Human Genetics Revolution Tells Us That Men and Women Are Not the Same

Stop laughing.  I know, my initial reaction too was, “really – it took genetics to tell us that?”  But this is serious….really.

Males are 99.9% the same when compared to other males, and females are as well when compared to other females, but males and females are only 98.5% equal to each other – outside of the X and Y chromosomes.  The genetic difference between men and women is 15 times greater than between two men or two women.  In fact, it’s equal to that of men and male chimpanzees.  So men really are from….never mind.  It’s OK to laugh now…

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We’ve been taught that other than X and Y, males and females are genetically exactly the same.  They aren’t.

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Does this matter?  Dr. David Page, Director of the Whitehead Institute and MacArthur Genius Grant winner, says it absolutely does.  He has discovered that both the X and Y chromosomes function throughout the entire body, not just within the reproductive tract.

In his words, “Humane Genome, we have a problem.”  Medicine and research fails to take into account this most fundamental difference.  We aren’t unisex, and our bodies know this – every cell knows it at the molecular level, according to Dr. Page.

For example, some non-reproductive tract diseases appear in vastly different percentages in men and women.  Autism is found in 5 times as many males as females, Lupus in 6 times as many women as men and Rheumatoid Arthritis in 5 times as many women as men.  In other diseases, men and women either react differently to disease treatment, react differently to the disease itself, or both.  Dr. Page explains more and suggests a way forward in this short but very informative video.

About Dr. David Page:

David Page, Director of the Whitehead Institute and professor of biology at MIT, has shaped modern genomics and mapped the Y chromosome.  His renowned studies of the sex chromosomes have shaped modern understandings of reproductive health, fertility and sex disorders.



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14 thoughts on “Human Genetics Revolution Tells Us That Men and Women Are Not the Same

  1. Hi,

    Where does the negative Rh blood type come from? Also, can this be used in genealogy? Im Rh negative and learned it came from the Basques. This makes sense with my DNA admixture.

    I know this is kind of off topic for today’s post- sorry!

    • The Rh- blood type does not come from one singular country or region. It originated around 35,000 yrs ago. Yes, the Basque region and West Asian Jews have higher rates. It is more common in Europeans than Asians and Africans, generally speaking (with some exceptions.) Incidentally, I am also type O Rh-. My mother is Polish and my dad is Southern Italian / Mediterranean (Sicilian-Basilicatan.)

  2. Well, since many years I was sure (by simple observation) that males and females were different, due to their behaviour. Some women may be close to angels and some other close to other creatures. If you find one of the first category, keep close to her.

      • No, he is absolutely right men’s chromosomes differ than women in a family the girl get’s one X from her father and one from her mother! The boy get’s one X from his mother!

  3. Pingback: DNAeXplain Archives – General Information Articles | DNAeXplained – Genetic Genealogy

  4. I remember watching this for the first time about 2 years ago, but had forgotten it. Of course the conclusions are very important and I would like to know how the differences between XX and XY cells get transduced into the resulting changes in biochemistry. It also begs the question, particularly with Y-SNP mutations in the non-coding regions of the Y-DNA region of the genome, whether they have any health implications. And, for sure, the answer is We Don’t Know. We don’t have the right toolkit to analyse for that right now.

    Thanks for re-posting this, Roberta

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