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Sex: Unknown  
How Is Sex Determined?
Week 6 (later)—Male

Week 6 male


A crucial event that determines whether the embryo will develop into a male or female occurs in the second half of week six.

If the Y chromosome is present in the embryo's cells, a gene within the short arm of the chromosome called SRY will turn on, initiating a chemical chain reaction that will turn on other genes and stimulate the production of male hormones. If the X chromosome is present, or if the SRY gene is missing from the Y chromosome, the embryo will develop into a female via mechanisms that are not fully understood.

Note: SRY stands for sex-determining region of the Y chromosome.

Back | Next: Week 8—Male



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