Redhead Extinction


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There has been talk that the redhead generation would eventually die out. Being a redhead myself, this issue is quite alarming. Browsing through the internet I came across an article that put my worries at ease. Come to find, redhead extinction is just a myth. Most stories about gingers dying out came about in year 2005 with the citing source of "Oxford Hair Foundation". This source claimed that recessive genes (red hair is a recessive gene) can die out, thus resulting to no more red heads. Recessive genes do not die out, but they can become rare. The only true way for redheads to become extinct is if everyone carrying the redhead gene dies or does not reproduce. It turns out, the "Oxford Hair Foundation" that produced one of the rumors is funded by a company that makes hair dye. I don't know about you, but I am not trusting a company the provides fake hair color for women. The article I found also explained how red hair is passed on from generation to generation. First, like i mentioned, red hair is a recessive gene, but it is also caused by the mutation in the MC1R gene. In order for a child to be born with red hair, both the parents must carry the recessive gene. Even though both parents have the recessive red hair gene, their child may not be born a ginger. Since the gene is recessive it can skip generations and also reappear. A prime example is my nephew. My brother has brown hair and his fiance has blond hair, but my nephew was born with bright red hair. Here is a picture of him! Such a stud. Thanks to this article it is now confirmed that redheads are here to stay!nug.jpg

7 Comments

wow this is crazy. I never even heard of redhead extinction. Are there any facts that would have supported the whole "redhead extinction" myth ? Was there a decrease in redheads being born or living? This is all very interesting though.

I doubt that redheads will fall off the face of the earth, but it's true that I've noticed a definite minority in the ginger world. Maybe they will disappear if redheads have a thing for brunettes, but I don't know how true it is that both parents have to give off that recessive gene...that would make it much too hard to produce a ginger.

That is so interesting, I am glad that redheads will not ever die out because I think it brings such diversity to our race. I actually have the redhead gene in me because some of my relatives are redheads, so knowing that I am caring a semi rare gene is very exciting. I hope I can pass on that wonderful gene. I am curious to how the myth came to be.

I hope that my child is a redhead and looks just like the second baby on this link.
http://lifefullofpeople.blogspot.com/2011_01_01_archive.html

Almost every class to this date, it has been brought up that chance is always out there in science. Most people are aware that having red hair is a recessive gene. If both parents have red hair, there is still a chance that the child does not have red hair. Like Jess said, the same it is also possible for both parents not to have red hair, but there child does. As long as all people with the recessive gene do not die or stop mating, there will ALWAYS be a chance that someone will have red hair, even if there is not someone with it for generations.

I do not know why, but it always seems as if redheads get a bad rep. There is constantly tv shows (south park), memes, and other ways that redheads are being made fun of. Why redheads though and not kids with light blond hair, or brown hair?

I have to agree with the comment above me from Joseph. He says that just like we talked about in class, there is always a chance that something can happen. I suppose nothing is impossible so however low the chances are of it happening maybe one day there will be no more gingers in this world. Or maybe for al we know the ginger gene could expand and a majority of the world one day could be ginger. Maybe a blog on something such as this happening would be interesting to read.

Honestly, I am relieved. I always sort of had a thing for red-headed girls and I'm glad they're not going anywhere. After reading this, I had to think. "How many people can I think of that have red hair?" It wasn't many at all.. maybe 3 or 4. I knew "gingers" were rare, but not that rare. Redheads are even more special than I imagined!

I know that the redhead gene is recessive and rare, but I wonder, if a parent has red hair, does that increase the chance that a child will have red hair or if both parents have red hair, then should we assume the child will too? The gene for red hair runs in both mine and my husbands family, and while I was pregnant we discussed the possibility of our son having red hair, which he turned out with blonde hair and blue eyes (from me)- also both recessive genes compared to my husband (brown hair and brown eyes)... I find genetics are funny and unpredictable.
Did you know that some people pay a lot of money to try to ensure their children are born with certain genes , crazy right?

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