Intended for healthcare professionals


Entrenched misinformation about X and Y sperm

BMJ 2006; 332 doi: (Published 13 April 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:916
  1. Valerie J Grant, senior lecturer (
  1. University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland 1, New Zealand

    EDITOR—The widely held idea that spermatozoa bearing the Y chromosome (Y sperm) swim faster than those bearing the X chromosome (X sperm) seems to have originated from Shettles's work in 1960, using phase-contrast microscopy.1 He claimed to have observed “two distinct …

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