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What is an atypical sex chromosome pattern?

Any sex chromosome pattern that deviates from the usual XX/XY formation and which tends to be associated with a distinct pattern of physical and psychological symptoms


What are two examples of atypical sex chromosome patterns?

Klinefelter's syndrome and Turner's syndrome


What is Klinefelter's syndrome?

Affecting between 1 in 500 and 1 in 1000 ppl, Klinefelter's is a genetic disorder resulting in biological males, who also look like males having an extra X chromosome (XXY)


How is Klinefelter's diagnosed?

Around 10% of cases are diagnosed prenatally but 2/3 of those that have it aren't even aware of it and may discover it in some routine check up


What are the physical characteristics of Klinefelter's syndrome?

Reduced body hair, breast development at puberty, softening of body contours, long gangly limbs, undeveloped genitals, lack of co-ordination and susceptibility to health problems generally found in women like breast cancer


What are the psychological characteristics of Klinefelter's syndrome?

Poorly developed language and reading skills, individuals are generally passive, shy and lack interest in sexual activity, don't respond well to stressful situations and have poor memory and problem solving skills


What is Turner's syndrome?

A chromosomal disorder in which affected women have only one X chromosome (X) causing developmental abnormalities and infertilities


How does Turner's syndrome effect people?

Present in roughly 1 in 5000 women Turner's syndrome is caused by a missing X chromosome meaning the sufferer has only 45 chromosomes in the body - sometimes known as X0


What are the physical characteristics of Turner's syndrome?

No menstrual cycle, they are sterile, they have a broad shield chest not breasts, low set ears, webbed neck, high hip-waist ratio and they appear physically immature


What are the psychological characteristics of Turner's syndrome?

Higher than average reading ability, lower than average spatial, visual and mathematical ability and social immaturity


What are the evaluation points for atypical sex chromosome patterns?

Contribution to the nature-nurture debate (+)
Environmental explanations (-)
Practical applications (+)
Unusual sample (-)
Based on ideas of typical vs atypical (-)


How does it contribute to the nature-nurture debate?

If we compare 'typical' individuals with normal chromosome patterns to 'atypical' people with abnormal patterns and find differences in behaviour or physical characteristics we can reasonably infer these differences have a biological (nature) basis


How does it have practical applications?

Continued research into the area will likely lead to earlier and more accurate diagnosis, studies have shown those treated immediately from young ages have better outcomes


How do environmental explanations challenge the theory?

It cannot be concluded that biological differences CAUSE the different characteristics, differences in environment may be significant. For instance, socially immature individuals with Turner's may only be this way because people treat them immaturely on account of there appearance


How does the unusual sample size and issue with typical vs atypical challenge the theory?

It's difficult to make sweeping generalisations based on an unusual sample of people with rare genetic disorders. Also, the observed differences in behaviour are based off ideas of a 'typical' level - this is hard to judge