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Definition of Female

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Female: The traditional definition of female was "an individual of the sex that bears young" or "that produces ova or eggs". However, things are not so simple today. Female can be defined by physical appearance, by chromosome constitution (see Female chromosome complement), or by gender identification. Female chromosome complement: The large majority of females have a 46, XX chromosome complement (46 chromosomes including two X chromosomes). A minority of females have other chromosome constitutions such as 45,X (45 chromosomes including only one X chromosome) and 47,XXX (47 chromosomes including three X chromosomes).

Reviewed on 12/12/2018

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