Posts Tagged ‘ Intelligence ’

Surprising Trait You Could Pass Down to Your Baby

Friday, March 21st, 2014

We all know things like hair and eye color, even intelligence, can be passed down from mom and dad to baby. But can anxiety? A new study says yes, and more specifically, your fear of math can rub off on your little one while he or she is in the womb. What? Who knew?

According to a study conducted by researchers at Ohio State University, whose findings are published in the online version of the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, genetic factors explain about 40 percent of the individual differences in math anxiety. The rest is chocked up to experiences at school, home and around friends.

The study, which examined how 216 identical twins and 298 same-sex fraternal twins differ on measures of math anxiety, provides a new view on why some children—and adults—may develop a real fear of math that makes it more difficult for them to solve math problems and succeed in school.

Science Daily reports that math anxiety taps into genetic predispositions in two ways: “People’s cognitive performance on math and their tendency toward anxiety,” said Zhe Wang, lead author of the study and postdoctoral researcher in psychology at Ohio State University.

Stephen Petrill, professor of psychology at Ohio State, and the principal investigator of the study, says, “Genetic factors may exacerbate or reduce the risk of doing poorly at math. If you have these genetic risk factors for math anxiety and then you have negative experiences in math classes, it may make learning that much harder.“

Hmmm…so in addition to prenatal appointments, and readying the nursery, do pregnant mamas-to-be need to be boning up on their math skills, so their newborns will eventually be math geniuses rather than math worriers?

TELL US: Do you think a parents’ anxiety, and specifically academic anxieties, can be passed down from generation to generation?

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What Kids Like (And Don't Like) About School
What Kids Like (And Don't Like) About School
What Kids Like (And Don't Like) About School

Image of child doing geometry courtesy of Shutterstock.


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Are Smart Women Less Likely to Get Pregnant?

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

smart women and pregnancyA new study conducted by Satoshi Kanazawa at the London School of Economics claims to prove that women with higher IQs are less likely to get pregnant and have children. The findings showed that for every 15 points a woman’s IQ increases, she is 25 percent less likely to want a baby. Even with controls for education and economics, the results were the same: Smarter women chose not to get pregnant and not have kids.

As a woman with a brain and a baby, I find this very hard to believe. Sure, I buy that the more intelligent a woman is the more likely she is to be picky about the men she’s with; the more likely she is to use birth control (unless she’s trying to get pregnant); and the more likely she is to want to advance in her career before having children. But to make a blanket statement that women who choose not to have kids are more intelligent than those that do is just ridiculous.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and mom of Chelsea, is pretty darn smart. So is two-time Nobel Prize-winning physicist Marie Curie; the first woman to sit on the U.S. Supreme Court; Sandra Day O’Connor; former First Lady and political activist Eleanor Roosevelt; Poet Laureate Maya Angelou; anthropologist Margaret Mead; and the former prime minister of India, Indira Gandhi. One thing they all have in common besides being smart, kick-ass ladies: They are all moms.

So I’m calling BS on this study! I know way too many brilliant moms (including my own), and moms-to-be in my life to believe that women who have babies are less intelligent.

TELL US: Do you believe that smarter women are less likely to get pregnant and have kids? 

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Image of woman courtesy of Shutterstock.

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