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Twins Seperated At Birth And Their Similarities

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 titanic1    244


Such broad-ranging genetic effects first came to light in a landmark study — Minnesota Twin Family Study — conducted from 1979 to 1999, which followed identical and fraternal twins who were separated at an early age. 

"We were surprised by certain behaviors that showed a genetic influence, such as religiosity [and] social attitudes," said Nancy Segal, an evolutionary psychologist at California State University, Fullerton, who was part of the study for nine years. "Those surprised us, because we thought those certainly must come from the family [environment]," Segal told Live Science. Segal described the groundbreaking research on Aug. 7 here at a meeting of the American Psychological Association.

Born together, raised apart

Researchers at the University of Minnesota, led by Thomas Bouchard, launched the landmark study in 1979. Over the course of 20 years, they studied 137 pairs of twins — 81 pairs of identical twins (twins who developed from one egg that split in two), and 56 pairs of fraternal twins (twins who developed from two eggs fertilized by two different sperm).

The Jim twins were probably the most famous set of twins involved in the study, but other pairs were equally fascinating. One pair of female twins in the study were separated from each other at 5 months old, and weren't reunited until age 78, making them the world's longest separated pair in Guinness World Records.

The Minnesota study resulted in more than 170 individual studies focusing on different medical and psychological characteristics.

In one study, the researchers took photographs of the twins, and found that identical twins would stand the same way, while fraternal twins had different postures.

Another study of four pairs of twins found that genetics had a stronger influence on sexual orientation in male twins than in female twins. A recent study in Sweden of 4,000 pairs of twins has replicated these findings, Segal said. [5 Myths About Gay People Debunked]

Nature vs. nurture

A 1986 study that was part of the larger Minnesota study found that genetics plays a larger role on personality than previously thought. Environment affected personality when twins were raised apart, but not when they were raised together, the study suggested.

Reporter Daniel Goleman wrote in The New York Times at the time that genetic makeup was more influential on personality than child rearing — a finding he said would launch "fierce debate."

"We never said [family environment] didn't matter," Segal said at the APA meeting. "We just made the point that environment works in ways we hadn't expected."

Another study, commissioned by the editor of the journal Science, looked at genetics and IQ. The Minnesota researchers found that about 70 percent of IQ variation across the twin population was due to genetic differences among people, and 30 percent was due to environmental differences. The finding received both praise and criticism, but an updated study in 2009 containing new sets of twins found a similar correlation between genetics and IQ.

Moreover, a study in 1990 found that genetics account for 50 percent of the religiosity among the population — in other words, both identical twins raised apart were more likely to be religious or to be not religious, compared with unrelated individuals.

Other studies found a strong genetic influence on dental or gum health. That research helped to show that gum disease isn't just caused by bacteria, it also has a genetic component, Segal said.

Another study found that happiness and well-being had a 50 percent genetic influence.


Have you ever wondered if you had an identical twin somewhere who not only looked like you but made uncannily similar life decisions, liked and disliked the same things, and had the same habits? Have I? Yes, and identical twinship has always fascinated me because of what it tends to indicate about Nature vs Nurture, including how intelligence and talents are genetic or environmental.

Better minds than mine have fought over this because it seems that going down a genetic road leads or could lead to very dark places, and there are forces which move to stop the studies that go in that direction. As for me, I have grown more respect for genes as a factor in how one lives one’s life, since studies of identicals who were split up at birth show that in spite of living in very different environments, they were very much alike.   ~5700


James Arthur Springer and his identical twin, James Edward Lewis

In the most widely publicized study of this type, launched in 1979, University of Minnesota psychologist Thomas Bouchard and his colleagues have chronicled the fates of about 60 pairs of identical twins raised separately. Some of the pairs had scarcely met before Bouchard contacted them, and yet the behaviors and personalities and social attitudes they displayed in lengthy batteries of tests were often remarkably alike.

The first pair Bouchard met, James Arthur Springer and James Edward Lewis, had just been reunited at age 39 after being given up by their mother and separately adopted as 1-month-olds. Springer and Lewis, both Ohioans, found they had each married and divorced a woman named Linda and remarried a Betty. They shared interests in mechanical drawing and carpentry; their favorite school subject had been math, their least favorite, spelling. They smoked and drank the same amount and got headaches at the same time of day.

Another source says:

The twin boys were separated at birth, being adopted by different families. Unknown to each other, both families named the boys Jim. And here the coincidences just begun. Both James grew up not even knowing of the other, yet both sought law-enforcement training, both had abilities in mechanical drawing and carpentry, and each had married women named Linda. They both had sons whom one named James Alan and the other named James Allan. The twin brothers also divorced their wives and married other women – both named Betty. And they both owned dogs which they named Toy. Jim Lewis and Jim Springer finally met in February 9, 1979 after 39 years of being separated.

Oskar Stohr and Jack Yufe 

Equally astounding was another set of twins, Oskar Stohr and Jack Yufe. At first, they appeared to be a textbook case of the primacy of culture in forming individuals — just the opposite of the Lewis-Springer pair. Separated from his twin six months after their birth in Trinidad, Oskar was brought up Catholic in Germany and joined the Hitler Youth. Jack stayed behind in the Caribbean, was raised a Jew and lived for a time in Israel. Yet despite the stark contrast of their lives, when the twins were reunited in their fifth decade they had similar speech and thought patterns, similar gaits, a taste for spicy foods and common peculiarities such as flushing the toilet before they used it.


3. Debbie Mehlman and Sharon Poset

Twins Debbie Mehlman and Sharon Poset are yet another pair of twins that spent decades apart (four and a half decades, to be exact), but reunited to discover that they were shockingly similar. They were separated because their birth mother thought she was only having one baby (since they didn’t do tests back then) so she gave one away to a family and when the other came, she gave her away to another family. The sisters found each other with the help of a private investigator and when they finally reunited, they found out that they both studied social work, share common interests, have the same facial expressions, hand gestures, voice and even finish each other’s sentences. Can you imagine how creepy but cool that would be?

2. Anna Kandl and Ella Cuares

Anna Kandl and Ella Cuares were abandoned by their parents at birth in China in 2006. Apparently, one was found at a park and the other was found at the hospital doorstep. Their adoptive parents met during the adoption referral process and decided to keep in touch over Facebook when Karen (who adopted Anna) noticed that their birth dates were the same and suspected that the girls might be twins. As the girls grew older, their parents couldn’t help but notice their similarities in terms of the way they looked and acted. A DNA test confirmed Karen’s suspicions: the girls were fraternal twins. Anna and Ella reunited in 2013 and became friends quickly. It’s a good thing that Karen was paying attention to the details!

1. Zeng Yong and Liu Yonggang

When Huang Yong was having dinner at a restaurant one evening, he spotted someone who looked exactly like his friend, Zeng Yong, who lived nearby. He told the stranger, whose name is Liu Yonggang, about his friend and immediately put the two into contact over the phone. After an hour-long conversation, the look-alikes were surprised to discover that they shared the same birthday. They eventually reunited (41 years after their birth) and tracked down their mother who lived over 1,000 miles away. She had given them up at birth due to poverty and her struggling to care for her other five children. The pair didn’t do any DNA tests because their mother says that there was no need as she recognized the birthmark on Liu’s right arm.


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