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When you are connected via a modem, if the carrier signal is lost, you want the modem to hang up.If you are using soft carrier, DCD is assumed to be asserted, so even if you lose the signal, the modem can remain connected.
Originally, there was no standardization of the gender of connectors and serial devices.
Both connectors and serial devices could be either gender.
RS-232 defines the meaning of the different serial signals and their respective pin assignments on a standard 25-pin (DB-25) serial connector.
Table 1 (a plain text version is also available) shows these assignments.
However, since male connectors are more susceptible to injury than female, most expensive computing hardware these days has female connectors, while cables are male on both ends.
Since RS-232 defines signals that are not used for most standard communication, sometimes DB-25 connectors are missing unneeded pins.
RJ-45 connectors look a lot like standard telephone connectors ... They house eight wires instead of the four wires in a telephone connector.
RJ-45s are not typically found on computers or normal serial equipment, but, because they are so small, they are often used on devices that have a lot of ports very close together.
Often there are very small numbers marking the pins or holes 1-25.
The female connector is a mirror image of the male so that pins and holes match.