Human Heredity: Principles and Iss...

11th Edition
Michael Cummings
Publisher: Cengage Learning
ISBN: 9781305251052



Human Heredity: Principles and Iss...

11th Edition
Michael Cummings
Publisher: Cengage Learning
ISBN: 9781305251052
Chapter 7, Problem 8QP
Textbook Problem

How Is Sex Determined?

The absence of a Y chromosome in an early embryo causes the:

  1. a. embryonic testis to become an ovary
  2. b. Wolffian duct system to develop
  3. c. Müllerian duct system to degenerate
  4. d. indifferent gonad to become an ovary
  5. e. indifferent gonad to become a testis

Summary Introduction

Introduction: The X chromosome and the Y chromosome are two sex chromosomes which are used to determine the sex of an individual. There are obvious phenotypic differences among males and females. The differences between the sexes in humans are emphasized with the help of secondary sex characteristics which include the body size, the patterns of fat distribution, muscle mass, and the development of male or female sex organs such as penis or vagina respectively.

Explanation of Solution

Reason for correct answer:

The determination of gonads does not take place during conception. The Y chromosome present in males contains a SRY gene which stimulates the development of male sexual organs and as the females do not have a Y chromosome, the gonads form the female sexual organs called ovaries.

Option d. is given as “indifferent gonad to become an ovary”.

In the absence of a Y chromosome in an early embryo, the indifferent gonad forms an ovary. Hence, the correct answer is option d.

Reasons for incorrect answer:

Option a. is given as, “embryonic testis to become an ovary”.

The testis is the component of the male reproductive system and ovary is the component of the female reproductive system. The testes can never become ovaries. Hence, option a. is incorrect.

Option b. is given as, “Wolffian duct system to develop”.

The male sexual organs have a development pathway known as the Wolffian duct system...

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