‘You look so much like your dad’, the iterative voices from my grandparents drone on about how he was when he was younger whilst my behaviour seems to familiarly abide to it. Growing up seeming to conform to mostly all my parents’ attitudes, reactions and looks, becoming a mere regenerated version of them. Yet there are elements that do not quite align. Some based on plain influence from peers and adults, slightly altering behaviours whilst others are based upon my own experiences, decisions, and risk-factor. Are we all based on our parents’ views or do the similarities diverge at some point?

To varied extents, we are all sharing behaviours and looks with our parents. If both parents have blue eyes, there is a 99% chance of the offspring also having the blue phenotype and 1% for having green eyes. (As per the Fertility Institute, which offers fertility services in California, New York, Utah, and Mexico). Here, the parents (who both have blue eyes) have a 0% chance of producing a child with the brown phenotype. Hair colour grasps the same concept to the eyes; the likelihood of attaining any other hair colour aside from that of your parents, not including environmental factors, is low but still possible.

However, there are time when mammals seem visibly unrelated to their parents: the Calico Cat. This peculiar animal is a tri-coloured coat of any breed of cat, with the different colours able to appear on any fur-filled area on their body. The cats are and do come from parents, yet it is difficult to distinguish who the parent is. This is to do with genetic inactivation. The heterozygotic female parent of the cat has two different genotypes to express the colour of the offspring’s fur on its two X chromosomes. As both cannot be activated at the same time, one is de-activated (so it is not expressed) and it is coiled in the nucleus of the cells. This does not allow protein synthesis of the cell colour pigment to occur, and the phenotype is not expressed. This illustrates that not all genetics lead to the offspring being like their parents.

The idea of behaviour is also a key factor. Behaviour through personality is not determined by one explicit gene, but rather is a culmination of multiple different ones. This leads to more of an inherited view on decisions to make. Personality is left on a scale between calm and angry or vicious, decided by inherited genes from the parent. However, personality is also left from parental influence. This may be through discipline or through example which is determined by the endless regressive cycle of the ‘first parent’ and how their personality develops through a lifetime.

Behaviour is also expressed after influence. This could outline a clear difference between a child and their parent if the influence on the behaviour is not by the parental figures. One great influence could be seen during the counterculture movements in the 1960s in the USA. American students began to protest war and did not agree on lifestyles that their parents previously held. The emergence of the ‘Hippie Movement’ was deeply condemned by parents of the post-war generation; their child based on wider influence began to part ways with a stricter, war-time lifestyle and now led a wider change in behaviour.