Male, Female and You


Physically and phenotypically speaking we each start out female. When a man and a woman produces a human, each contributes 23 chromosomes. One pair of these chromosomes serves in determining the sex of the human. Two X chromosomes and it will be a female, and an X chromosome from the mother and a Y chromosome from the father and the human will be a male. The first 5-6 weeks of embryonic development is attributed exclusively to the X chromosome alone. When it comes to males, after that 5-6 week period, a gene called SRY activiates the Y chromosome and starts to inhibit certain features of the X chromosome.

I recall being a young nursing student in the newborn nursery at a local inner city hospital. I was listening to report with a group of my fellow nursing students on the unit when we were called over by a facility staff…

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