Updated: DECEMBER 14, 2020

Male refers to the physiological sex of an organism. A male species is distinguished by its ability to produce sperm. It cannot reproduce sexually without a female's ovum or egg. In some species, however, asexual reproduction is possible. In most mammals, including humans, males have the Y chromosome, which determines the development of male reproductive organs and the production of more testosterone.

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Genetics does not always determine whether a species is male or female. Social, environmental, and other considerations can affect the sex of some species. For example, a clownfish is always born male. The dominant male will turn into the group's female when the current female dies. Another example is how sex in some reptile species is determined by the temperature of the water where it was incubated.


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