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SCIENCE FILE | Science in Brief

Gene Makes Girls More Socially Adept Than Boys, Study Suggests

June 12, 1997|From Times staff and wire reports

Girls are more socially adept than boys because they have the right genes, British researchers report in the June 12 Nature. Research on girls with Turner's syndrome showed a genetic link with social ability, they said. Healthy girls get one X chromosome from each parent, but girls with Turner's have only one good X chromosome.

The team tested 80 girls with Turner's for social skills. They found that the girls who got their one X chromosome from their father showed better social adjustment overall compared to the girls who received the X chromosome from their mothers. The findings suggest that a gene controlling social behavior lies on the X chromosome and that it is somehow inhibited in the gene received from the mother. Boys receive a Y chromosome from their father and an X chromosome from their mother and so do not get the "social adaptability" gene.

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