Do you think there is a "mom" gene?

Avatar for Cmmelissa
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2008
Do you think there is a "mom" gene?
4
Tue, 09-25-2012 - 4:41pm

Researcher believe that there might be a genetic link for nurturing in mice, but are unsure how it correlates to humans, you can read about it at this link:  

http://moms.today.com/_news/2012/09/25/14095033-mom-gene-discovered-in-mice-do-you-have-it

From the article: 

But Ribeiro says the same alpha estrogen receptor is expressed in women, and that a suppressed gene could have an impact on  maternal behavior like feeding and caring for our babies. There’s also some evidence in mice, she says, that changes to this gene that occur in young pups may determine what kind of a mother a female mouse will become later in life. 

Although there could be some genetic influences that determine if you want children or not, some believe that it's more due to nurture versus nature as you grow.  There are plenty of women that are unsure whether they want to become a mother, who feel they are lacking a maternal instinct, that go on to be very successful at motherhood.  

What are your thoughts on a "mom" gene?  Do you think it's genetics or emotions that are behind your decision to try or not? 

Avatar for ribrit
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-24-2001

It is possible. I think people who want babies, but are worried about money and such are fine to have babies. I think people who have plenty of money and such, but not sure if they want the babies, should get their tubes tied practically.

 

I had a mother who never wanted children. She always made my life miserable. On the other hand, my life long dream was to have children. I never would have wanted life without children. From what I can tell, people seemed to know pretty early on if they were "kid" kind of people. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-07-2011
Interesting theory, but not sure if I believe there is one or not. I don't think you need a mom gene to be a good mom, plenty of dads are great caregivers. Not all child free women are without a nurturing response, they just realize that having their own children is not for them. I think that emotions come into play more than genetics, you could come from a huge family with tons of child-bearing siblings and not have any desire to have a child of your own.

 photo abbysummer_zps85da8a35.jpg

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-07-2011
I agree that if you are unsure you want a child, don't do it! I'm sorry for what you went through with your own mother.

 photo abbysummer_zps85da8a35.jpg

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-12-2012

I don't think there's a mom gene, per se. I think some men and women may have more of this alpha estrogen receptor in their brains than average and that makes them more inclined to caregiving and parenting. Also, as others on this discussion and in the original article/original article's discussion have said, some people have less of the receptor but put forth the effort to overcome the shortage and become good parents. I think I'm one of the people who have less of the receptor, because at this point I don't think I want kids, but I'm open to changing my mind later on.