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11 Things You Had No Idea Were Predicted by Your Genes

For some things, it really is your parents' fault.

Part of becoming an adult is learning to start taking responsibility for yourself—in other words, to stop blaming your parents for everything. But research has shown that for certain traits, preferences, and experiences, perhaps we really should blame our genes.

While mom and dad may be your biggest gene pool contributors, you can theoretically blame (or thank) all of your ancestors—from your maternal grandmother to your father's estranged brother—for the following.

1. Your Musical Ability

A big part of musical ability is determined by acute hearing. Simply put, some people hear sounds better than others. On the other hand, some people are tone deaf.

2. The Fact That You Love (Or Hate) Cilantro

For some people, not liking cilantro is incomprehensible. But believe it or not, this trait is passed down genetically. It has to do with the scent of a particular chemical found in cilantro, which some people are genetically disposed not to like.

3. Your Level Of Self-Control

Your ability to keep it together has a significant genetic component. Though part of self-control is learned through the environment, studies do suggest that a lot of it comes down to simple genetics. This could be why some people are naturally better at meditation.

4. The Foods You Like (And Those You Don't)

Picky eaters can blame their parents, as genes are responsible for taste receptors. Indeed, some people are extraordinarily sensitive to foods that are bitter or sweet, for instance.

5. How Athletic You Are

While qualities such as perseverance and work ethic play a role in helping you succeed at your preferred sport, athleticism is mostly about genes. Hence why many of the children of professional athletes often go on to become sports stars in their own right.

6. Your Political Outlook

Whether you're a Democrat or a Republican has a lot to do with how your brain is wired. Some research has suggested that Democrats are genetically programmed to deal with uncertainty better than Republicans. Meanwhile, Republicans tend to respond to threats differently.

7. Whether Or Not You Drink Coffee

Whether or not you drink coffee isn't a question of growing up with parents who drank coffee. Instead, studies suggest that being a coffee drinker has more to do with how your neuro-receptors respond to caffeine—something you have your parents to thank for.

8. Your Aggression Level

Some people are predisposed to aggression, a trait which hundreds of years ago might have been helpful in ensuring survival. Today, this genetic disposition still affects people—mostly men—but it doesn't have the same consequences.

9. How Exercise Affects You

Exercise doesn't affect everyone in the same way. Your genes can make you more susceptible (or less susceptible) to exercise's benefits. That means that two people who complete exactly the same workout at exactly the same time might not see the same benefits.

10. Whether Or Not You're Popular

Studies have shown that people who are popular, sociable, or outgoing often share a particular gene, meaning that how well-liked you are might have been passed on from your parents.

11. Your Age When You Lose Your Virginity

This one may be small, but according to scientists, there is a connection. Around one-quarter of your age when you lose your virginity is determined by your DNA. The connection has to do with the genes behind reproductive biology, for instance, age at puberty and the release of sex hormones. Other genes involved affect personality, appearance, and behavior.

[Image via Shutterstock]

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