Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Artificial insemination
Name: Allison K Mocko
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: N/A 


Question:
Is it true that when undergoing artificial insemination there is a greater chance of conceiving a boy? Why?



Replies:
I believe so. Normally the semen is centrifuged and the top fraction picked off for insemination. Sperm swim up by instinct, naturally, and so those that make it to the top in the artificially high gravity are the fittest of the bunch, to be preferred for insemination success. They also happen more often to be sperm carrying Y sex chromosomes. The Y chromosome is half the size of the X chromosome, so the sperm carrying it are lighter and tend to be able to swim faster. The same effect may operate in the natural process: the percentage of newborns that are boys is slightly higher than 50. The imbalance is corrected by the higher death rate of baby boys.

Christopher Grayce



Click here to return to the Biology Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (help@newton.dep.anl.gov), or at Argonne's Educational Programs

NEWTON AND ASK A SCIENTIST
Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory