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Thread: Evidence that the Y chromosome and not just testosterone influences facial traits

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    2 out of 2 members found this post helpful.

    Arrow Evidence that the Y chromosome and not just testosterone influences facial traits

    I saw on BBC News yesterday that Belgian top model Hanne Gaby Odiele revealed that she was intersex. Genetically she is a man (XY chromosome pair), but she was born with androgen insensitivity syndrome (AIS), meaning that her body is unresponsive to testosterone, which in turn prevents the masculinisation of male genitalia and the development of male secondary sexual characteristics at puberty.

    Seeing her face, it struck me how her traits seemed considerably more masculine than a typical woman. There is a very boyish quality to her traits, which is completely understandable since she is really a grown-up boy that never underwent puberty. More than that, even women produce a small amount of testosterone, which can masculinise a bit their traits and behaviour and increase their sex drive. Here, Hanne Gaby appears to be completely immune to the effects of testosterone, so that her facial traits would have been less affected even that those of typical XX women.







    We had discussed a few months ago whether Y-DNA influenced looks and behaviour. It had been suggested that testosterone alone was responsible for the masculinisation of traits. I replied that it was unlikely considering that boys and girls look very different already before puberty. A counter-argument is that the masculinisation process started in uterus. But in the case of androgen insensitivity syndrome it doesn't, since the foetus is genetically insensitive to testosterone and other androgenic hormones. Therefore, if a genetically XY person suffering from androgen insensitivity syndrome looks more masculine than an XX woman, it means that some gene(s) on the Y chromosome is responsible for this sexual differentiation, and that it is not just the result of testosterone. It makes sense since a female body builder taking large amounts of testosterone with never look like a man, just a muscular woman.

    If one or several Y-DNA genes affect in some way facial traits, then it would be logical to think that mutations in that gene could also modify, even if only slightly, the masculine traits of the carrier.
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    1 out of 3 members found this post helpful.
    You could be right but I personally think that she can pass either way perfectly! Had she looked like a male she had to develop some facial hair which she lacks

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by DuPidh View Post
    You could be right but I personally think that she can pass either way perfectly! Had she looked like a male she had to develop some facial hair which she lacks
    Facial hair comes during puberty. She never went through male puberty.

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    It's not only her face that is masculine; it's her body too. She has the body of an emaciated boy.


    She's not the only one either.

    Nor is it a surprise. The surprise for me has always been that designers and other people in the fashion industry actually think this starved, androgynous look is attractive. Then, of course, there are the young girls who are influenced by fashion magazines and want to look like that. That's where we get the explosion of anorexia. It's like no one ever explained to them how women are actually supposed to look.




    Not everyone can look like Marilyn Monroe either, but at least she had a woman's face and a woman's body.


    I saw her wax duplicate at Madame Trussaud's. Even that was breathtakingly beautiful: body, features, radiant, glowing skin.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    It's not only her face that is masculine; it's her body too. She has the body of an emaciated boy.


    She's not the only one either.

    Nor is it a surprise. The surprise for me has always been that designers and other people in the fashion industry actually think this starved, androgynous look is attractive. Then, of course, there are the young girls who are influenced by fashion magazines and want to look like that. That's where we get the explosion of anorexia. It's like no one ever explained to them how women are actually supposed to look.
    Would that have anything to do with the fact that the fashion industry is dominated by gay men? No need for drag queens when you can have men who look naturally like women.

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    The short answer is that I don't know. It may affect the aesthetic. Perhaps a bigger influence is the women's rights movement. For some reason there seems to be this idea that a feminine and even voluptuous body is discordant with being intelligent and successful in one's career. It's not true, although it is a good idea in some professions not to wear clothing that accentuates that kind of body. Men being men, it doesn't do to distract them too much. You also want them to focus on what you're saying as much as possible, and not on various parts of your anatomy. You don't want to have to lean over and lift their chins with a pencil too often. :)

    Oh, another example at the opposite extreme of the androgynous look we're discussing. Equally beautiful, imo, and, in fact, I like her body type even more. If you're going to have an ideal standard, it should look like these women, not what adorns the pages of Vogue.


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    before edit a rule I 'll wait more XY/XX or XXY analysis about women with supposed masculine features -
    that said, I red somewhere chromosom Y had more input that precedently believed, exagerating some dominant traits, but I 'm not sure I 'll find the paper again -

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    Then, of course, there are the young girls who are influenced by fashion magazines and want to look like that.
    They get addicted to the euphoria of starvation. So unhealthy diets causing overweight which then triggers extreme dieting leading to addiction is another explanation.

    Here's another AIS case, Christy North.




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    Maria Shriver blows this argument out of the water. There are lots of manly looking women-- it could be a coincidence, unless they are all secret AIS's. Estrogen also 'womanizes' females in utero comparatively. (and Im not certain, but isnt it possible for both males and females to get a bit more of the opposite hormone than is normal for their sex?)
    So perhaps an AIS person is exactly that-- a human without the biasing of sex hormones, genetics irrelevant.

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    there are also degree's of AIS from mild to complete; do we know which Gaby is?
    Some XX people have Estrogen Insensitivity Syndrome as well. Its hard to find any pics of known EIS females, but I'd be willing to bet they look similar.

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    A protruding glabella, from the browridge is a very dimorphic trait linked to Testosterone. Females always lack this, unless they have been injecting Testosterone/other sorts of Androgenic steroids for some time. Or if the said female possesses some strange hormonal condition.


    Male rugby player with a protruding browridge and glabella:


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    Attachment 8914Attachment 8915
    What about them? They also have a protruding brow bridge

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dagne View Post
    Attachment 8914Attachment 8915
    What about them? They also have a protruding brow bridge
    Your attachments are not working. But the glabella makes a difference, more so than the supraorbital ridge itself.

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    ps Angela, extra points for Monroe and Bellucci: both icons. I think only the relatively small high fashion crowd takes all that seriously. True, females are shown that often, but recently also rounder women and even plus size models. Trends are trends but they don't trump evolution.

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    I never did get the thing about the models "being starved". I was always very thin, at 5'8" I weighed in High School 113 and gradually gained to 126 and stayed there until mid 50's even though I typically ate at least as much husband and growing sons. Not all women (or men) gain weight easily at younger ages. My gain was only after a prescription Tamoxafen and the medically induced changes.

    Also in teaching, it was quite common to see teenage girls eating voraciously in the cafeteria and be very thin, partially because they were athletic and burned the calories, but even those who were not involved in sports.

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