Yes, Bill Nye’s TV Show Did Say Chromosomes Determine Gender

This past weekend, Bill Nye “the Science Guy” shocked the world by deviating from science and telling his audience on his new show Bill Nye Saves the World that, “What makes someone male or female isn’t so clear cut.”

After a wave of detestation from the Internet, the following image began to surface all over social media, alleging that during his hit TV show in the 90s, Nye said that, “Gender is determined by your chromosomes.”

Needless to say, people quickly scoured the Internet to find the episode from which this screenshot was taken, and came to the conclusion that Nye never promoted the idea that gender is determined by your chromosomes.

Earlier today, Gizmodo put out an article titled, This Viral Photo of Bill Nye Talking About Gender is Completely Fake

But not so fast.

Nye never claimed gender is determined by chromosomes on this episode. However, in a 1996 episode in season 4 of Bill Nye the Science Guy, they do in fact say just this about gender.

In an episode about probabilities, a short, one in a half minute segment describes that our gender is determined by X and Y chromosomes. A young woman used X and Y magnets on a refrigerator to depict how gender is determined.

“Inside each of our cells are these things called chromosomes, and they control whether we become a boy or a girl… See, there are only 2 possibilities. XX, a girl, or XY, a boy. The chance of becoming either a boy or a girl is always one-in-two, a 50/50 chance either way. It’s like flipping a coin. X you’re a girl, Y you’re a boy.”

The segment begins at the 10:20 mark.