The symbol of the Roman god Mars (god of war) is often used to represent the male sex. It also stands for the planet Mars and is the alchemical symbol for iron.

Male (symbol: ) is the sex of an organism that produces the gamete (sex cell) known as sperm, which fuses with the larger female gamete,[1][2][3] or ovum, in the process of fertilization. A male organism cannot reproduce sexually without access to at least one ovum from a female, but some organisms can reproduce both sexually and asexually.[4] Most male mammals, including male humans, have a Y chromosome,[5][6] which codes for the production of larger amounts of testosterone to develop male reproductive organs.

In humans, the word male can also be used to refer to gender, in the social sense of gender role or gender identity.[7][better source needed] The use of "male" in regards to sex and gender has been subject to discussion.

  1. ^ Lehtonen, Jussi; Parker, Geoff A. (2014-12-01). "Gamete competition, gamete limitation, and the evolution of the two sexes". Molecular Human Reproduction. 20 (12): 1161–1168. doi:10.1093/molehr/gau068. ISSN 1360-9947. PMID 25323972.
  2. ^ Fusco, Giuseppe; Minelli, Alessandro (2019-10-10). The Biology of Reproduction. Cambridge University Press. pp. 111–113. ISBN 978-1-108-49985-9.
  3. ^ Hine, Robert; Martin, Elizabeth (2015). A Dictionary of Biology. Oxford University Press. p. 354. ISBN 978-0-19-871437-8.
  4. ^ Lively, Curtis M. (2010-03-01). "A Review of Red Queen Models for the Persistence of Obligate Sexual Reproduction". Journal of Heredity. 101 (suppl_1): S13–S20. doi:10.1093/jhered/esq010. ISSN 0022-1503. PMID 20421322.
  5. ^ Reference, Genetics Home. "Y chromosome". Genetics Home Reference. Retrieved 2020-07-22.
  6. ^ "Y Chromosome". Retrieved 2020-09-07.
  7. ^ Cite error: The named reference palazzani was invoked but never defined (see the help page).

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