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The earliest women whose names are known through archaeology include: In terms of biology, the female sex organs are involved in the reproductive system, whereas the secondary sex characteristics are involved in nurturing children or, in some cultures, attracting a mate.

The ovaries, in addition to their regulatory function producing hormones, produce female gametes called eggs which, when fertilized by male gametes (sperm), form new genetic individuals.

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.

In mature women, the breast is generally more prominent than in most other mammals; this prominence, not necessary for milk production, is probably at least partially the result of sexual selection.

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 word girl originally meant "young person of either sex" in English; The term girl is sometimes used colloquially to refer to a young or unmarried woman; however, during the early 1970s, feminists challenged such use because the use of the word to refer to a fully grown woman may cause offence.

bat mitzvah in Judaism, or even just the custom of a special celebration for a certain birthday (generally between 12 and 21), like the quinceañera of Latin America.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).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.

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