Before all fathers—and potentially all men—begin to curse and navigate to another website, these findings are based on genetics, and they are most definitely open to interpretation!
Dr. Keith Witt suggests that most intelligence is passed on by way of the X gene, which happens to be the feminine gene; this conclusion flies in the face of past research which indicated mothers and fathers had more or less similar impacts regarding the cognitive abilities of their children. However, keep in mind that this is often the case with genetic research, and the next study that comes out could quite easily tip the scales back closer to where they were prior to this discovery.
Regardless, let’s review some of this fascinating food for thought.
A chromosome carries genetic information, and each human cell contains two chromosomes: an X and another X in women, but an X and a Y in men. So, it stands to reason that a mother would influence their baby’s cognition more so than a father would. In the study in question, genetically-modified mice revealed that predominantly feminine genes created larger craniums and brains, while predominantly masculine genes resulted in larger bodies. What’s more, the part of the brain utilized for language, reasoning, planning, and complex thinking in general (the cerebral cortex) did not contain any detectable masculine genes whatsoever.
These results were not entirely unexpected, since a University of Cambridge study in 1984 shows similar findings, and Scottish research also concludes that a mother’s IQ is more representative of her child’s IQ, in comparison to a father’s.
But please, please remember: myriad studies have indicated that nurture plays a far greater role in human development than nature does. And even though mothers are thought to nurture their children more than fathers, this is all relative and on average.
As such, mothers should take pride in these findings and strive to positively impact their children even more—and fathers should keep working hard to disprove this research, at least as it relates to their own children!
Barton, S.C.; Surani, M.A. and Norris, M.L. (1984). “Role Of Paternal And Maternal Genomes In Mouse Development. Nature; 308: 548-550.
Delgado-Suarez, J. “Did You Know That Intelligence Is Inherited From Mothers?” Psychology Spot. www.psychology-spot.com/2016/03/did-you-know-that-intelligence-is.html. Accessed 25 Oct. 2016.
Witt, K. “Males Inherit More Intelligence From Their Mothers.” Dr. Witt’s School of Love. https://drkeithwitt.com/males-inherit-more-intelligence-from mothers-63/. Accessed 25 Oct. 2016.
*This content was inspired by an amazing article that can be found here.