18 Traits We Inherit From Our Parents

There are so many things we can inherit from our parents, such as our height, our empathy, or making a great leader. So, the next time you want to blame your parents for how you turned out, there may be some understanding around it! Here are 18 traits we inherit from our parents.


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The Hewitt Fertility Centre writes, “Certain conditions can be inherited and these can contribute to infertility.” Genetic factors from both parents can affect a person’s fertility, especially in women. A study has even shown that a gene from the father can affect how well a woman conceives.


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The myth of male hair loss being inherited from the mother’s side is a myth; instead, it can come from both parents. According to research, 287 genetic signals can be linked to hair loss, and this is inherited from both parents. Some genes that are associated with hair loss may even be linked to other health conditions, such as heart disease.


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Being an optimistic person can be linked to genetic variations in the oxytocin receptor genes. These genetic variations are also linked with self-esteem and a person feeling like they have more control over life. However, it’s important to remember that optimism can be influenced by a number of different factors.


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Empathy is determined by genetic variations that affect a person’s oxytocin receptors. This is supported by the BBC, which writes, “Now scientists say empathy is not just something we develop through our upbringing and life experiences—it is also partly inherited.” These genetic variations can also be linked to altruism and stress management.

Sneezing at the Sun

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The scientific name for this is quite a mouthful, but sneezing at the sun is also known as Auto Dominant Compelling Helio Ophthalmic Syndrome. This is a condition that can be inherited and occurs when a person sneezes at a bright light, whether that’s the sun or an indoor light.

Trusting Others

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The ability to trust is supposed to be inherited. It’s something that’s influenced by genetic variations, and it’s a trait that can significantly affect how we interact with others. Even though it can be a complex trait, it’s important to know that it’s also a trait that you can work on in life.


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The study in the National Library of Medicine says, “A majority of twin studies demonstrate moderate genetic contributions for personality traits of leaders.” Genetics can influence leadership skills, and while it is considered to be a trait that’s inherited, that doesn’t mean it can’t be taught later on in life.

Risk-seeking Behavior

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Genetic variants can play a huge role in how a person perceives risk and whether they choose to take one. There have been numerous studies conducted that prove there are genetic factors involved in risk-taking. However, risk-taking can also be based on environmental factors.

Zest for Life

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Genetics can contribute up to a huge 50% of how a person views their life quality and their overall satisfaction with it. External events are also known to have a contributing factor and can change how a person views their life satisfaction. It shows that both genetics and the environment play a crucial role in how a person views life.

Respect for Authority

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Respect for authority figures is also something we inherit from our parents, and it can be a high percentage. For example, Truity tells us the genetic factor for this gene can run up to 60 percent. It’s a surprising trait to have, as many people believe it comes from external factors.

Body Shape and Size

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We can also inherit physical traits from our parents, such as our body shape and size. This trait is passed down from parents to offspring through their genes. This physical inheritance follows Mendelian genetic principles. So, if it feels like it’s difficult to lose weight, it can be because of the genes you’ve inherited from your parents.

Curly Hair

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Hair texture is something that’s heavily influenced by the genes of our parents. Whether that’s straight or curly hair, it all comes from genetics. There are multiple genes that control hair texture, and there are also multiple variations of these genes, all of which will decide how your hair comes out.

Hand Clasping

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Do you notice if you place one thumb over the other when you clasp your hands? How we place our thumbs on top of our hands can be inherited by our parents. Studies have shown that even though it has a strong genetic component, it doesn’t follow a simple inheritance pattern. This trait is a subtle example of both genetics and physical behavior.

Red/Green Colorblindness

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Colour Blind Awareness writes, “Red/green color blindness is passed from mother to son on the 23rd chromosome.” It’s the X chromosome that causes a person to be colorblind, and this is what makes it more common in males, as they only have a single X chromosome.


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Height is a trait that’s influenced by both parents, with the father’s genes playing a more significant role. There are hundreds of genetic variations that can affect a person’s height, such as the interaction of these genes and environmental factors such as diet.

Biological Sex

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Newcastle University writes, “Men determine the sex of a baby depending on whether their sperm is carrying an X or Y chromosome.” The father’s sperm determines the sex of the baby. It depends on whether the father is carrying the X or Y chromosome, which will then mix with the woman’s X chromosome.

Dimples and Freckles

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Dimples and freckles are dominant traits that can be inherited from both parents. The presence of these features can usually be determined by family history. So if your mother or father has heavily freckled areas, such as their arms, then chances are you will too.


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If a person has highly extroverted parents, then chances are their children will also be extroverted. This is also the case with other personality traits such as agreeableness and conscientiousness. As well as being determined by genes, environmental factors can also play a huge role in a person’s personality.

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