Cytogenetic survey of XYY males in two juvenile court populations, with a case report.
- SourceAvailable from: nih.govBritish medical journal 04/1967; 1(5539):533-6.
- New England Journal of Medicine 09/1970; 283(8):410-1. · 51.66 Impact Factor
- Pediatrics 11/1961; 28:578-91. · 5.12 Impact Factor
Journal of Medical Genetics (1972).
Cytogenetic Survey ofXYY Males in Two Juvenile
Court Populations, with a Case Report
W. E. DODSON, M. S. AL-AISH, and D. F. ALEXANDER
From the Cytogenetic Unit, Children's Diagnostic and Study Branch, National Institute of Child Health and Human
Development, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA
The XYY anomaly has been recognized since
1961 (Dunn et al, 1961; Sandberg et al, 1961), but
in contrast to other sex chromosome aneuploidies,
no consistent clinical syndrome associated with it
The phenotypes are wide ranging,
but generally are tall normal males.
in the syndrome has centred on the possibility that
abnormal behaviour may be an associated feature.
The first suggestions of behavioural implications
ofan extraY chromosome were made following a sex
chromatin survey of 942 retarded antisocial male
inmates (mean IQ 77-3) at Rampton and Moss Side
(Casey et al, 1966).
The frequency of the XXYY
karyotype(0-74%/)was strikingly high.
ing led Jacobs et al (1967/1968) to survey cyto-
genetically a similar retarded, antisocial population
institutionalized at Carstairs.
9 patients with XYY, one with XXYY, and one
mosaic XX/XY/XYY among 315 patients, an inci-
dence ofY aneuploidy of3-5%.
Jacobs' findings implicated an association be-
tween Y aneuploidy and
Examination of the population of XYY males at
Carstairs revealed an onset of criminal behaviour at
an earlier age than their XY controls (Price and
Thus it seemed possible that
juvenile court populations might contain an in-
creased concentration ofXYY males.
2 juvenile court populations were surveyed cyto-
Results of this survey are presented,
as well as a court-referred case ofanXYY male.
Their survey yielded
Materials and Methods
With parental permission blood samples were ob-
tained for culture and standard cytogenetic analysis
from boys aged 13 to 17 years appearing before the
Juvenile Courts of the District of Columbia and Prince
George's County, Maryland.
All boys appearing on
Received 4 October 1971.
selected days were approached for evaluation; approxi-
mately 50o refused.
The resulting sample included 326
and 149 successful cultures from the District of Colum-
bia and Maryland, respectively, a total of 475.
tion, 6 boys were studied on referral from psychiatrists
and probation officers because of unusual size or abnor-
At least 2 metaphases from each subject were examined.
Upon detection of an abnormality, an additional 20 cells
were studied and a karyotype prepared.
Among the 475 patients randomly selected only
one chromosome abnormality was detected.
boy had a supernumerary small metacentric chro-
mosome in all 60 cells analysed in 2 separate
cultures (Fig. 1).
This abnormality was not present
in either of his parents.
and intelligence were normal.
Klinefelter's syndrome, XYY, or structural re-
arrangements were detected.
His physical examination
No patients with
autosomes 21-22 of E. Y.
from the one abnormal boy from the juvenile court population and
shows a minute centric chromosome between the Y and autosomes
The upper partial karyotype shows 2 Y chromosomes and
The lower portion is a partial karyotype
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Dodson, Al-Aish, and Alexander
One of the 6 patients (E.Y.) seen on referral was
found to have a karyotype of 47,XYY (Fig. 1).
E.Y., a 17-year-old Caucasian male, is the product ofa
term gestation of a 42-year-old, gravida VII para 5
abortus I, mother and a 41-year-old father.
nancy was complicated by the onset of diabetes mellitus
in the 3rd month, treated with insulin.
went smoothly; birth weight was 3530 g.
mental milestones are not recalled.
hood he was more active and generally larger than his
peers, and his behaviour was difficult to control.
stole bicycles and petty cashrepeatedly. Heexperienced
visual and auditory hallucinations at age 8 years, and in
elementary school a teacher suggested psychiatric re-
Because of persistent behaviour problems, he
was placed in a private school for difficult boys at 13
years but was uncontrolled in that setting and was dis-
At age 15 he was twice arrested for molesting
children, institutionalized for 4 months, and then trans-
ferred to a psychiatric hospital where he remained for 1
Following this hospitalization he was improved
but continued to experience isolation from his peers and
periods of extreme depression.
twice accused of molesting children.
was hospitalized for evaluation of chronic leg ulcers.
Cytogenetic evaluation done because of his large size
revealed a 47,XYY karyotype.
On physical examination, he is a pleasant, cooperative,
well orientated boy with a clear sensorium: height
188-2 cm, weight 126-1 kg, head circumference 58-5 cm,
span 197-4 cm.
There is mild facial acne.
Sydney crease is present.
from the axiallae to the lower abdomen and lateral hips.
There are numerous scars on his forearms and legs and
chronic ulcers on both legs.
veloped with only 5 whiskers, axillary hair is scanty, but
pubic hair is present in a fully developed male pattem.
The penis is 14-7 cm long, the left testis 5 x 2-7 x 2-2 cm
and the right testis 2-5 x 2-5 x 3-5 cm.
examination is completely intact.
his past experiences ofmolesting children and being used
as the female partner in homosexual relationships.
has never had close friends or a close relationship with a
Since evaluation he has continued in psychotherapy
and vocational training where his performance has been
From early child-
After discharge he was
At 16j years he
Violaceous striae radiate
Facial hair is underde-
He lucidly discusses
Data from surveys of newborn children indicate
an XYY incidence of 1-92 per 1000 live male births
(Dodson, Al-Aish, and Alexander,
sample of 475 males, one XYY would be expected
Thus our survey suggests that the inci-
dence of XYYs in a general juvenile court popula-
tion is not increased.
Absence ofXYY males in this survey may be con-
trasted with the work of Hook and Kim (1970) in
Albany, New York.
They found 4 XYYs among
337 boys under the age of 16 in institutions for
The subjects of these 2 studies
differ in that the New York group had completed
adjudication and was institutionalized while our
subjects generally were awaiting trial in custody of
This may suggest a tendency for the
XYYs to commit more serious offences leading to
their concentration in institutions.
The problem of recognizing and dealing with
XYYs is of more theoretical than practical im-
portance in controlling the rate of crime.
among selected antisocial patients reported in other
surveys (Dodson et al, 1972) the determined inci-
dence is only 11:886.
Hopefully, however, lessons
learned will stimulate search for other biological
concomitants and foundations ofbehaviour.
Chromosome survey of 475 males appearing
before 2 juvenile courts demonstrated no cases of
the XYY karyotype.
Comparison with data from
institutional surveys indicating higher than ex-
pected incidence of XYYs suggests a tendency for
XYYs to commit more serious antisocial offences
Nonetheless XYYmales are not significant contribu-
tors to the bulk of antisocial behaviour.
Casey, M. D., Segall, L. J., Street, D. R. K., and Blank, C. E. (1966).
Sex chromosome abnormalities in two state hospitals for patients
requiring special security.
Nature, 209, 641-642.
Dodson, W. E., Al-Aish, M. S., and Alexander, D. F. (1972).
Aneuploidy of the Y chromosome.
Dunn, H. G., Ford, D. K., Auersperg, N., and Miller, J. R. (1961).
Benign congenital hypotonia with chromosomal anomaly.
atrics, 28, 578-591.
Hook, E. D. and Kim, D. S. (1970).
karyotypes in 337 nonretarded young offenders.
Journal ofMedicine, 283, 410-411.
Jacobs, P. A., Price, W. H., Court Brown, W. M., Brittain, R. P., and
Whatmore, P. B. (1967/1968).
maximum security hospital.
Annals of Human Genetics, 31, 339-
Price, W. H. and Whatmore, P. B. (1967).
patterns of crime among XYY males identified at a maximum
Sandberg, A. A., Koepf, G. F., Ishihara, T., and Hauschka, T. S.
An XYY human male.
Prevalence of XYY and XXY
Chromosome studies on men in a
Behaviour disorders and
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1972 9: 287-288J Med Genet
W E Dodson, M S al-Aish and D F Alexander
populations, with a case
males in two juvenile court
Cytogenetic survey of XYY
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