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question

What determines the sex of a baby?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Practitioner
answer

In humans, the sex of the baby is determined by the sperm. The sperm gamete is heterogamatic because approximately half of them contain the X chromosome which will result in a girl and approximately half of them contain the Y chromosome which will result in a boy. On the other hand the ova gamete is homogametic, in other words all its cells possess the X chromosome. Thus the ova gamete does not influence the baby’s sex. Therefore when a sperm penetrates the ova and fertilization occurs there are two possible outcomes: XX or a girl and XY or a boy.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.