Children DO NOT Inherit Intelligence From Moms: Facts To Know

Children DO NOT Inherit Intelligence From Moms: Facts To Know
I’m Smart Kent County Girls on the Run April 06, 20102 Steven Depolo / Flickr cc

According to a study carried out by Psychology Spot, of which various reports have gotten viral in early September, the intelligence genes of a person comes from the mother, and not from the father. However, an expert begged to disagree.


As opposed to earlier belief that intelligence is the result of genes coming from both father and mother, the study has revealed that women carry two X chromosomes (the genes responsible for intelligence) and hence, children are twice as likely to inherit intelligence from the mother, reported Good Housekeeping.

That being said, even if the father passes of some of his intelligence genes to the child, it is quite possible that those genes may not have any impact on the child’s mental development. Intelligence genes work only when they come from the mother.

Also, researchers at the University of Ulm, Germany, have come to the conclusion that many genes, particularly those related to cognitive abilities, come from the X chromosomes, and not the Y (the father’s), said Second Nexus.

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“If that same gene is inherited from the father, it is deactivated. Obviously, other genes work the opposite, are activated only if they come from the father.”

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To further accentuate the analysis, the Medical Research Council Social and Public Health Sciences Unit in Glasgow, Scotland conducted a study where as many as 12,686 young people between the age group of 14 and 22 were tested. The test took several factors into account- including the children’s IQ, race, education and socioeconomic status. It was found that the “best predictor of intelligence was the IQ of the mother and that the ratio of young people’s intelligence varied only an average of 15 points from their mothers”, as reported by the website.

Forbes, however, cancelled these claims by Second Nexus, calling the post a ‘garbled’ one and an embarrassment to the website itself.

Mothers do tend to have two X chromosomes, but they aren’t identical chromosomes, and of course, they got one of them from their fathers. Mothers generally pass only one X to their children (after the two X chromosomes engage a little genetic swapping themselves), and those children in turn receive the second sex chromosome (X or Y) from their fathers. Whatever is on the X can pass from mother to child or father to (usually) daughter, but the two X chromosomes the mother has aren’t the same and don’t at all automatically double the odds of inheriting a specific variant,” explains an expert at Forbes.

Also Read: Teenage Brain Helps Predict Mental Health Later In Life

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