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Shvoong Home>Science>Biology>Double Y chromosome Summary

Double Y chromosome

Book Summary   by:philius     Original Author: philius
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Patricia Jacobs did a study of inmates of a Scottish prison and published her findings in Nature in 1965. She found that 4% of prisoners had 2 Y chromosomes instead of the more normal XY pairing found in males. In the general population, about 1 in 1,000 were thought to have this abnormality; so a much higher proportion of double Y chromosome individuals were in prison than  might be expected. This study was hailed at the time as having found a basic cause of criminality and aggression and the double Y chromosome possessors were identified as having Jacob's Syndrome.    Newer research has shown that in general males with 2 Y chromosomes are found to be taller and prone to acne, they often have difficulty with reading and speech but are generally not otherwise notably different to others. Their higher proportion in prison populations could be simply that they are more likely than others to be caught and convicted, at least partly due to verbal difficulty. However it should be noted that 96 % of men with Jacobs Syndrome are quite normal law-abiding citizens.   Sujeeva has posted information on this site to the effect that "80% of those arrested for crime and 90% of those arrested for violent crime have an extra Y chromosome " This seems improbably high in view of their low incidence in our population -- I query her statistical accuracy here. Others place them as 20times more likely to be imprisoned, but since they are about 0,1% of the total population, this is still quite a low number.    In 1980 a study found increased incidence of double Y chromosomes in the sperm of men exposed to Chemo and Radiation treatment, to X-rays , and to dibromochloropropane; suggested screening for the condition during pregnancy.
Published: June 08, 2005   
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