Fraternal Twins are the most common type of twins. They are the result of the union of two eggs and two sperm. They may not look alike and can be different sexes. Fraternal twins can be conceived at separate times and can have different fathers.The tendency to conceive fraternal twins seems to be heredity. Some studies show higher incidence where there is a history of twins on the mothers' side of the family. About two-thirds of all twins are fraternal.
Opposite-sex twins make up one-third of the twin population, about one in 240 births. Boy/girl twins develop as differently as single birth children from the time of conception. Boys are usually heavier and longer than girls both before and after birth. Growth is faster in boys than girls until about 7 months of age, at which time females begin to grow faster until about the age of 4 years. Girls, on the average, tend to sit, crawl and walk earlier than boys. Boys show earlier visual skills while girls show greater talking skills.
While Fraternal twins do not usually develop the closeness and psychological interdependence that identical twins do, they do develop that " special bond" that all twins are known for.
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This page last updated on 03/31/98