Human Body
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15 Fascinating Genetic Traits Most People Don't Realize Are Actually Inherited

Updated August 15, 2017 121.2k views15 items

We're talking about things passed down from your ancestors here, not that five bucks you found in your jeans last week. Thanks to your genes, there are all sorts of things you are genetically predisposed in favor of or against. From what age you lose your virginity to whether or not you like certain foods, genes play a huge role in who you are.

Genes aren't just about your parents, either. All of your ancestral heritage can play a role in how your genes come out. From your great-grandparents to that estranged aunt, all of your blood relatives have theoretically played a part in your genetic makeup. Of course, when it comes down to it, mom and dad are the two biggest contributors.

That could be a great thing if you have to highly athletic or intellectually gifted parents, but it also means you can inherit your parents' genetic flaws. All kinds of diseases, syndromes, illnesses, and more are passed down through your genes. Sometimes you'll get lucky and avoid them, other times not.

The fact is, science is still unclear on exactly what genes control. There is a lot known about genes and genetic makeup, but there are still plenty of unknowns as well.

For now, enjoy this list of weird traits you inherited thanks to your genes.
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  • Whether or Not You're Athletic

    Photo: "Paturo" / flickr / CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0
    Athleticism is all about genes. Hard work and laziness still play a big role in it all, but it turns out, some people are just more naturally athletic than others. It's one reason why star athletes often come from athletic parents who were stars in their own right. 
  • Whether or Not You Need a Cup of Coffee When You Wake Up

    Photo: dazegg / flickr / CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0
    Some of us just have to have a cup of coffee when we wake up and it turns out we can thank our genes for that. According to studies, genes play a big role in how we are affected by caffeine. What it really comes down to is drug receptors and the ways different people respond to stimulants.
  • Your Levels of Aggression

    Photo: Public Domain / Pixabay
    It has been known for quite some time that some people have a genetic predisposition towards aggression. Researchers suggest that genetic aggression dates back thousands of years to the days where humans were hunter-gatherers. The gene has survived through all that time and now makes some people (men mostly) more inclined towards high levels of aggression.
  • How Much You're Affected by Exercise

    Photo: Public Domain / Pixabay
    It turns out that exercise does not affect everyone equally. Thanks to your genes, you may or may not be more susceptible to the benefits of exercise. The worst part (or best, depending on your perspective) is that two people doing the exact same workout at the same time and at the same levels are likely to see different results just because of genetics.