Science

12 Traits Kids Inherit From Their Dads

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My mom and I share a lot of the same features. I've got her eyes, her cheekbones, and her need to plan everything exactly right so that nothing goes wrong.

My dad and I share a lot of qualities, too, like our height, our nose, and our love of corny humor.

But while I generally think I take after my mom more than my dad, there are actually a lot of traits that come from our paternal genes we may not even realize!

1. Gender

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Whether your baby is a boy or a girl totally depends on the father's sperm.

A new study suggests that the chromosome in the mother's egg is always the same, the X chromosome.

However, sperm can have either an X or a Y chromosome, and it differs all the time.

If the sperm has an X chromosome, the baby will be a girl. If it has a Y chromosome, the baby will be a boy.

2. Psychological Disorders

If the father passes along the Y chromosome and produces a boy, they'll be connected through a unique genetic relationship called the Y Linkage.

The Y Linkage can pass along mental disorders similar to bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder.

Melatonin production, or lack thereof, is the reason for these disorders, and this is determined by the Y chromosome. These genetic mutations could be explained based on gender.

“Just recently, it was discovered that fathers are four times more likely to have new mutations in their DNA because they continue to produce new sperm as they age. Mothers, on the other hand, have all of their eggs from their birth." --Jenn Stagg, naturopathic doctor

3. Eye Color

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This one is interesting to me, because my dad and I do not share the same eye color at all! Mine are a deep brown while his are a light blue/green.

That being said, because genes can be recessive, the father just has to carry the gene, not necessarily display it, for eye color. So if you have bright blue eyes, but neither of your parents do, it's probably from somewhere down the line in your dad's family.

Eye color is determined by a combination of both parents, but more dominantly it's determined by the paternal genes.

4. Hair

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Color, thickness, and texture of hair is predominantly determined by your dad. If the dad has curly hair and the mom has naturally straight hair, the curls will win out more often than not.

This goes for baldness as well. If your dad has a thick head of hair and your mom's is getting thinner with age, then you're probably in the clear.

As for color, it's a lot of recessive vs dominant stuff. The red-hair gene is on both sides of my family, so I was doomed from the get go.

5. Lips

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Your lips, and just your smile in general, is once again determined by your father's dominant genes.

If the father's side of the family has plumper, fuller lips, then his kids will most likely follow suit.

“Genes passed on by father tend to be more active than the same gene from the mother.” -- Stagg

6. Dimples

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Dimples are interesting, because they're technically considered a facial deformity. When connective tissue in the face doesn't develop properly, it causes a variation in facial muscle structure and function.

When a person with dimples smiles, the shorter muscle in the face pulls up the skin, which causes an indentation, or dimple. If you only have a dimple on one side of your face, it's considered extremely rare.

That being said, dimples come from dad as long as he already has them. They are a dominant gene, so if dad has them and mom doesn't, baby will have them. Male genes are always more dominant over the female.

7. Cleft Chin

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Also known as a butt chin, cleft chins are formed during fetal development when the two down sides of the jaw don't fuse normally.

The gene is dominant, and if your dad has it, then you will too. Odds are, the cleft chin has made an appearance in every generation of your family, and could continually be passed down for generations to come.

8. Eating Habits

This seems to be a little more based in psychology, but kids are far more likely to imitate their father's eating habits than their mother's.

A recent study showed that kids will eat as often as their father's do, whether it's for better or for worse. They will also develop the same likes and dislikes as their father. If he likes eating fast food, so will they. If he prefers salad, they will too.

It's not something many dads consider when they sit down to eat a bag of chips on the couch, but their kids are watching diligently and learning food habits from them.

9. Stress

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Another trait that is picked up is reaction to stress. If kids see their dad getting upset about small things, such as traffic jams or annoying colleagues, they're more likely to react the same way.

Fits of anger and overreactions are learned mainly from fathers, as kids think their dads are acting in a "natural" way and that that's how it's done. It's important to stay calm around your kids and teach them proper coping mechanisms.

10. Respect

This is especially true for boys, but all kids will take after their fathers when it comes to respecting others and treating them properly.

Kids will imitate what they see their fathers doing, based off a primal desire to be just like their dad. Whether it's family, friends, strangers, or co-workers, kids will echo the way they see their dads acting, so it's important to set a good example.

11. Height

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This one I can attest to wholeheartedly. Height is mainly passed down from the father's side of the family. My mom is just over 5ft tall, while my dad is 6'2. I'm 5'10 and my brother is 6'2.

I remember my brother and I towering over my mom since as early as middle school, and I thought it was strange. But apparently it's pretty common!

12. Caffeine Addiction

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Your caffeine tolerance and dependence is based off of your genetics, though you probably figured it was based off your stress levels!

Your body has a certain way of absorbing caffeine, and for some people it's quicker and more useful than others. If you find yourself dependent on coffee, you can thank your dad for that one!

Do you take after your mom or your dad?