example – user12184 Jan 19 at 1:45
up vote 31 down vote accepted

That is a male serial connector. The big one is a female parallel connector. It used to be common to have both 25-pin serial ports (true RS-232 ports) and 25-pin parallel ports (smaller than the original Centronics parallel ports). The parallel ports were female, and the serial ports were male. This prevented accidentally connecting a cable to the wrong port.

This, of course, was not always the case, but it was a very common way of doing things.

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@user12184 -- "connector" and "port" don't necessarily have the meaning that you seem to ascribe. Connectors can be any gender. You may be thinking of (male) "plug" and (female) "socket". – sawdust Jan 18 at 23:44
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Answer is IBM PC specific (without mentioning its limitation). Gender of DB-25 for RS-232 more often depended on whether device was DTE or DCE. – sawdust Jan 18 at 23:46
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@sawdust, I said it was a common way, but it was certainly not limited to IBM. Many computer manufacturers adopted this. I did mention that it was not always the case. – Ron Maupin Jan 18 at 23:49
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@sawdust, yes, and...? I did write that it was smaller than the original Centronics connector. IBM may have originated it, but many manufacturers adopted it, and, as I wrote, it was common. It was only briefly IBM-specific before becoming widely adopted. There is nothing that defines any of this as a standard (other than requiring a 25-pin connector in the RS-232 standard). I gave a generic answer to try to explain what the OP saw in the picture. – Ron Maupin Jan 19 at 0:08
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@sawdust, yes, PC clone manufacturers among others. I had a project to replace a couple of large, older DG minicomputers with a much smaller, newer, mini-file cabinet sized DG minicomputer. I had to chop off and replace the 48 terminal cable connectors because the older minicomputers had 25-pin female connectors, but the newer minicomputer had 25-pin female connectors, just like the PCs of the time. I have seen various PBX systems which used 25- or 9- pin male serial connectors. All I wrote is that it was common; I didn't write that it was ubiquitous. – Ron Maupin Jan 19 at 0:33

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