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View Full Version : If a "female" pro has an "X" and a "Y" chromosome....

chess9
05-31-2006, 08:26 AM
but has female sex organs, will the WTA allow "her" to play?

This question arose, believe it or not, among a group of mixed doubles players during a post-tournament coffee and tea.

I couldn't answer the question, which left my credentials as a know it all in tatters.

So, does anyone know?

"Men and women normally carry twenty-three pairs of chromosomes. Each pair consists of two matching chromosomes, with one exception: men normally have one chromosome called X paired with a dramatically smaller one called Y. Women, on the other hand, have two X's. A child (again, normally) inherits one chromosome from each matching pair belonging to each parent, including an X from its mother. From the father it receives either an X or a Y. If the father bequeaths a Y chromosome, the child will be a boy. Yet it's wise not to put too much faith in the simple equation Y = male. There are people who are XY, for example, but who look for all the world like women."

-Robert

Arafel
05-31-2006, 08:40 AM
but has female sex organs, will the WTA allow "her" to play?

This question arose, believe it or not, among a group of mixed doubles players during a post-tournament coffee and tea.

I couldn't answer the question, which left my credentials as a know it all in tatters.

So, does anyone know?

"Men and women normally carry twenty-three pairs of chromosomes. Each pair consists of two matching chromosomes, with one exception: men normally have one chromosome called X paired with a dramatically smaller one called Y. Women, on the other hand, have two X's. A child (again, normally) inherits one chromosome from each matching pair belonging to each parent, including an X from its mother. From the father it receives either an X or a Y. If the father bequeaths a Y chromosome, the child will be a boy. Yet it's wise not to put too much faith in the simple equation Y = male. There are people who are XY, for example, but who look for all the world like women."

-Robert

Yes. What you are describing is a condition known as androgen insensitivity syndrome. The fetus is XY, but lacks the ability to process the androgens that would turn the switch to "male" and so reverts to the default sex, female.

The WTA also allows transexuals to compete, but that's a different thing.

chess9
05-31-2006, 08:52 AM
Interesting!

Yes, I remember the Renee Richards saga.

Also, don't the WADA doping restrictions let female athletes have about 50% of the testosterone of some arbitrary average male? So, if a female athlete could find an exogenous form of testosterone and a very good masking agent, she might beat the drug tests? (I know this has happened in the past, but I'm assuming it's getting very difficult to do these days with the advances in testing.) Michelle Smith, the Olympic IMer comes to mind. Oh, and some women have naturally occurring high testosterone levels, as I recall.

For the record, I don't oppose women with high testosterone levels or xy chromosome abnormalities playing sports. I only asked this crazy question because a woman asked me in front of about 20 people.

-Robert

North
05-31-2006, 10:30 AM
Found an interesting reference. Looks like science says one thing but the state of Texas says something else (per the reference).
http://christielee.net/press3.htm
Perhaps mixed doubles is different in Texas? ;)

mistapooh
05-31-2006, 10:52 AM
Some with xxx and xxy too I think....... Sorry, biology class ended 3 weeks ago.

malakas
05-31-2006, 11:05 AM
Well,the presence of the Y chromosome in human,means male and the absence of it, female.Even if they are not able to reproduce or they do not have secondary gender characteristics.
Most usual gender chromosomatic abnormalities are the syndrom Klinefelter and Turner.
Klinefelter is XXY and they appear male and are sterile.Characteristics develop in adolescense.
Turner is XO.It's the only monosomy in human.They appear female without secondary gender characteristics and are sterile.

Ripper
05-31-2006, 11:06 AM
It's simple: You have a penus, you go to the ATP. You don't, you go to the WTA. Lol, just joking; nothing in life is simple. As a lawyer, I'd tell you this, regulations have to define what's a female and what's a male. If you comply with the regulation's definition of female, that's it, and vice versa.

Arafel
05-31-2006, 11:18 AM
Well,the presence of the Y chromosome in human,means male and the absence of it, female.Even if they are not able to reproduce or they do not have secondary gender characteristics.
Most usual gender chromosomatic abnormalities are the syndrom Klinefelter and Turner.
Klinefelter is XXY and they appear male and are sterile.Characteristics develop in adolescense.
Turner is XO.It's the only monosomy in human.They appear female without secondary gender characteristics and are sterile.

http://www.medhelp.org/www/ais/21_OVERVIEW.HTM

From the site:

There are two forms of the condition: Complete AIS (CAIS) where the tissues are completely insensitive to androgens, and Partial AIS (PAIS) where the tissues are partially sensitive to varying degrees. The condition is actually represented by a spectrum, with CAIS being a single entity at one end of a range of various PAIS manifestations.

Drs. Charmian Quigley and Frank French (The Laboratories for Reproductive Biology, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599-7500, USA) proposed a grading system for the phenotypic features (external appearance) in AIS, modelled on the Prader classification for Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH). The scale runs from AIS Grade 1 to Grade 7 with increasing severity of androgen resistance - and hence decreasing masculinization with increasing feminization.

At the CAIS end of the spectrum the outward appearance is completely female (AIS Grades 6/7) and the sex of rearing is invariably female. In PAIS the outward genital appearance can lie anywhere from being almost completely female (Grade 5), through mixed male/female, to completely male (Grade 1); it has been suggested that slight androgen insensitivity might contribute to infertility in some otherwise normal men. Some babies with PAIS may be raised as males but many are re-assigned as female.

In other words, those with CAIS develop completely as women. Further, there are other chromosonal structures than XX, XY, XXY and XO. These include the rare XYY syndrome.

malakas
05-31-2006, 11:32 AM
Arafel,thanks for posting.I just said the most usual syndroms that I've read in my Biology book.But,what is the genetic basis of Complete or Partial AIS regarding the gender chromosomes?
I would appreciate it if you could answer because I am too tired of reading all that site right now.:(
Also,may I ask if you are a doctor?

P.S without a X chromosome the descedant is not viable,which proves the evolutionar supremacy of women.;) (j/k)

Arafel
05-31-2006, 11:43 AM
Arafel,thanks for posting.I just said the most usual syndroms that I've read in my Biology book.But,what is the genetic basis of Complete or Partial AIS regarding the gender chromosomes?
I would appreciate it if you could answer because I am too tired of reading all that site right now.:(
Also,may I ask if you are a doctor?

P.S without a X chromosome the descedant is not viable,which proves the evolutionar supremacy of women.;) (j/k)

Smile to your PS! Nope, not a doctor, but a friend told me about someone she knew who had it.

As far as I can tell, AIS means that when the fetus starts to initially develop the tissues that would become testes, they start to pump out androgens that throw a switch to finish the development of male parts. In rare cases for reasons that aren't understood, a fetus' tissues will not respond to the androgens. In Complete AIS, the tissues don't react in any way to the androgens and continue to develop into female sex organs. In Partial AIS, the tissues will respond somewhat, and you can have a variety of intersex conditions that result.

As I understand my biology, the reproductive tissues are the same in fetuses until 5 or 6 months when they start to diverge into male or female. Female is the default sex.

The more science reveals about biology, the more I don't understand at all. It also makes religion a really hard concept for me, but that's a completely different topic and not really appropriate here.

malakas
05-31-2006, 12:13 PM
Yes,fetuses initially develop the same reproductive organs till,the activation of some areas on genes that lead to their differentation.(?) In fact many consider vagina to be a inchoate penis. :(
Also,all mammals develop at the very early stages of maternity branchia and a rudimentary tail.
The reason I asked you is because Complete or Partial AIS may be cause by structural chromosomatic abnormalities and not by arithmetic abnormalities.
Anyway,thanx for posting.:)

kv581
05-31-2006, 04:43 PM
In other words, those with CAIS develop completely as women. Further, there are other chromosonal structures than XX, XY, XXY and XO. These include the rare XYY syndrome.

Not quite. Those with CAIS develop with fully female exteriors BUT STILL HAVE TESTES instead of ovaries. In addition, they will not have uteruses, and their vaginas end in blind pouches.

ambro
05-31-2006, 04:50 PM
How is it possible to get the XYY chromosome structure?

sandiegotennisboy
05-31-2006, 05:51 PM
its easier to dig a hole than build a pole.

totally has nothing to do with this thread....something that just came to mind while i was reading the responses

kv581
05-31-2006, 06:01 PM
How is it possible to get the XYY chromosome structure?
Through an error in separation of chromosomes during either meiosis I or II.

dh003i
05-31-2006, 08:02 PM
It should be up to the private organizations -- that is, private property owners -- to decide whether or not they can play, not government regulation.

People these days have a total lack of respect for freedom of association and property rights.

chess9
05-31-2006, 10:36 PM
Thanks for all the responses. I'm in England, so I've been sleeping through all of this. :)

Anyway, I think the woman who asked me this indelicate question was objecting to men playing against women players. If I understand her objection correctly, and the responses here, and from what I've read, a "woman" with XY chromosome abnormality may still have normal testosterone levels and thus not have an hormonal advantage against women. However, none of the posters here have addressed the hormonal issues. I'm guessing this is a gray area, and, fortunately, a fairly rare gray area.

-Robert

North
06-01-2006, 03:34 AM
Anyway, I think the woman who asked me this indelicate question was objecting to men playing against women players. If I understand her objection correctly, and the responses here, and from what I've read, a "woman" with XY chromosome abnormality may still have normal testosterone levels and thus not have an hormonal advantage against women. However, none of the posters here have addressed the hormonal issues. I'm guessing this is a gray area, and, fortunately, a fairly rare gray area.

-Robert

It's actually not that rare. The reference I posted from Texas noted the fact that the condition (AIS) is probably more common than generally realized. It's not really the amount of testosterone functionally at issue but, rather, the body's ability to respond to it. Even though there may be varying degrees of lack of response to testosterone in terms of development (ie: partial AIS), no one with AIS fully responds - by definition there is always some degree of insensitivity to the androgens.