Can children inherit parents' fears?

Can children inherit parents' fears? For example, if someone afraid of dogs has a kid, and that kid were to be raised by someone other than that parent, would they be afraid of dogs too? Is it a genetic thing, or what? I'm just curious. (: Thanks!

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  • 9 years ago
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    It is a common fact, yet very less thought of that children become exactly who the parents raise them to be. When fears are projected, the infant mind learns to accept those fears. Genetically though, the fear will not be like a "pre-installed" software from the parent, its just how the child is raised, and if the child is raised by another person, the chances of the same fear as their real mother/father existing is remote, and may exist because of simply, coincidence. Fear cannot be inherited, but in some cases, some forms of depression (which are not fear but can be mistaken for fear) do spread genetically.

  • 9 years ago

    Possibly. A child may have fears of things because the child looks up to the parent, and imitates him/her. For example, a parent is afraid of rhinoceros so the child may think, oh rhinos are scary because mommy is scared of them. No, it's not genetic. Fears aren't something you can inherit, it's more like, the child chooses to be afraid of them. If it was genetic, the child could still overcome the fear. Just like a child can be blond because their parent is blond, but the child could dye the hair to make it black, just like you can overcome a fear.

  • 9 years ago

    I don't think so. Genetics is based on what the offspring can inherit from their parents such as hair color, eye color, and dominant and recessive allele such as widow peak or attached or loose earlobe.

    I hope this helps

    Source(s): Myself
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