You’re a smart guy, with a smartphone, and maybe even a smart diaper bag. But your genes? As psychologist Jennifer Suárez pointed out recently on her website Psychology Spot, there’s mounting evidence that your genetics may not matter much when it comes to your kid’s intelligence. The good news is that they get it from their mamas, and she’s pretty cool too. The bad news is that your stupid genes are no longer just cargo shorts.
According to Robert Lehrke’s research in 1997, intelligence comes from the X chromosome, which women have 2 of to your one. In theory, that means your kid is twice as likely to get their smarts from your spouse instead of you. To make matters worse, intelligence all comes down to something known as “conditioned genes,” which aren’t genes for great hair. They’re genes that work differently depending on if they come from the mother or father, and are either activated or deactivated depending on where they go and what they do. Mom genes are activated in the cerebral cortex, where intelligence develops, and dad genes are activated in the limbic system, which controls basic feelings like anger, hunger, and Superbowl.
Technically you can pass on your intelligence genes to your kid, but the problem is that they are DOA — deactivated on arrival. Still, it’s important to note that only an estimated 40-to-60 percent of intelligence is inherited, and the rest is left up to environment, which you have a huge amount of control over as the great and powerful dad. So you may as well focus on that half of Junior’s intelligence, because the missus has her part covered. Good thing you married for brains and beauty.
[H/T] Psychology Spot