A normal sperm must contain one of each of the human chromosome pairs. There are 23 chromosome pairs in all. Twenty-two of these are autosomal chromosomes, which do not play a role in determining gender. The remaining pair consists of either two X chromosomes in the case of a female, or of an X and a Y chromosome in the case of a male. Therefore, a normal sperm cell will contain 22 autosomal chromosomes and either an X or a Y chromosome, but not both.