Netflix removes chromosome explanation of sexes from Bill Nye the Science Guy

It seemed to stand at odds with his new Netflix show

Christopher Hooton
Thursday 04 May 2017 09:09 BST
A still from the censored segment
A still from the censored segment

Netflix appears to have removed a segment from a 1996 episode of Bill Nye the Science Guy that attributes biological sex to chromosomes.

The original broadcast of the episode, entitled 'Probability', saw a young woman explain (at 9:07 below):

“I’m a girl. Could have just as easily been a boy, though, ‘cause the probability of becoming a girl is always 1 in 2,” a young woman says in the show. “See, inside each of our cells are these things called chromosomes, and they control whether we become a boy or a girl.”

“Your mom has two X chromosomes in all of her cells, and your dad has one X and one Y chromosome in each of his cells. efore you’re born, your mom gives you one of his chromosomes, and your dad gives you one of his. Mom always gives you an X, and if dad gives you an X, too, then you become a girl. But if he gives you his Y, then you become a boy.

"See, there are only two possibilities: XX, a girl, or XY, a boy. The chance of becoming either a boy or a girl is always 1 in 2, a 50-50 chance either way. It’s like flipping a coin: X you’re a girl, Y you’re a boy.”

Netflix has yet to clarify the reason for the edit, but it was likely made due to Nye embracing gender fluidity on his new Netflix show, Bill Nye Saves the World, a position that could stand at odds with this original lesson.

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