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.

Referring to an unmarried female human as a woman may, in such a culture, imply that she is sexually experienced, which would be an insult to her family.

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Women with typical genetic development are usually capable of giving birth from puberty until menopause.

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".

Mann or monn had a gender-neutral meaning of "human", corresponding to Modern English "person" or "someone"; however, subsequent to the Norman Conquest, man began to be used more in reference to "male human", and by the late 13th century had begun to eclipse usage of the older term wēr.

The medial labial consonants f and m in wīfmann coalesced into the modern form "woman", while the initial element, which meant "female", underwent semantic narrowing to the sense of a married woman ("wife").

For instance, intersex individuals, who have mixed physical and/or genetic features, may use other criteria in making a clear determination.

At birth, babies may be assigned a gender based on their genitalia.

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