The Genetics Of Twins and Height When Separated And Living Independently

There was a very interesting story that was reported today on the show Good Morning America. It involved two Chinese female twins, a Andrey Doering and a Gracie Rainsberry. Andrey is from Wausau, Wisconsin and Gracie has been living in Richland, Washington.

There doesn’t seem to be that many videos or pictures of them standing next to each other, but a very careful analysis of these two twins who had been separated at birth, and then raise independently of each other, seems to show that they are exactly the same height.

If identical twin siblings were born together and raise in the same family, eating the same food, wearing the same clothes, and sleeping in the same bed grew up to be exactly the same in height, that type of conclusion would be almost expected.

However, the fact that these two twins, raise hundreds of miles apart, seem to look exactly the same, (same face, same glasses, same teeth, etc.) and still end up exactly the same suggest that genetics plays an overwhelming factor when it comes towards determining height of the developing person.

I have told people who have messaged me on the website that to find figure out how tall they would end up, to look at both of their parent’s height, and then use the height calculator. An even better approximation of their eventual ultimate adult height is to see if they have siblings of the same sex. If it is a girl, I tell her to look at the the sibling that is the closest age to them, but older, and of the same sex. Once they know how tall that sibling is, just add 1 inch for every 2-3 years that they are younger.

It seems that the epidemiologists and the people who study population growth patterns are extremely accurate about something, which the people at the World Health Organization and the Center for Disease Control also validate.

When you are brought up in an environment that provides enough food and nutrition for your growth, there is really no way for a person’s growth to be stunted or increased, at least by a dramatic amount like 4-5 inches.

These two girls who were probably born in China, a developing nation which has a horrible track record for health care and environmental pollution, being identical twins have the exact same copy of DNA. They were both eventually brought to the USA to a middle-class environment to be raised, and it would be obvious that they were never put in a situation where they were starving, which would indeed stunt a person’s growth.

Assume that the families they were brought into were about the same, with roughly the same yearly annual income ($60K- $100K).

Lets do a comparison of the main characteristics of the two cities

Wausau, Wisconsin

  • Latitude-Longitude – 44D 57′ N & 89D 38′ W
  • Population – about 39,000
  • population density – 2000/ square mile
  • Median family income – $36831

Richland, Washington

  • Latitude-Longitude – 46D 16′ 47″ N & 19D 16′ 53″ W
  • Population – 48,000
  • Population Density – 1,345/ square miles
  • Median family income -53,090

Richland Washington is slightly bigger, the median average income of family is definitely higher, at least in the city.

Can we say that the two environments of the twins were about the same? The Latitude and Longitude would say that. So we don’t ever have to use Bergmann’s Rule to account for a sibling or twin being 1-2 inches taller because they lived further north than the other.

So we have identical twins, separated when they were very young, but both were raised in similar environments, and the result at least at the ages of 10 or so is that they have exactly the same height. Neither of them is even half an inch taller than the other.

Years ago I had found an article where this researcher on height and growth said that the genetics/genes of a person will determine the baby’s eventual height with having as much of an influence as 80%. After this very recent story of a twin story, which we can dissect to study, I would say that it might actually be more like that height is 90% determined by our genetics, and it is only in very extreme, situations where our height can be stunted or increased (ie. North Korea and Netherlands, respectively)

4 thoughts on “The Genetics Of Twins and Height When Separated And Living Independently

  1. Timmy

    Those two girls are only 10 years olds and they haven’t hit the growth spurt yet. I think it’s too early to make a dead end conclusion

  2. Steve

    First of all this article is crap and extremely inaccurate,sure genetics determine 60-80% of a child’s adult height,however that does not mean 1-4 inches of extra height cannot be gained under various factors such as nutrition,exercise and general environment.

    After all that’s why the height estimate
    calculator is only accurate within 4 inches

    There are many factors that influence height and genetics is one of them.

    Look all the people with gigantism due to overstimulation of HGH,many of them are at least a foot taller than there parents,

    All of my own uncles on both did sides of the family are atleast 3-4 inches taller than there fathers and they were raised in the same environment.

    Michael please instead of posting crap like this on the regular,follow your partner Tyler’s path,atleast he’s working on something and has gotten results,all you do is talk uneducated shit.



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