Y so Selfish


My Geography coaching teacher was telling about a discussion he had with his father on why in Hindu culture we have the concept of boys only being able to carry the lineage forward. His father argued that using the new knowledge of human genes. A man has XY chromosome & a woman has XX chromosomes. So the only way to transfer the Y part of the gene is through a boy (XY-gene) only. From a girl child only the X-part can be transferred to the subsequent generation, but from a boy child both get transferred in the lineage. He asked the students that how can he reply to this argument.

After reading this are you convinced that Boys are necessary as ones descendant? Are some counter arguments coming to your mind? If yes, please share it, it will enrich my thoughts as well.

The same day, I asked the question to my father and he gave the same reply which I had thought of (he also added some new information to it).

According to me, I felt the argument was scientifically right in one way. However, the idea of transferring only your gene can sustain your lineage is erroneous. The concept of transferring the Y-gene can only be taken in a broader sense where the Y-gene transfer is taking place in the human beings as an animal race. It may seem logical to me if it is in transferring the genes of particular ethnic group or minor race. One cannot be so selfish of thinking that the humanity exist only if his lineage survives. Genes are for survival of human race not for a small familial bloodline. I wonder how it got so deeply entrenched in the Indian psyche. Were our religious leaders responsible or were the kings responsible or were it a natural phenomenon which arises when a civilization settles & starts to grow. I have not read much of religious texts or Vedas or Upanishads, so I cannot comment on them. I understand there is variety of social, economical & political reasons present to explain this mindset to some extent. But does this type of argument, validate choosing a boy over a girl to carry over your bloodline.

My father added the information that Y-gene acts like a ‘selfish gene’. It is present only in men and can only be transferred via men. It selects only his own ‘man lineage’ and the X-chromosome is the altruistic one.


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