What is Heredity?

Heredity is the passing of traits from parents to their children. These traits are controlled by genes, which are located inside of each and every single cell of our bodies. When two parents come together to conceive, each parent passes on some of their genes and a new combination is made that then determines the physical traits of the child.

Types of Heredity

There are two main types of heredity: autosomal and sex-linked. Autosomal heredity is the passing of traits that occur on all of the non-sex chromosomes. Sex-linked heredity, then, is the passing of traits that occur on the sex chromosomes.

Autosomal Heredity

Autosomal heredity is the passing of traits via all chromosomes except the sex chromosomes. Traits that are passed via autosomal heredity tend to have equal probability of passing from either parent to the child.

  • Eye color
  • Height
  • Freckles
  • Hair color
  • Skin tone
  • Handedness

Sex-Linked Heredity

Sex-linked heredity is the passing of traits via the sex chromosomes. These traits tend to be more related to gender-specific characteristics such as hair loss, baldness, beard growth, and even color blindness.

  • Hair loss
  • Baldness
  • Beard growth
  • Color blindness
  • Hearing Loss
  • Hemophilia

Heredity is an important concept in medicine to help identify health risks, and it can also help people to understand why they may have inherited certain traits from their parents. It is important to be aware of what type of heredity is impacting a trait, in order to understand the chances of passing it on to future generations.