While this article might raise a few eyebrows among dads, a recent genetic study suggests that we probably inherit intelligence from the female X chromosome.
This chromosome contains thousands of genes, a great deal of which affect perception. Until now, it was generally believed that those parents equally contribute to their child`s intelligence. Interestingly enough, this research has been proven both accurate and questionable.
Many studies emphasize the fact that genetics is a highly complex and challenging field of research. In spite of the strong division on the subject, it is best to approach the studies from an objective perspective. Therefore, it is useful to present a few facts about how X and Y chromosome function in the first place.
A chromosome is a formation made of nucleic acids and protein. They both store and transfer generic information. Every person has a pair of the chromosome in each cell of the body. Females have two X chromosomes while males have one X and one Y chromosome.
Genetic features of gender-specific genes, like humans posses, are either activated or deactivated depending on the specific selection and, eventually, the characteristics being affected. The activated ones affect the genetic environment while the deactivated genes won`t. Therefore, if a single feature is activated via the mother, the genes from the father are deactivated. On the other hand, if a single feature is impacted via the mother, the maternal genes are deactivated.
The structure of these genes creates the foundation of intelligence research. Women are more likely to affect cognitive abilities, since women have two X chromosomes while men carry only one. There is more to add up to this theory of intelligence genetics than just the X chromosomes.
At this point gender-specific genes come in. Intelligence is believed to be a highly-gender-specific gene which comes from the mother. Researchers used genetically-modified mice to try out this theory. They found that the subjects that were administered maternal genetic chromosomes developed an improperly larger brain and skull and much smaller body.
On the other hand, subjects which were administered mainly paternal genetic material developed larger body and smaller brain and skull. Additionally, researchers made other observations, such as identifying 6 areas of the brain that consist either maternal or paternal genes.
The theory that mothers have larger influence on child`s intelligence is not a new one though. Back in 1984, the University of Cambridge examined genomic conditioning and brain development, concluding that maternal genes provide more material to the brain. A Scottish study which followed 12,686 people aged 14 to 22 and monitored their intelligence over the course of many years, has found that mother`s IQ is the best indicator of high intelligence.
Needless to say, this theory will not be accepted by everyone. But, there is something that can be deduced from this, and that is that mothers have a significant impact on their child`s cognitive abilities. Note that nutrition and nurture affect child`s intellectual development as well, meaning that it is not genetics only!