The location of the human Y-specific repetitive DNA sequence DYZ2 with HaeIII cleavage sites spaced at 2.1 kb was reexamined. Previous reports had mapped the 2000 DYZ2 copies to the very distal end of the heterochromatic Yq12 band. In the present study, a cloned DYZ2 fragment (pHY2.1) was used for Southern and slot blot analyses of male DNA as well as for nonradioactive in situ hybridization to chromosomes. DNA and metaphase preparations from 79 individuals with polymorphic or aberrant Y chromosomes were examined. DYZ2 repeats are not confined to the distal tip of Yq12, but extend through the entire heterochromatin of Yq12. In the naturally occurring length polymorphisms of Yq, the amount of DYZ2 sequence varies in proportion to the measured sizes of band Yq12. Explanations are presented for the fact that previous studies restricted the location of DYZ2 to the telomeric end of Yq12.