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Healthy Living

Gender Determination

All human beings have 46 chromosomes. Twenty-three of these come from the egg cell (the female) and the other 23 from the sperm cell (the male). Together they make up 23 pairs in the baby. Of the 23 pairs, one pair consists of the sex chromosomes. Sex chromosomes include the X chromosome or Y chromosome. A male exhibits an XY pair of chromosomes while the female exhibits an XX pair. All living cells of one human body will contain the same 23 pairs of chromosomes.

It is the father who is responsible for determining the sex of the child and not the mother. The mother’s sex chromosomes are XX so each egg can contain only an X chromosome. The father’s sex chromosomes are XY so each sperm can contain an X or a Y chromosome. If the sperm that fertilises the egg has an X chromosome the baby will be a girl. If it contains a Y chromosome, then the baby will be a boy.

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