Everything Kids

Good News, Dad! Kids Use More of Your Genes

dad coloring with son
Comparisons to mom and dad start as soon as a baby comes out of the womb, and, much to the chagrin of adoptive and step parents, continue on throughout a kid's life. While it doesn't really matter who your progeny takes after in terms of looks, personality, and smarts—and biology certainly isn't necessary to be a parent—there's no denying genetics are fascinating. What makes us us? Plus, being able to determine a child's likelihood of developing hereditary illnesses like diabetes and heart disease is important.

While all humans get one copy of each gene from their biological mothers and fathers, a new study shows that we use more of the DNA passed down from our dads. When studying mice, scientists discovered that the copy from dad was used more than the copy from mom in as much as 60 percent of the mouse's genes. As a result, the mice babies' brains were significantly genetically more like dad's. Although the scientists studied mice, they believe the results of the study apply to humans as well because of similarities in our genetic material and the way our genes are turned on and off.

Now, I know what you're thinking: But so many kids so obviously take after their mothers! For true. Science is not my "thang," as they say, but maybe not everyone is 60 percent dad; maybe the percentages vary. Or that having 40 percent of mom genes (not mom jeans, mind you) is still significant enough to really notice. Or maybe it's a matter of nature versus nurture, and kids develop traits from their moms because of the time spent together. As I mentioned earlier, what makes us us is pretty fascinating—and pretty complicated.

What do you think? Do your kids seem to take more after Dad or Mom?

Ellen Sturm Niz is a New York City-based editor and writer who has always thought her daughter takes more after her husband. Follow her on Twitter and Pinterest.

Image via Shutterstock