The genes control who succeeds in life


Published 22 January 2023 at 11.38

Domestic. A series of studies show that genetics is significantly more decisive than the family environment for children to achieve good school results, writes Svenska Dagbladet. Only 5–10 percent can be influenced by environmental factors.

Like the article på Facebook

Researchers at the Karolinska Institutet have used twin data from the Swedish twin register to investigate how much of a person's characteristics are explained by their genes.

The studies show that the environment only stands for 5-10 percent of the influence on things like intelligence, motivation and success in a child, while genes account for 30-50 percent.

For over a century, researchers have studied twins in depth, including data from identical twins who were adopted away and have not had the same growing up environment.

Despite the entire society resting on a political belief to the contrary, study after study has confirmed the same thing: Socio-economic factors are almost never decisive. It's the genes that rule.

– What happened was that most studies pointed out genetics as significantly more important than the family environment, says Patrik Magnusson, head of the Swedish Twin Registry and genetic epidemiologist at Karolinska Institutet, to SvD.

He also adds that parents who have given their children some kind of upbringing have usually done so precisely because of their genes, and then it is the genes that have passed on good qualities.

– We often attribute great importance to things we did. It was because I read so much to her. Yes, but you did that because you like to read and because she liked to listen – because she has inherited your genes, says Patrik Magnusson to the newspaper.

By analyzing data from both identical and fraternal twins, they have been able to conclude that genes are the most important factor when it comes to academic success.

Identical twins share both the upbringing environment and genetic makeup, making them perfect research subjects.< /p>

If only genetics determines whether siblings are alike, then identical twins should be twice as alike because they share twice as much genetic material as fraternal twins do.

The results of the study show that identical twins who grow up together are much more alike than fraternal twins.

The family environment is therefore almost never decisive for how the children turn out. Even when it comes to fuzzier traits, like intelligence and personality, identical twins are much more alike than fraternal twins.

So genes seem to play a much bigger role than parents might expect when it comes to children's academic performance successes.

However, parents can still do a lot to support their children in school, but there is no guarantee that it will produce results.