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In particular, previously common terms such as office girl are no longer widely used.
Conversely, in certain cultures which link family honor with female virginity, the word girl is still used to refer to a never-married woman; in this sense it is used in a fashion roughly analogous to the obsolete English maid or maiden.
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 word woman can be used generally, to mean any female human or specifically, to mean an adult female human as contrasted with girl.
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.
The term woman is usually reserved for an adult, with the term girl being the usual term for a female child or adolescent.
The term woman is also sometimes used to identify a female human, regardless of age, as in phrases such as "women's rights".
This contrasts with the typical male karotype of 46, XY; thus, the X and Y chromosomes are known as female and male, respectively.
It is a popular misconception that the term "woman" is etymologically connected to "womb".