Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Determining gender at conception

Source: Ed Uthman, MD
Gender has two components: genotype and sex. Genotype refers to the X and Y chromosomes (XX female and XY male). Sex refers to whether a child is a girl or a boy based on genitalia (physical manifestation of genotype), and later based on additional mental aspects of identity. Genotypic gender is determined at conception.

The chromosomes a child receives is always an X from the mother, and then randomly an X or Y from the father. Some techniques are used to increase the odds of a particular chromosome from a father, but choosing your baby's sex is not an exact science. Manipulating the environmental conditions of the vagina to make it more hospitable to particular sperm is also not certain. It hinges on the father's random contribution to the baby's genetics.

This genetic makeup then affects the physical aspects of the child's gender through various processes of sex differentiation and determination, ultimately leading to a male or female. Read more about how the gender of a child is determined at conception.

No comments: