Psychology 2035A/B Lecture Notes - X Chromosome, Sexual Differentiation, Prenatal Development

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Sex & gender - becoming male or female: the role of biology and. Mother"s egg ( x sex chromosome) - every child receives x chromosome from mother. If x sperm fertilizes egg: genetic female (xx) If a y sperm fertilizes egg: genetic male (xy) The genetic factor - represents the first step in becoming a male or female but you"re not a male or female yet, because for several weeks after this, you won"t have any sex organs. The gonadal factor (development of reproductive organs: testes or ovaries) - depends on whether the y chromosome is present or active. If present - (a) stimulates the development of the testes; (b) inhibits the development of the ovaries. We see this most clearly when problems occur: true hermaphrodites - genetic female (xx); with tiny piece of y chromosome attached (xxy: y chromosome big enough to stimulate the development of testes. Not big enough to inhibit development of ovaries (therefore both)

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