Response needs to be 150 words
One trait that has been passed down through generations in my family is our dimples. My grandfather, and my father both had a dimple on both cheeks. Out of 4 children my brother has a dimple and I have a dimple. This is different in how both my father and grandfather had their dimples because they had both one on the left and one on the right. My brother has a dimple on the right and I have a dimple on the left. My brother has 3 children and 2 of them have dimples but again, one of his children has the right and one child has the left which is the same thing that happened with two of my children. Two of my children do not have dimples while the other two split the pair with one having the left and the other having the right. This appears to be a trait that shows itself in every generation that I can recall as it is prevalent in at least 4 generations currently.
The only trait I can think of that is random is with one of my sons which has red hair which came from my wifeâ€™s father who has red hair. Following that line, out of 6 offspring, my wife has a sibling (2) and we have 4 children totaling 6, only one has red hair.
In both of these examples, it appears that only one gene is controlling it as the partner in each of the pairs did not have a dimple nor did their parents. I believe given the ratio of dimples to no dimples I would have to say this trait is dominant while the red hair would be considered a recessive trait.
Family traits have been a major topic of discussion between my wife and I for the better part of 25 years. Partly because of the impact it has on our relationships and partly because my wife has a masters degree in marriage and family therapy, so it is always front and center. Hair color, nose, chin, musical ability and stubbornness are all things that we have identified as being obvious family traits. However, the one trait that we often discuss is alcohol abuse disorder or alcoholism. We have long understood that some genes, when fully expressed, can lead a person to be more susceptible to addictive behaviors. According to American Addiction Centers, there have been some specific genes identified that increases the likelihood that a person can become addicted to substances (2018). According to the website, â€œStrong genes are the exception to the rule, and a gene responsible for the movement of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in synapses between neurons appears to be a strong gene associated with a higher risk of alcoholismâ€œ (2018).
While there is a strong gene that can make addiction more likely, genes only make up approximately 40-60% of the cases of alcoholism. That means the remaining percentage is influenced by society, culture and environment. We have seen this in our family where a grandparent suffered alcoholism and a couple of his children struggled with the same addiction but to a lesser degree. There are siblings within this family that have not been pulled into this addiction even though the genes are the same.
So even though there is some gene expression that you canâ€™t control there is, fortunately, evidence that people are not the sum total of their genes, but that they can be the â€œcaptain of their shipâ€.