We all know redheads are rare, making up less than 2% of the population. According to genetic scientists, redheads are actually becoming rarer as time goes by.
As technology advances, we have more access to travel which means we have more access to people of other cultures. This opens people up to a much larger pool of possible spouses from different parts of the world. While redheads can come from any place, and be of any race or nationality, the redheaded gene is primarily seen in those of European descent.
Global intermingling may lessen the chances of a child having red hair if a more dominant gene is present. What we may see happen is more recessive redhead genes, which means it skips one or more generations in a family. If the gene becomes too recessive, it may become dormant.
A person with red hair can only have it if both parents carry the red hair gene. The parents don’t need to have red hair themselves, but if they carry the gene for it, there is a 25% chance their child will have red hair. These odds do not suggest extinction. For example, in Ireland, only 10% of the population actually has red hair, but 40% of the population carries the gene for it. The gene can lay dormant for generations, but when two gene-carriers reproduce, they have a decent chance of creating a redhead. So, unless everyone carrying the trait fails to reproduce, redheads aren’t going anywhere.
Recessive genes can become rarer, but they cannot die out completely. For redheads to truly disappear, they would have to completely stop having sex—as would everyone else carrying the recessive gene.
Can we put this redhead myth to sleep, please?
Rock it like a Redhead!
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