Unlike sex determination in the soma, which is an autonomous process, sex determination in the germline of Drosophila has both inductive and autonomous components. In this paper, we examined how sexual identity is selected and maintained in the Drosophila germline. We show that female-specific expression of genes in the germline is dependent on a somatic signaling pathway. This signaling pathway requires the sex-non-specific transformer 2 gene but, surprisingly, does not appear to require the sex-specific genes, transformer and doublesex. Moreover, in contrast to the soma where pathway initiation and maintenance are independent processes, the somatic signaling pathway appears to function continuously from embryogenesis to the larval stages to select and sustain female germline identity. We also show that the primary target for the somatic signaling pathway in germ cells can not be the Sex-lethal gene.