Health & Wellness & Ignorance

-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger

An article in the June 2011 issue of Health & Wellness magazine, entitled The Different Genetic Code of Men and Women, and written by the magazine’s editor, Angela S. Hoover, is embarrassingly wrong.

I will focus on one of her statements, you can read the rest of her cluelessness in the links below.

Hoover writes:

Every human embryo begins with two X chromosomes, but in order to be a male, one of the X chromosomes turns into a Y chromosome.

That is false. Every human embryo has either an X-X pair of chromosomes or an X-Y pair of chromosomes. The particular pair is determined at fertilization.

Although there are Christian websites that repeat this falsehood, I think its origins can be traced to the old adage “all human embryos start out as female.” This depends on your definition of female.

For the first 40 days after fertilization, all human embryos develop much the same. This is why males have nipples. Then the sex-determining gene on the Y chromosome, called SRY (Sex-determining Region of the Y chromosome) gets into the act. In the complex process that is embryonic development, if the expression of the SRY gene is inhibited, it is possible to have a female with an X-Y pair of chromosomes.

When I hear someone say that marriage should be between a male and a female, I want to ask them to specify what characteristics that a female should possess to be considered a female. The determination of what constitutes a male and what constitutes a female is a lot more complicated than they think.

H/T: The Evolving Scientist, Pharyngula.

16 thoughts on “Health & Wellness & Ignorance

  1. Lets not forget the seahorse with its strange reproduction either. It is the male who gets pregnant and cares for the little ones.

    Clownfish can change sexes as needed. So can limpets.

  2. Well we could all be asexual…and thus the need for another gamete is eliminated….or we could all become ants….wait….isn’t that what this political fight is all about….the Queen gene….

  3. First, never rely on popular publications for any science knowledge. These people are just silly.

    Second, even your more accurate description misses some ugly truths. We have a neighbor whos son has Klinefelter’s syndrome – he actually has X-X-Y. When he was 11 he was taller and more muscular than his dad. He is what is called ‘hyper-masculine’. These guys tend to be violent, athletic, over represented in prison populations and porn stars.

    There are also X-Y-Y sets, although I don’t know if that is a named condition and, as you would expect it was first found in homosexual men,

    Gender is not as simple, as black and white, as the moralists would have us believe. When one of them told my neighbor “God doesn’t make mistakes” when he was struggling to save his son his response was “Well, then He has a peculiar sense of humor.”

  4. Where in the hell was this woman educated and why does she still have this job?

    I bet she believes spaghetti grows on trees and elves are fully employed making cookies.

  5. Blouise, are you trying to tell us that spaghetti does not grow on trees? And here I was planning to plant some nice rigatoni and manicotti.

  6. OS,

    Everybody knows that spaghetti grows on bushes … rigatoni and manicotti are root starches and like sandy soil and are great companion plants to climbing canned tomato vines.

  7. Blouise, I also like bread and was thinking of a breadfruit tree. Can you get cuttings in sourdough and Krispy Kreme, or do I have to stick with ordinary whole grain plants?

  8. OS,

    I believe you are confusing certain sweetbreads with Rocky Mountain Oysters which hang but seldom from branches. I could go on with that analogy to include Krispy Kremes but I have an image to maintain.

  9. Well Blouise,

    If the Teaparty members wish to eat mountain oysters….they must seek them out….Hopefully the bull won’t drag them to death….or not…

  10. Gender and sexual orientation are spectra. We would see a lot more color from both if the “cure” were not biblical.

  11. One of the people posting above is incorrect about Klinefelter’s syndrome. XXY males (Klinefelter’s syndrome) are not hypermasculine. They instead exhibit more female traits such as sparser body hair, wider hips, and even breasts (though small). Also, their testes are smaller than in typical XY males as is the penis (so no porn star possibilities fopr that guy). Their voices do not become deep at puberty. They may also ahve speech and learning difficulties. See webmd for more information.

    An XYY male on the otherhand will be hypermasculine.

  12. Ola! Jonathanturley,
    Thanks for the above, After suffering a stroke not only does your self esteem take a bashing but also your general health wellness fitness. Unfortunately your family suffers right along with you. They are faced with the process of trying to care for you throughout your rehabilitation. As a stroke survivor you are now confronted with two major challenges, regaining your former physical capabilities, and defeating depression which is likely to follow.
    Kindest Regards

  13. I have klinefelters syndrome and that bullshit that you think because us guys have xxy we are violent or should be locked away in some prison cell because of our aggressive tendencies, this is all false ,I’m placid, sensitive , a caring individual yes i am tall 6ft1 but not very tall like many people comment other xxy’s are , there nothing wrong with us we just have an extra x and some symptoms worth reading about but that’s all we can do almost anything anyone else can do all the infomation out there on what xxy individuals are like when there older isn’t true ok so what maybe some xxys have chosen a criminal way of life but so has many xy’s yet do you rule them out because of some mistake in there past no you educate them and accept them back into the community like every other human being out there were people too dont rule us out because we have this genetic complication

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