Genetic or not?

Genetic or not?
Besides temperament, what other characteristics does your child inherit? Science still hasn’t uncovered all the secrets of genetics, but here are a few answers.

Besides temperament, what other characteristics does your child inherit? Science still hasn’t uncovered all the secrets of genetics, but here are a few answers.

Intelligence

This one remains a mystery! There is no intelligence gene. Several genes are no doubt involved, but most of them have yet to be identified. The environment (family, daycare, school, etc.) also plays a role in the development of a child’s intellectual abilities. Your toddler’s intelligence therefore comes from both her genes and her living environment.

Obesity

Yes, there are certain genes that predispose a child to obesity. This is why several members of a single family are often obese. According to the Research Chair in Obesity at Université Laval, the risk of carrying extra pounds is 2 to 8 times greater in people who have obesity in the family. But heredity isn’t the only factor. Behaviour and life habits can also increase or decrease the risk.

The character of adopted children

A child is born with a temperament that is largely inherited. But this temperament can change according to her living environment and the way she is raised. A child’s experiences after adoption strongly influence the development of her temperament and character. It is therefore likely that the toddler you have welcomed into your heart and your life will take after you in many ways!

Twins

You might be surprised to learn that genetics isn’t always involved in conceiving twins. There’s no genetic factor that explains the conception of identical twins (babies coming from the same egg). In such cases, it’s simply the luck of the draw. Genetics does, however, play a role in the conception of fraternal twins, which are the result of two eggs fertilized by two sperm cells. This type of pregnancy occurs in women who produce several eggs per cycle, which is an inherited characteristic. This is why women who have fraternal twins in the family have a greater chance of conceiving them as well.

Naitre et grandir.com

Source: Magazine Naître et grandir, November 2015
Research and copywriting: Nathalie Vallerand
Scientific review: Jean-Pascal Lemelin, professor with the Department of Psychoeducation at Université de Sherbrooke, and Dr. Bruno Maranda, medical geneticist at the Centre hospitalier universitaire de Sherbrooke