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How is the sex of the child determined in human beings?



Human beings give birth to male and female children due to genetic reasons

  • Human beings have 46 chromosomes (23 pairs of chromosomes)
  • Out of the 23 pairs, 22 pairs (44 chromosomes) each have a copy from the mother and father .
  • The Remaining 1 pair is called the sex chromosome. It is what determines the sex of the child.
      • Women have a perfect pair - both are X - XX (Egg)
      • Men have one normal sized X chromosome and another short chromosome called Y chromosome - XY (Sperm)
      • The sex of the offspring is dependant upon which chromosome is copied from the father (X or Y) and hence forms the genetic material of the offspring.
      • If the X chromosome is copied , it combines with the X from the mother to form a biologically female (XX) Egg . If the Y chromosome is copied , it combines with the X chromosome from the mother to form a biologically male (XY) egg .
  • So,


  • This means that there is a 50% chance that the child is a male or female.
  • Though the sex is determined by which gene is inherited from the father , the process in completely by chance and the probability of the child being male or female is equal.


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Maninder Singh

CA Maninder Singh is a Chartered Accountant for the past 13 years and a teacher from the past 17 years. He teaches Science, Economics, Accounting and English at Teachoo