Thursday, December 6, 2012
you wanna sex?
The sex of a fetus is determined after the first 6 weeks of it's development in the placenta. Simply put, according the the most conclusive studies so far performed if the embryo should develop into a male the corresponding steps begin after 6 weeks inside the placenta. If at this time no steps towards maleness occur, female is the objective sex of the fetus.
So, our sex appears to be a question of timing.
In cattle there have been cases in which twins are born and one of the them is a male and the other is a female and male. (Cherfas, Gribbin - The Redundant Male, pg 51 - 52) Basically a hermaphrodite calf. The explanation is simple and it makes me wonder a very interesting thing. Since maleness is expressed before femaleness, sometimes in the case of twins, the hormones of a male twin invade the placenta of the female twin and cause it to develop male characteristics. Here is where I think timing plays an interesting factor. What if there is a direct correlation between the amount of time an X/Y chromosome is tardy in enacting its sex-defining agents to how drastic the opposing sexual features are shown in the finished body of the organism.
roll with me. I am a fetus inside a placenta. I am still in the pre-6-week period before my sex is defined but let's say I am to become a male. The 6 week period comes and my Y chromosome is supposed to kick in and start making my a male but WHAT!!! it doesn't. It just chills from some kind of genetic miscommunication. Well since genes can't directly communicate to each other there is no way the Mrs. X chromosome would ever know that Mr. Y is derping right? All it knows is that Y isn't doing it's thing so it views the dormancy as a sign that it should jump in and make the fetus a female. This isn't too much to imagine right? But if you remember I am supposed to become a male meaning Mr. Y still has a job to do. Suddenly Mr Y wakes up. "WOH!! Slow down baby!!! this fetus is a male, step aside as I assess the damage!!!" Now here is the crucial part. Depending on how long, the literal amount of time Mrs. X had with the hormonal manipulation of the fetus before Mr. Y takes control of the helm, the eventual human the fetus develops into could be anywhere from an feminine male to a homosexual male to a hermaphrodite male.
My logic (which is incredibly impudent on this particular subject) says that the lesser amount of time would result in a male true to every physiological sense of the word, but with a personality that is more feminine. Then as the time expands the psychological effect of the male worsens until he actually becomes a women in a male body with all the penal desires that come with her. If time prolongs even more Mrs. X might finish her work on the mind and starts to actually change the physical make up of the body by giving it female genitalia etc.
Now here are some problems I immediately see with my theory.
1st - I am assuming Mrs. X starts to work on the genes that develop the mind first, and then the body. This is incredibly rash. It is more possible that there is no set path. The X chromosome goes to work on the genes responsible for sex development in a random fashion which could be a reason for such a diverse array of interpersonal sexual confusion when there is a chronological miscommunication.
2nd - I know that the X chromosome has many other genes that aid in the development of a fetus aside from simply determining it's sex, but the Y chromosome does not. As far as my knowledge has dug, the Y chromosome only encodes that the fetus be a male, but doesn't effect any other part of it's development except for some stray hairs. This makes me think that the X chromosome plays a crucial role in the entire sexual development of both male and female, and the Y chromosome only dictates that the X chromosome assure that it's particular fetus develop a penis and not a vagina. Also the fact that all males have a partner X chromosome to their Y could mean that the after the Y chromosome communicates to the genes at the 6 week period to start making a male he could hand the mic over to the X chromosome for the remainder of sexual development. I mean, the X chromosome seems to have no other genetic power so this might be it's only option. This means that the X chromosome has the biggest part of the sexual development of a fetus so of course some mistakes like whether to make a penis or not, how much estrogen/testosterone should be given etc could easily happen because the Y chromosome can't check up on things.