Throughout the major part of history, theories of sex determination had to be formulated in the absence of knowledge of ova and spermatozoa. The most persistent theory postulated that males are associated with the right parental side and females with the left side. At the end of the 19th century, sex was thought to be determined by nutrition. Recent findings regarding bilateral asymmetry in human hermaphrodites and of temperature dependent sex determination in reptiles may restore a small degree of credibility to certain theories predating the discovery of sex chromosomes.
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