A human being’s genetics influence their body, traits, and other characteristics, but many common misconceptions about genetics and heredity persist. The Onion debunks some common myths about genes and genetics.


MYTH: Genes are the sole factor determining a person’s traits.

FACT: While genes are responsible for some traits, a person’s environment can also be scapegoated.


MYTH: All genetic mutations are harmful.

FACT: Some of them are gross too.


MYTH: Many scientists believe mental illnesses are genetically inherited.

FACT: Not yours, though, you’re just being overdramatic.


MYTH: Genetic sequencing is as simple as freshman biology led you to believe.

FACT: Those Punnett squares are a joke, your biology teacher lied to you, and she killed all those frogs for fun.


MYTH: Homosexuality is caused by a “gay gene.”

FACT: Homosexuality is caused by seeing your brother’s friends play basketball in the driveway in tight shorts.


MYTH: Children often inherit their mother’s eyes.

FACT: Countless families have been torn apart by children fighting over who will inherit their dead mother’s eyes.


MYTH: Genetically modified foods are bad for you.

FACT: You need to be eating more fruits and vegetables—let’s start there.


MYTH: Only certain people possess “disease genes.”

FACT: Every human body has the potential to be bankrupted by medical expenses.

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