Health

If You're a Genius (or an Idiot), Thank (or Blame) Your Mom

Published On 09/15/2016 Published On 09/15/2016

Dads are great for things like contributing the sperm for a baby, telling "jokes" that elicit more groans than laughs, and wearing tall socks with sandals. But as far as smarts go, your mom did most of the genetic work. So don't worry -- those lame dad jokes aren't genetic. 

Years of research rounded up by Psychology Spot confirms that most of your intelligence is attached to the X chromosome, and while females get one of those from the father, intelligence genes aren't activated when they're passed down by a male. Sort of a genetic "thanks, but no thanks" situation, with the upshot being that your mom is largely responsible for what a smart young man/woman you've turned out to be! Or what a giant idiot you are.  

Now, if you remember your Intersectional Studies 101 class, you know that biology isn't destiny, which Psychology Spot points out: genes are responsible for about 40%-60% of your intelligence, with the rest attributed to environmental factors. If your dad's a bumbling idiot who watched daytime television with you as a child, any genetic intelligence won't be put to full use; the flip side of the coin is true for if he's a brilliant mathematician who bounces solutions for Hilbert's problems off you, though the former sounds a lot more relaxing. 

Not only does this help debunk the outdated sexist stereotype that women aren't as smart as men, it also gives some scientific credibility to the sitcom stereotype of a buffoonish father who manages to produce somewhat competent children. So if you're still bragging about your SAT scores, or happen to be a bottomless pit of trivia knowledge, you owe your mom. Plus, she brought you into this world, and SHE CAN TAKE YOU OUT. No word on whether pairing socks with sandals or a T-shirt with jorts is hereditary. 

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Christina Stiehl is a Health and fitness staff writer for Thrillist. She's becoming more and more like her mom every day. Follow her on the Tweeter: @ChristinaStiehl.

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