We’ve all looked in the mirror at some point and tried to figure out which parent we look the most like, or who we got most of our character traits from. Many family members shed light on who we take after the most. They say “Your nose is just like your mother’s” or “ You’re tall just like your dad”. And although we’ve been led to believe that we inherit an equal percentage of DNA from our mother and father, it may not be exactly 50%-50%. In fact there are certain physical and genetic characteristics that you can only inherit from your father. So, if you’d like to know what they are and why only your dad could pass those along to you, then keep on reading!
1. Your Gender
If you have paid attention during biology class in school then this one isn’t news to you. But let us break it down nonetheless. Decades ago, women were blamed for not being able to bear sons or produce male heirs. And unfortunately, that still is the case in some communities today. However, it is the men who are 100% responsible for the gender of a baby.
This is because X and Y chromosomes, also known as sex chromosomes, are what defines the gender of a person. Women only have XX chromosomes whereas men have both X and Y chromosomes. A baby is a girl when they inherit one X chromosome from their mother and one from their father. Whereas, boys inherit an X chromosome from their mother and a Y chromosome from their father. Since the mother can only pass on X chromosomes, the gender is completely dependent on the father (1).
2. Crooked Teeth
If you’ve got yourself a set of crooked teeth and need to straighten them out with painful braces, this may be your dad’s doing. In fact, the dental health of the father can have a huge impact on that of the child. If the father in question has poor dental health and is in constant need of dental care, then the child may visit the dentist more often than their peers. And this is the case even if the mother has a healthy set of teeth and great dental health. If you find that your child is prone to cavities, gum problems at an early age or even tooth decay, this can all be traced back to the father (2). So, before you pick someone to have kids with make sure to check their teeth!
If you’re wondering why you are so tall or haven’t grown at all, your dad may have something to do with that aspect. Research has shown us that the height of a person is determined by around 700 genetic variations that we inherit from both our parents. But, our parent’s height genes don’t work the same way. The father’s height genes are the ones charged with stimulating the growth of the baby, which is why they determine our height (3). So if you’re a short king and wondering where things went wrong, it’s not because you didn’t drink enough milk or do enough pull ups. It’s just your dad’s genes.
All babies are adorable. But babies with dimples? They’re our kryptonite. If you’re wondering how your baby has dimples when you do not, it may be because of the father of your child. In many cultures, dimples are a symbol of great beauty and attractiveness and we can see why. It makes anyone ten times more sweet looking. But scientists describe dimples as a defect which is caused mainly due to shortened facial muscles. Can you believe it? Dimples are a dominant genetic trait which means they are mostly inherited from the father of the child (4). Now you know who to thank for your baby’s pretty little dimples.
If you’re someone who sneezes first thing in the morning or when they look at the sun or so much as steps out of the house, guess what? It’s something you get from your dad! Sneezing is a genetic trait that the father is responsible for. Sneezing uncontrollably is also rightly called the achoo syndrome which is likely passed down from the father of the child (5). How wild is that!
It can be quite surreal to realize that characteristics that you have that you thought were your own can be so heavily influenced and even inherited from your parents. Although both parents pass on genes to their baby, these are some traits that you share only with your dad. Which is what makes them so unique and special. So, celebrate the things you both have in common and make sure to enjoy these little quirks.