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It is a popular misconception that the term "woman" is etymologically connected to "womb".

"Womb" is actually from the Old English word wambe meaning "stomach" (modern German retains the colloquial term "Wampe" from Middle High German for "potbelly").

It is a stylized representation of the goddess Venus's hand-mirror or an abstract symbol for the goddess: a circle with a small equilateral cross underneath.

The Venus symbol also represented femininity, and in ancient alchemy stood for copper.

Because humans inherit mitochondrial DNA only from the mother's ovum, genetic studies of the female line tend to focus on mitochondrial DNA.

Whether or not a child is considered female does not always determine whether or not the child later will identify themselves that way (see gender identity).

The breast evolved from the sweat gland to produce milk, a nutritious secretion that is the most distinctive characteristic of mammals, along with live birth.

With regard to gender, a woman may also be a person whose sex assignment does not align with their gender identity, In Old English, wīfmann meant "female human", whereas wēr meant "male human".Most women have the karyotype 46, XX, but around one in a thousand will be 47, XXX, and one in 2500 will be 45, X.This contrasts with the typical male karotype of 46, XY; thus, the X and Y chromosomes are known as female and male, respectively.The uterus is an organ with tissue to protect and nurture the developing fetus and muscle to expel it when giving birth.The vagina is used in copulation and birthing, although the term vagina is often colloquially and incorrectly used in the English language for the vulva or external female genitalia, which consists of (in addition to the vagina) the labia, the clitoris, and the female urethra.

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