Science says kids get their smarts from mom as women everywhere nod vigorously
According to Psychology Today, studies show that children inherit their intelligence from their mothers, and not just 77% of it! (Sorry, low blow.)
The study states that “intelligence genes are located on chromosome X” which speaks for itself, unless you’re the child of two men and are too stupid to realize that women have two X chromosomes and men only have one. This means that it’s twice as likely that moms pass down their smarts to the kids.
On the flip side, the XY chromosome accounts for physicality, which makes it likely that dads pass that down to their offspring. Which probably explains why my son is struggling in both math and gym. Just kidding, he’s just struggling in math. (Just kidding, it’s just gym.)
The good news for us dads is that the study was conducted on mice, so the findings that mice injected with extra X chromosome developed larger brains, and the mice injected with more Y chromosomes developed bigger bodies, might not correlate exactly to humans. There’s still some hope that we’re just as responsible for Junior being on the honor roll.
My kids are still firmly in the “too young to be anything but stupid” stage, so right now I have no problem conceding that my wife is responsible for my five-year-old being afraid of tissues. Especially since it’s more than obvious to everyone who meets my kids that they got just about everything else from me, including their devilishly handsome looks.
Yesterday I celebrated my ninth wedding anniversary. It’s been a long time since I entertained any fantasies about being the smart one in my marriage, so I’m more than willing to grant my wife, and mothers everywhere, dominion over the intelligence of my kids. If there’s one thing marriage has taught me, it’s that my wife is always right, but now I’m starting to think that the only reason I think that is because a woman controls my intelligence!
The good news is that if this is true, then not only should we men be thanking our mothers for bestowing their genius upon us, but women can start taking the blame for our biggest blunders. After all, if our brains are only as sharp as the mothers who bore us, then it’s not our fault we can’t find the thing we called you about even though it’s been staring us in the face the whole time and all we had to do was look behind the vacuum. You should have given us more smarts.
I might be overreacting. According to the study, only 40-60% of intelligence is hereditary. And some of that is bound to come from dads too. The rest “depends on environment, stimulation, and personal characteristics.” Both parents have a role in influencing those first two factors, and judging by the way my six-year-old is already a sarcastic jerk like his dad, I’m guessing I am laying a pretty big part there. I may still have a dog in this fight.
But maybe not. I don’t know. I’m just a caveman whose mom isn’t all that bright.
This article was originally published on