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The simplest answer – that a woman has two X chromosomes and a man has one Y and one X chromosome – provides an incomplete picture.

What makes a fetus become a male or female is more complicated than who ends up with a Y chromosome, says Peter Schattner, a scientist and author of the book “Sex, Love and DNA: What Molecular Biology Teaches Us About Being Human” 

Although science is still struggling to completely understand the origins of sexual orientation and gender identity, biology already has taught important lessons, he says.

“The most important is that people who are homosexual, bisexual or transsexual are in no way deviant or sick,” Schattner says. “Their challenges rarely stem from their intrinsic differences, but rather form the hostile attitudes and behavior they have been forced to face.”

Source: Peter Schattner

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