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Date of last update: 10/14/2017.

Forum Name: Gynecology

Question: Does developing human begin female?


 StarWish624 - Wed Sep 10, 2008 6:03 pm

I read an article a short while ago, wherein it was stated that all humans start out female, and the male developes from this a little later in the cycle. This is the reason that males also have nipples, because it a remnant of when they were female? Is this true? If so, where can I find data, articles, news articles, any information on this subject. I find this subject interesting.
 Debbie Miller, RN - Mon Oct 06, 2008 5:13 pm

User avatar Hello,
In the absence of the Y chromosome, a female embryo will develop so it is very basic on the chromosomal level. In the early stages of embryonic development the sex organs look quite similar but with the Y chromosome, the basic parts go on to become male; without it they become female. There are parallel parts in both females and males that just develop differently depending on the genetic makeup for the male or female fetus.

By the ninth week there are no noticeable differences but that does not mean that the male is female - they are just indistinguishable from each other. Fetal sex can be determined by the 12th week if the ultrasonographer is good at recognizing the subtle differences. By the 20th week the genitals are done (midway point in pregnancy) and this is why the routine ultrasound exams for gender are done near this time.

I hope this helps.
Best wishes.

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