And it is the SRY gene that sparks the genetic program leading to the formation of testes and the production of fetal testosterone.
"We have this tenuous switch on the Y chromosome, and we anticipate that its gift to humanity is variability in the pathway of male development from its earliest stages," Weiss said. "The essential idea is that our evolution has favored a broad range of social competencies. In prehistory, this range would have given a survival advantage to communities enriched by a diversity of gender styles."
In fact, certain aspects of modern history seem to parallel this idea.
Susan Case, PhD, a professor of organizational behavior at Case Western Reserve Weatherhead School of Management, who was not involved in the study, agreed with Weiss's argument and noted that "diverse mixes of people offer more varied perspectives, more ideas and solutions, and more challenges to long-accepted views." In the corporate world, for example, these differing styles increase creativity and problem solving, especially within a group.
The implications of Weiss's research suggest that elements of human culture, which had been assumed to be psychological or cultural, may be biological, instead. Therefore, human evolution would not have been dependent on consistency and homogeneity, but on their exact opposite.
|Contact: Amanda Petrak|
Case Western Reserve University