Your Sex May Not be as Definite as You Think

by Jason Stotts

The Telegraph (UK) is reporting on a new study done with mice that could alter the way we think about the fixedness of our sex and our idea of sexual development.

The idea used to be that babies were of an undifferentiated sex until chromosomal activity caused the developing baby to head towards being male or female.  Then, we found out that all early developing babies are female and that they only become male when the Y chromosome activates and causes the baby to start developing male characteristics.  The baby then develops and is either a boy or a girl for the rest of it’s life.

The new research, however, suggests that our static conception of sex is perhaps mistaken.  Using gene manipulation in mice, they were able to cause a mature female mouse to lose her ovaries and develop testicles.  This implies that sex is not static and has to be maintained by the body throughout the life of the organism.

This completely upsets the way that we currently think about our sex and it will be interesting to see where this research leads.

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