A single trigger gene, SRY…
Is the inherent determinant of sex.
In fact it is NEEDED if one is to be born male, for there is no equivalent ovaries forming gene.
You see, everyone starts out female.
[via Cosmos Magazine] Having two sexes is vital for sexual reproduction. This may seem an obvious fact to most of us, but it’s not such an obvious fact for biologists. Since discovering the ‘trigger gene’ more than 20 years ago that turns a developing human embryo into a male, there’s been a series of discoveries, each more surprising than the last, to show that the genes that determine sex vary wildly across the tree of life and evolve quickly.
In humans, sex is determined by the presence of a single trigger gene, called SRY, found on the diminutive Y chromosome in males (who have one X and one Y chromosome). A single dose of the SRY gene triggers a cascade of events that result in the embryo developing testes.
There is no equivalent ovary-forming gene. However, when the SRY gene is not present, as with females who possess two X chromosomes, the embryo develops ovaries and the rest of the female reproductive system.
Two groups of researchers discovered SRY independently in 1990. Then, when they looked at mice, they found a very similar trigger gene. For a while, it was almost a forgone conclusion that there was a single gene that triggered the differences between the sexes in most, if not all, vertebrates. [Read More]
Despite this startling fact that everyone starts out female and that genes are needed to be added to make males?
Females are still seen as less.
And by ‘less’ I mean as the sum of parts…
If not less.
[via Scientific American] Our Brains See Men as Whole and Women as Parts
A glimpse at the magazine rack in any supermarket checkout line will tell you that women are frequently the focus of sexual objectification. Now, new research finds that the brain actually processes images of women differently than those of men, contributing to this trend.
Women are more likely to be picked apart by the brain and seen as parts rather than a whole, according to research published online June 29 in the European Journal of Social Psychology. Men, on the other hand, are processed as a whole rather than the sum of their parts.
“Everyday, ordinary women are being reduced to their sexual body parts,” said study author Sarah Gervais, a psychologist at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. “This isn’t just something that supermodels or porn stars have to deal with.” [6 Gender Myths, Busted]
Numerous studies have found that feeling objectified is bad for women. Being ogled can make women do worse on math tests, and self-sexualization, or scrutiny of one’s own shape, is linked to body shame, eating disorders and poor mood.
But those findings have all focused on the perception of being sexualized or objectified, Gervais told LiveScience. She and her colleagues wondered about the eye of the beholder: Are people really objectifying women more than men?
To find out, the researchers focused on two types of mental processing, global and local. Global processing is how the brain identifies objects as a whole. It tends to be used when recognizing people, where it’s not just important to know the shape of the nose, for example, but also how the nose sits in relation to the eyes and mouth. Local processing focuses more on the individual parts of an object. You might recognize a house by its door alone, for instance, while you’re less likely to recognize a person’s arm without the benefit of seeing the rest of their body.
If women are sexually objectified, people should process their bodies in a more local way, focusing on individual body parts like breasts. To test the idea, Gervais and her colleagues carried out two nearly identical experiments with a total of 227 undergraduate participants. Each person was shown non-sexualized photographs, each of either a young man or young woman, 48 in total. After seeing each original full-body image, the participants saw two side-by-side photographs. One was the original image, while the other was the original with a slight alteration to the chest or waist (chosen because these are sexualized body parts). Participants had to pick which image they’d seen before.
In some cases, the second set of photos zoomed in on the chest or waist only, asking participants to pick the body part they’d seen previously versus the one that had been altered.
The results showed a clear schism between the images of men and women. When viewing female images, participants were better at recognizing individual parts than they were matching whole-body photographs to the originals. The opposite was true for male images: People were better at recognizing a guy as a whole than they were his individual parts. [Read More - Read Whole Article Here!]
How is that fair?
Not at all.