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.
A category of genes known as “conditioned genes” are thought to work only if they come from the mother in some cases and the father in other cases. Intelligence is believed to be among the conditioned genes that have to come from the mother.
However, research also makes it clear that genetics are not the only determinant of intelligence – only 40 to 60 per cent of intelligence is estimated to be hereditary, leaving a similar chunk dependent on the environment.
But mothers have also been found to play an extremely significant role in this non-genetic part of intelligence, with some studies suggesting a secure bond between mother and child is intimately tied to intelligence.
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