Scientists have completed the first sequencing of a woman's DNA. (Four male genomes have already been sequenced, the first in 2001.) The DNA belongs to Dr. Marjolein Kriek, a clinical geneticist at Leiden University Medical Centre. Professor Gert-Jan B van Ommen, leader of the team working on the project says, "If anyone could properly consider the ramifications of knowing his or her sequence, it is a clinical geneticist." The sequence mapping or decoding is important, van Ommen says, because, "While women don't have a Y-chromosome, they have two X-chromosomes. As the X-chromosome is present as a single copy in half the population, the males, it has undergone a harsher selection in human evolution." It must be noted, however, that before scientists mapped a female genome, they sequenced the DNA of about a dozen mammals, including chimpanzees, dogs, cats, cows and a platypus. [Time, Science Daily]
They map out animal DNA early because animals have significantly different genomes from humans. Considering the number of infectious, endemic, and incurable diseases that have travelled from animal to human in the last 40 years (ebola, AIDS, SARS, bird flu, etc.), the understanding of the animal and human genomes and where they overlap and differ is of grave importance to infectious disease researchers, and I'd rather have a cure and/or effective treatment for any of the aforementioned diseases than a map of the female genome.
Also, the female and male human genomes — while different in some ways, most significantly the presence or lack of Y chromasome — are both HUMAN genomes, and are really quite similar to each other. Genome mapping is expensive and extremely time consuming, and advances in technology haven't sped it up all that much. I can see why they waited. I don't think it was a misogynitically motivated decision.
Mad props to mapping a female genetic researcher. I hope she turned her genome map into wallpaper for her living room.