`Y Chromosome has Nothing to do with Sexuality’

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  • Women born with a rare condition that gives them a Y chromosome don't only look like women physically, they also have the same brain responses to visual sexual stimuli, a new study shows.
  • The condition is known as complete androgen insensitivity or CAIS.
  • Our findings clearly rule out a direct effect of the Y chromosome in producing masculine patterns of response, said Kim Wallen, an Emory University professor of psychology and behavioural neuroendocrinology .
  • It's further evidence that we need to revamp our thinking about what we mean by `man' and `woman'
  • The Y chromosome was identified as the sex-determining chromosome in 1905.
  • Females normally have an XX chromosome pair and males have an XY chromosome pair.
  • Women with CAIS are born with an XY chromosome pair.
  • Because of the Y chromosome, the women have testes that remain hidden within their groins but they lack neural receptors for androgens so they cannot respond to the androgens that their testes produce.
  • They can, however, respond to the oestrogens that their testes produce so they develop physically as women and undergo a feminizing puberty .
  • Since they do not have ovaries or a uterus and do not menstruate they cannot have children.
  • We didn't find any difference between the neural responses of women with CAIS and typical women, although they were both very different from those of the men in the study , Hamann said.