The Boys' Growing Up in the Lord

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Question

Hello,

I look like my mom. Will my height genes be short since my mom is shorter than my dad? Or is both genes combined together to one gene to your height?


Answer

Everyone has two copies of each gene. These genes combine in different ways.

Some work in a dominate / recessive fashion. That is one gene overrules the other gene. Blood types work in this fashion. Type B blood is dominate and Type O is recessive.

Other genes work in a blending fashion. Height is of that type. The base line is the average of your two parent's height. Boys tend to grow to this height or up to ten inches more, depending on the blend that they inherit. Girls tend to grow from ten inches less than the average up to the average height. The shorter gene tends to dominate, so your mom may have two shorter genes or a short gene and a tall gene. That is why height is given in a possible range.

In addition, there are other things that effect height, such as your nutrition. If you had eaten poorly during your growing years, even a tall gene won't make you tall because there isn't enough building material to make you grow -- that is rarely a problem in most countries these days. But another way this can happen is through a prolonged illness. The body spends its resources fighting the illness so little is left for growing. Thus, the maximum potential height is not reach.

Unfortunately, the opposite is not true. You can't provide an overabundance of food and expect to grow beyond your maximum potential height. Your genes put an upper limit on what you can reach and the rest of the food gets stored as fat.

Now just because you inherit some genes that cause you to favor your mother, it doesn't mean all your genes came from her. In truth, half of your genes come from your father. Nor does it mean that if some of her genes in looks are dominate that all of them are.