Twins hold an almost universal fascination. Something about twins is a source of endless interest, perhaps due to that somewhat enigmatic experience of seeing two individuals that are mirror images of each other. These carbon copies possibly overturn our pre-set notion of every one of us being unique. Just about every culture has its share of popular stories, old wives tales and myths about twins. These myths range from the fantastical—bordering on mythology and fantasy—to the seemingly more down-to-earth ones like twins speaking their own language. But do these myths about twins hold any grain of truth to them? Let’s take a look at the four most common myths about twin and how they hold up to the facts.
Myth: Twins skip a generation—or, “If my mother had twins, I can’t have them!”
Fact: This myth may lead some expecting mothers to believe that they can’t give birth to twins, despite signs and symptoms which point to them being pregnant with twins (a bigger belly than average or Infertility treatment). Twins do not skip a generation.
Myth: There’s a “good twin” and a “bad twin.”
Fact: The idea of a good and evil twin dates back to the earliest known mythology and other stories which feature twins. However, there is no factual basis for there being a “good twin” and a “bad twin.” Twins, like any children, share a host of different personality traits—both positive and negative. Unfortunately, when parents or other adult figures in a pair of twins lives label one of them good or bad (even without telling them) it can negatively impact not only the personality of the children but even their relationship.
Myth: Twins share everything!
Fact: All children, twins or not, learn to share their toys and belongings gradually. Twins will not automatically share everything just because they are twins. Children must learn to develop a sense of ownership to their belongings, such as clothes and toys, before developing a concept of sharing or lending the items that they own to someone else. Yes–even if that someone else is their twin.
Myth: Twins must be separated in school, otherwise they will become dependent on each other.
Fact: The classroom placement for twins, like all children, should be evaluated by teachers and parents each school year. Twins should not necessarily be placed in different classrooms, depending on the stage of their social and interpersonal development with their twin. Separating twins too early, or when they are not prepared, can lead to anxiety, stress and even increase the chance of dependence.
Twin Zygosity Testing
Wondering whether your twins are identical or fraternal? Dizygotic or monozygotic? A twin zygosity DNA test can help confirm with accuracy whether the twin siblings are fraternal or identical.
Let us first begin by elaborating a bit on these two terms as they are not always very clear to the average individual. Dizygotic twins are commonly called fraternal twins whilst monozygotic twins are called identical twins. Understanding how each “type” of twin comes about is probably easier by looking at the medical terms “dizygotic” and “monozygotic”. Dizygotic twins are formed when two sperm cells fertilize two female eggs. Following this, two individuals are conceived that are just like regular siblings for the view of genetics. They can be a male and a female or perhaps two males or perhaps two females.
Monozygotic twins are conceived when just one egg is fertilized and that egg later divides into two. Each egg becomes a separate individual.
We have already established that dizygotic twins are no different, genetically, from normal siblings born on separate dates. They will share around 50% of their DNA. Identical twins on the other hand, are the product of the same exact fertilized egg and thus, have an identical copy of the same genetic material.
A twin zygosity test is ideal in cases where it is not obvious whether the twins are monozygotic or dizygotic. By providing a simple DNA samples (usually a saliva sample), genetic analysts can confirm whether the profiles/genetic blueprints of the individuals submitted are the same (thereby showing that the twins are identical) or whether the DNA profiles are different (thereby confirming the twins are fraternal).