Genetic Mutations: Gender Partiality?

India has a very distinct gender gap. On a very basic level, it boils down to chromosomes. Imagine, having one different chromosome can alter your life completely, both from a biological and social vantage. Phew! And though times are changing, but still there is no secret in the fact that men are still at a better positions in life generally, all thanks to their gender. But Nature sometimes, does not favour the men. Yup, it comes down to chromosomes, the genetic indicative of a gender. Now, you must be thinking, how can just two strands of genetic material have that drastic difference in someone’s life? Well, the answers lies in the genetics only, more specifically in some genetic mutations. Let’s see what are those….

Back To The Basics…

Genes are the primary units that determine any physical or other physiological traits in a human being. One gene can affect multiple factors within the body. Similarly, one factor can have the results of various genes acting in relation to it. And the genes, in turn, are contained in the chromosomes. So, the chromosomes are a centre point controlling various factors and activities across the body. Genetic mutation refers to the permanent alteration of the DNA sequence, which are the building blocks of a gene. So, needless to say, it will affect the chromosomes, and in turn, the individual who is subjected to these mutations. Mutations often produce new traits, sometimes for the better, other times for the worse.

That being established, now comes the role of chromosomes in gender determination. The human species has 46 chromosomes, out of which 44 chromosomes have absolutely NO role in determining the gender of an individual. The remaining 2 chromosomes, X and Y, also known as the sex chromosomes, are the main functional units here. A biological female will have XX chromosome combination and a biological male will have XY pair. 

Now, the adverse mutations, both in the X and Y chromosome put the males into a tight spot. Since they have one of each chromosome, so if they acquire the mutated chromosome, they would definitely have that trait. The term trait also includes genetic diseases. Good luck guys!

Hemophilia (X-chromosome mutation)

Hemophilia is a blood related disorder. In such cases, the blood has difficulties in clotting. Individuals with this disorder often suffer from spontaneous bleeding or prolonged and heavy bleeding from injuries. Over the majority of cases, factors VIII and IX, which play a crucial role in blood coagulation, has been identified to be insufficient.

In terms of genetics, this disorder occurs when a gene on the X chromosome, which has a function in the production of blood coagulation factors, undergoes mutation to stop working effectively or does not have any function at all. In such cases, the male child begets this gene from his mother. The female child will be a carrier if she gets one affected X chromosome. But if the father is also homophilic, then only the girl child will have this disorder. In case if the father has both chromosomes sans the mutation and if the mother has one mutated chromosome, then there is still a probability of having a fully unaffected male child, and a non carrier female child.

Website Reference:

https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/hemophilia/facts.html

Categories: Health

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