Children inherit their intelligence from their mother not their father, say scientists


**A mothers’ genetics determines how clever her children are, according to researchers, and the father makes no difference.

Women are more likely to transmit intelligence genes to their children because they are carried on the X chromosome and women have two of these, while men only have one.

But in addition to this, scientists now believe genes for advanced cognitive functions which are inherited from the father may be automatically deactivated.**

The article continues at the link.


I don’t think so. In some cases yes, but not in all cases. further, someintelligence is not hereditary, but is due to environmental circumstances.


Of course!~ :smiley:



I’m skeptical.

Both my husband and I have above average intelligence. So I expect my children will too. My oldest son thinks very much like his father and has a talent for activities I find more challenging, but my husband finds easy. Some of that could be environmental or perhaps that he wants to do them and so figured it out. But he does not think the way I do.

It may not matter much for most couples. I think we tend to pick spouses who are similarly matched.


I had heard this some time ago, but do not see how it is useful, except that men should consider marrying a smart woman more important than looks. One problem is that we don’t even have a good definition for intelligence.

This may cause more arguments when little Johnny comes home with a bad report card.:slight_smile:


My thoughts exactly!:smiley:


+1 :thumbsup:


Good to hear. I have my bases covered. Both of my parents are intelligent. Some might wonder then what happened to me. :stuck_out_tongue:


Happy to hear this for the sake of my children. If they took after me they’d be as dumb as a fence post.:thumbsup:


I agree that this is silly. I take after my dad in almost all areas of my intelligence, whereas my brothers take after both my mom and my dad in their intelligence.

Now, if you said that mothers have more oomph in the genetics, I might agree. But it still seems pretty doubtful.


I read this a while ago so I may have forgotten details and my memory of cell biology and genetics might be rusty. They are saying X chromosomes carry intelligence. Females are XX. Males XY.

Assuming a situation in which the X chromosome carries intelligence and that intelligence is dominant:

A female child would have two X chromosomes. One from mom, one from dad. If dad is “intelligent”, and if it is mainly the X chromosome that carries such intelligence, then a child who is female can inherit the smart genes from dad regardless of the mother’s X genes. The mother could be average, with average Xs, and her daughter would still be smart because of her dad (who inherited a smart X from his mom). Bonus if both mom and dad are smart and each passes on smart X. Either way, you know dad is smart. You know he is passing on a smart X. Therefore his female children should be smart.

However, if dad is average the child will have to rely on mom’s Xs for intelligence, because the presumption is that dad’s X is “not smart”. Mom has two X chromosomes. She might pass on the smarter one. Or maybe she passes on the one that is not smart. Not to forget that during meiosis genes often do a little mixing so the child could get genes from either original X. Either way, a daughter could still get an average X from mom or a smart X. The guarantee of a smart daughter is less because you don’t know if mom has two smart Xs or just one which is dominantly displayed.

If the child is a boy, he will only get one X from his mom. None from dad. So in that case it would be the mother passing on intelligence. So you better hope he gets the best genes from her Xs when they undergo meiosis.

This is of course assuming that the X chromosome really does carry intelligence, that intelligence is dominant, and pretending that other factors and genes don’t come into play.

My convoluted point being: dad would have just as much say in passing on intelligence genes to daughters because he has an X chromosome which they receive. He might not have any say in his son’s intelligence.

A smart mom has two X chromosomes. One might not be carrying smart genes even if mom herself is smart. Her children could get an average X.

This is entirely based on these very specific rules of dominance and assuming the X chromosome is the only one that matters. This is probably not accurate anyway. Genes really aren’t that simple.


Hogwash! My mother was a very intelligent woman as was my sister. As for myself, the intelligence that made schoolwork easy just wasn’t there. While I have good common sense and am a jack of all trades, a Rhoads Scholar I am not.


Albert Einstein’s son was smart enough to earn a doctorate in physics and teach at Cal Tech. Junior’s mother also had a PhD in physics, but he never surpassed his father’s accomplishments. All three of these brilliant people would tell you that anecdotal evidence is a poor substitute for scientific research, but it can be more fun and generate more discussion for those of us with below genius IQ’s.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit