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Gender and Genes

Sex-linked, sex-influenced, and sex-limited traits all affect genes differently. If a trait is sex-linked it is either carried on the X or Y chromosome. Traits that are on the Y chromosome will only affect males, since a female does not carry the Y chromosome. However if a trait is linked to the X chromosome, the trait can be seen in both males and females. An example of an X linked trait is hemophilia. Hemophilia is a recessive X linked trait, if a male receives the recessive X linked trait for Hemophilia then he will have Hemophilia. In order for a female to be affected by Hemophilia she would have to have two recessive X linked traits for Hemophilia.

Sex-limited traits are present in both males and females, however they are expressed differently depending on the gender. When a male and a female have the same genotype it is expressed in different phenotypes. Despite being the same species the male elephant seal is obviously different from the female. That is because they have the same gene however the gene in the male allows him to become bigger and more aggressive, while the female is much smaller and passive.

Sex-influenced genes are like sex-limited genes where it is expressed differently in both sexes, however in sex-influenced genes the genes are dominant or recessive rather than turned off.


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