Study Confirms Kids Get Their Intelligence From Their Mom

Hear that, dads?

smart mother mom parenting getty

You have more to thank your mother for than your perfect nose and that Amazon gift card you still have in your night table drawer. (Seriously! Use the damn thing, already!)

At this point, use it to get her a present as well.

According to a study, all your smarts come from your mama, whether you like it or not. 

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Let’s break down the science for those (like me, who hated biology class) who may be a little rusty.

Women have the XX chromosome and men have the XY chromosome. A chromosome is like a hard drive, that lives in our cells. It transports our genes to our offspring.

And according to this study, our intelligence comes straight from those really important X chromosomes; and since our mothers have TWO of those bad boys, it’s twice as likely our intelligence comes from our maternal side.

Don’t worry, dads! Your effort isn’t for naught!

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The same study suggests that the XY chromosomes contribute to the physical aspect of your children. Of course, these tests were all done on mice, but there’s a pretty good chance this information is accurate for humans, too.

According to Psychology Spot, “Those with an extra dose of maternal genes developed a bigger head and brain but had little bodies. Conversely, those with an extra dose of paternal genes had small brains and larger bodies.”

So. Many. Jokes. But I won’t. I can’t. I won’t!

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But it’s not ALL science that helps make us geniuses:


“The importance of the emotional relationship for the development of the brain has been demonstrated by researchers at the University of Washington, who revealed for the first time that a secure bond and the love of the mother are crucial for the growth of some parts of the brain.

These researchers have analyzed for seven years the way mothers relate with their children and have found that when supported emotionally by their children and adequately gratified their intellectual and emotional needs, at age 13 the hippocampus of the kids was 10% greater than that of children of mothers who were emotionally distant. It is worth mentioning that the hippocampus is an area of ​​the brain associated with memory, learning, and stress response.” 

So, before you go yelling at your mom for replying to the Nigerian prince who emailed her, remember: You share the same genes. That same Nigerian prince will be in YOUR future, too! Hopefully not the same exact one, but a similar scam maybe. Perhaps you can both be scammed and stupid together, but you both love each other and that's what counts. 


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Liza Walter is a freelance writer who has appeared in HuffPost, BRIDES, BUST Magazine, Ravishly, and more.