by Conscious Reminder
Human beings have two genotypes, which determine their sexuality. These are XY and XX. The phenotype XY manifests as the male sex. The Y chromosome comes from the dad and the X from the mom.
Scientists have researched and found out that intelligence might largely be the product of the X gene, which comes from the mother. This would mean boys get a large part of their intelligence from their moms while girls get that and a part of the rest from their grandparents.
So what is this research? All you dads must be really cringing right now.
Up until now, thanks to the nurture theory, it was believed that children’s growing up and their overall character and intelligence stemmed from both the parents. But if the hypothesis is proven right, it would be concluded, that man receives a lion’s share of his intelligence from his mother; not only socially, through the lessons she teaches him, but also in his very DNA, his very genetic makeup.
The research is of course highly debated, and the fact that genetics as a field straddles all the major fields of science like physics, chemistry and biology and also to some extent mathematics, makes the case for this debate all the more spicy.
But nonetheless, it does create room for an intriguing read. It would be really interesting to see the implications of the debate, if proved right.
First of all, let us take a brief look at the genetic makeup of a human being. Human beings have 23 pairs of chromosomes, one from each parent. We denote it as XX for women, given that both parents’ X sex gametes make up the female sex, and XY for men, because it is the smaller Y chromosome that makes men, men. It is really ironic especially in countries like India where superstitious folks still blame women for the female gender of their children, the male child being prized as a way out of poverty: because it is the man whose sex gamete determines the sex of the child.
Every cell in the human body contain a pair of chromosomes. These are passed down during the fusion of sperm and egg cells in the womb during pregnancy.
Conditioned genes so to speak make up for the biggest markers when scientists look for the origin of a specific trait.
These genes have tags which when activated or not, make up for the presence or absence of a specific trait in a child.
Cognition or reasoning is something that is highly influenced, or tagged by the X chromosome. This comes from the mother invariably and also from the father in case it’s a girl child.
The white lab mice offspring being experimented upon developed uncannily large craniums when administered more maternal genes. Ones administered more paternal genes developed larger bodies but lesser brains.
The researchers besides these found out two interesting observations:
- There were six regions in the brains affected by the exclusive presence or absence of genes from one parent.
- There were almost no paternal genes in the cerebral cortex, the region of the brain necessary for all brain-like activities, including thinking, imagination, art, etc.
In a similarly motivated test done in Scotland by Cambridge scholars, it was found that among predictors of intelligence in human children, the mother’s IQ is the most decisive. And this test was quite extensive with almost 12,000 participants being observed.
It is heartening because even if the theory is dismissed or disproved, the fact that moms play a huge role in the lives of all men and women cannot be questioned even a bit. What’s more is if it is proved, then this emotional factoid would become an universal fact.
BARTON, S.C.;SURANI, M.A. & 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. HTTP://WWW.PSYCHOLOGY-SPOT.COM/2016/03/DID-YOU-KNOW-THAT-INTELLIGENCE-IS.HTML. ACCESSED 25 OCTOBER 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 OCTOBER 2016.
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