Researchers finds gender far from fixed in the embryo, sex cells must be actively prevented from changing

heli hirveleTHE GUERRILLA ANGEL REPORT — New paradigm shifting research shows that gonads (testicles and ovaries) have to actively prevent some sex cells from switching to the other gender throughout one’s entire life.

In Medical Xpress, Dr David Zarkower of University of Minnesota Medical School and College of Biological Sciences said: “Scientists have long assumed that once the sex determination decision is made in the embryo, it’s final. We have now discovered that when [a male development gene] is lost in mouse testes – even in adults – many male cells become female cells and the testes show signs of becoming more like ovaries.”

National Institutes of Health’s Dr. Susan Haynes in the same publication: “This work shows that sex determination in mammals can be surprisingly prone to change, and must be actively maintained throughout an organism’s lifetime.”


This is going to impact the scientific community in a big way. It also pulls the carpet out from under some who use ‘fixed gender’ thinking to block transgender equality.

Feel free to comment or educate my understanding of this in the comments section below.


Researchers: Drs. David Zarkower and Vivian Bardwell of the U of M Department of Genetics. Their study is set to be published in Nature shortly was published in Nature 2 years ago.

More from Medical Xpress: Researchers discover gene required to maintain male sex throughout life.

Tip of the hat to James Michael.


heli hirvele

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Categories: Discrimination, Equality, Civil Rights, Transgender, Transsexual, Trans

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25 replies

  1. Very interesting and validating.

  2. I want to know more about this “male development gene.”

  3. “Their study is set to be published in Nature shortly.”

    It’s already been published in the August, 2011 edition of Nature. Well worth reading, but it’s not exactly a new discovery anymore.

  4. It certainly does feel like something is going on in mtfs Transwomen later on in life. I doubt it could be much different for ftms. Isn’t discovering the real world and how it works much better that believing what old books profess. Science, Science, Science.

  5. There’s a difference between biological sex and gender. This article appears to be about biological sex, not gender.

  6. If this research is true, and they could find a way to turn this gene off and on, would this mean that future trans therapy could cause bodily changes without hormone injections? Maybe the changes would be more dramatic as well since it wouldn’t just be caused by hormones.

  7. Could you provide a full citation for the original paper please?

  8. Reblogged this on in gentle poetry savagry lay asleep and commented:
    Thought provoking.

  9. It’s interesting news – but the tagline is misleading.

    The *removal* of the Dmrt1 gene causes cells to revert to a female state. Likewise, leaving that gene in place and removing Foxl2 turns female cells male. This doesn’t typically happen ex post vitro.

    So, the idea that someone could turn spontaneously female or male is…it does happen, but it’s exceedingly rare. What, I think, is most interesting for transfolk is the possibility of a gene therapy for transfolk needing to transition. The possibility of making transition easier and more accessible is heartening indeed.

  10. Reblogged this on traversals of a schizoverted mind and commented:
    Hmm.. that sounds a very sketchy description, and therefore suspicious science, nevertheless interesting.. as far as support for TGs is concerned, my opinion is that it shouldn’t be needed for lifting brain-dead laws against gender change.

  11. Thanks for the comments everyone!

  12. Okay, this irritates me. It’s “sex”, not “gender”. There’s a difference. Sex = physical. Gender = mental

  13. “Gender not fixed in embryo”. Well of course it’s not because gender is socially constructed. “Sex is not fixed in the embryo” would be a more accurate statement.

  14. This article seems to be about germ cells (cells in your testicles or ovaries that go on to produce eggs or sperm), not sex or gender.

    Your physical sex is something that’s determined by the action of hormones during the first 3 months after conception. Gender identity is a social construct, but there also seems to be a strong physical basis in brain structure behind it too, that gets hardwired into your brain before birth. Again, it’s hormones that determine your “brain sex”, and it’s something that seems to be built into your brain mainly during the second and third trimester of pregnancy.

    For several decades, doctors have been in the habit of treating women thought to be at risk of miscarriage or premature birth with very high doses of artificial sex hormones, and I think that an unrecognised side effect of these treatments is that they can mess up fetal brain development and result in a baby whose brain sex doesn’t match their physical sex. Obviously an affected person is going to be at high risk of experiencing some form of gender variance later in life, and I think these miscarriage treatments are actually the underlying cause of a lot of cases of transsexuality.

    I’m currently trying to stir things up in the Gender Society facebook group, if anyone’s interested in joining the discussion!

  15. Is the link to the nature article correct? It seems to just take me to an errata notice. Perhaps you ment to link to this?

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