Mom’s Genes & Intelligence: More Than Just Your Looks Are Passed Down


We can thank our mothers for their nurturing, kindness, wiping away every booboo, and now…for your genius-ness. Your mother’s genes and intelligence are really all you need, but don’t ditch the dad just yet, he’s great for other stuff, too. However, being smart in the 21st century when many women are standing up and boldly expressing their intelligence is definitely sexy. From the SAHM, the single mother, and the career mom, your intelligence isn’t going unnoticed. So, yes, thank you, Mom. New research into gene study has revealed that mothers are primarily responsible for passing along her children’s intelligence.

So where exactly are these intelligent genes coming from? They are coming from your mother’s “conditioned genes”. These particular genes are passed down and develop themselves in the cerebral cortex of the brain. Interestingly, if the father’s genes are passed along as well, they are actually “deactivated”. Only the mother’s genes work in this particular area of the brain.

The question arises then… why is mom getting all the credit for her genes when it comes to her children’s intelligence? Chromosomes. Several studies dictate that the heredity of intelligence is located on the X chromosomes. Ladies, you can thank the University of Cambridge back in 1984 for this precious intel.

Since then, several studies have followed suit. With the mother having the double X chromosome, moms are twice as likely to pass along those genes related to intelligence.

Intelligence is nothing more than the ability to solve problems by applying knowledge and skills.

genes and intelligence on schoolwork

Further Studies and research revealed some of the brain’s mysteries. The genome, in particular, showed it was the maternal genes contributing most to the thought centers in the brain. Researchers did not find any paternal cells in the cerebral cortex. This is where people develop the most advanced cognitive functions, such as intelligence, thought, language, and planning.

Do you find yourself really good at organizing? Planning? Thinking things through without making foolish spontaneous decisions? Do you find yourself easily picking up foreign languages (or even understanding English exceptionally well)? These and more could be some genes and intelligence traits you got solely from your mother.

It is estimated that between 40-60% of intelligence is hereditary, and it comes from your mother.

The 60%-40% “leftover” potential depends on the child’s environment, stimulation, and personality. This is great news! Both parents can play a vital role in increasing their child’s potential through secure bonding and physical and emotional interactions. We’re certainly not discounting dad’s role, he has his own set of genes completing the development cycle too.

mom genes and intelligence with dad

Got terrible twos coming along? It may not totally resolve the tantrum spasms rocking your household or the grocery cart, but this bonding period with children after birth can show less frustration in children while problem-solving. They develop a better capacity for playing complex symbolic games when they have a strong attachment; particularly with their moms.

It’s the strong bond that gives children the security necessary to explore their world. It also instills the confidence to solve problems on their own without losing heart. AKA, fewer temper tantrums over the “small” stuff. Wouldn’t that be nice?

Don’t beat yourself up, Mama, if you think you’ve past the prime moments to give your children the best opportunities to beef up their IQ’s, just keep doing what you have been doing – loving them to the fullest! However, if you are still in the planning stages of having children or have yet to reach the third trimester… this is the time during development that the cerebral cortex forms the fastest. Eat brain healthy snacks and meals (Omega-3’s, avocados, eggs, and full-fat organic dairy, etc.) during this time and let your genes do the rest.

Mom’s Genes & Intelligence_ More Than Just Your Looks Are Passed Down

Photo Credits: AndiL.


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