I'm a computer science graduate so please bear with me the following computer program : mov ecx, -1
INC ecx
consist of 2 instructions (mov,inc) each working on specific data , can genetics instuctions be expressed in the same way ? if so what is the difference between male and female(humans) when it comes to the number of instructions and the difference if any (eg , n-instuctions being exclusive to female ... etc) ?

Edit#1 :what I mean by instructions is something like a computer program and a programming language commands.

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    $\begingroup$ I don't know what do you mean by Instructions ? Can you be more clear ? $\endgroup$
    – Dexter
    Commented Sep 8, 2015 at 5:00
  • $\begingroup$ As many biologists, I don't know assembly. If possible, can you rewrite your 2 instructions into C, python, R or some other commonly used languages? $\endgroup$
    – Remi.b
    Commented Sep 8, 2015 at 14:26
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    $\begingroup$ As argued here, the analogy between genetics and the digital world can be quite misleading and one should make sure to not push it too far. I think there are 2 questions in your post: "Is there an equivalent to <your instructions>?" and "Do human male and female differ in their number of 'instructions'?". You should always try to restrict your posts to one question only. $\endgroup$
    – Remi.b
    Commented Sep 8, 2015 at 14:30

1 Answer 1


The typical Male has a Y-chromosome, which consists of about 100 genes.

Genes are the instruction sets to make proteins, and proteins do the work of the cell.

Those 100 genes out of about 21,000 in the human genome are what differentiate Males from Females.

That being said, because of how signaling works, Males and Females can exhibit different expression patterns, like function calls, even though they have the same instruction sets, for the most part.

Expression patterns are how genes are activated and deactivated, it is basically a regulatory process that controls the functions of the cell, tissues, organs, and organism.

  • $\begingroup$ There are many other things besides the 100 genes on the Y chromosome that differentiate males from females. If that was the case, XXY persons would be clearly male, when they are not. X genes play a significant role, as do somatic genes. $\endgroup$
    – MattDMo
    Commented Sep 8, 2015 at 16:28
  • $\begingroup$ @MattDMo that is why I chose my words carefully. I said the "typical" male and mentioned that expression patterns can differ. Based on the basic nature of the question I didn't think that it was necessary to go into the intricacies of cell signaling and signal concentration as it relates to gene expression, however if you feel it is necessary to expand the answer to include that level then please feel free to expand on it. $\endgroup$
    – AMR
    Commented Sep 8, 2015 at 16:56
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    $\begingroup$ @MattDMo A person with Klinefelter's syndrome (XXY), assuming that they do not also have an SRY reversal are considered to be males genetically. The phenotype comes from the additional dose of expression from the Barr bodies, as they are not completely silenced. XXY in drosophila is genetically female, but for humans, they are sterile males. This Bio SE answer biology.stackexchange.com/a/3317/16651 provides a chart that corresponds to the 5th Edition of Genetics by Hartwell et.al. $\endgroup$
    – AMR
    Commented Sep 9, 2015 at 1:04

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