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Sex ItselfThe Search for Male and Female in the Human Genome$
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Sarah S. Richardson

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780226084688

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226084718.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 25 June 2021

Gender and the Human Genome

Gender and the Human Genome

(p.201) Chapter 10 Gender and the Human Genome
Sex Itself

Sarah S. Richardson

University of Chicago Press

History yields concrete insights about sex chromosome science that might be productively taken up by genetic researchers today. Three prescriptions follow from this book’s analysis. The first is to reject the concept of different male and female genomes and formulate alternative frames for conceptualizing sex differences in the human genome. The second is to resist a sex chromosome-centric approach to the genetics of sex differences. The third is to consider sex-neutral alternatives to the terminology of “sex chromosomes” for the X and Y. Presently, genomics is becoming the descriptive mode for the science of sex differences. The author argues that this new research may reinscribe, with little reflection, old and problematic frameworks for understanding sex and gender in the new and authoritative language of genomics. The chapter documents widespread problems in study design, description and interpretation of results, and frameworks conceptualizing the interaction between sex and gender in genomic sex difference studies. The author emphasizes that rigorous study designs are required to substantiate claims of male-female sex differences in the human genome and that genetic sex difference studies must distinguish clearly between sex-linked and gender-linked factors in reporting findings of biological sex differences.

Keywords:   Sex differences, Genomics, Study design, Sex and gender, Research methods

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