Difference Between Paternal vs. Maternal

Main Difference

The main difference between paternal and maternal is that the paternal figure is associated with the father and maternal figure is associated with the mother.

Paternal vs. Maternal

The term paternal pertains to a father. The term maternal pertains to a mother. Paternal bonding refers to the relationship between the father and his child. The word “paternal” originates from the Latin word “pater” meaning “father.” The suffix “al” means “pertaining to.” Hence, the word means “pertaining to a father.” The word “maternal” comes from the Latin word “mater” which means “mother.” So the word maternal means “pertaining to a mother.” The terms paternal and maternal are also associated with bonds. Paternal bonding refers to the relationship between a father and her child. Maternal bonding refers to the relationship between a mother and her child. There are such terms as paternal chromosomes and maternal chromosome which are distinct from each other. The paternal chromosomes are heterogametic as they can produce both X chromosomes and Y chromosomes. The maternal chromosomes are homogametic as they only have the X chromosome. The bonding of the term paternal also refers to the children’s relationship with his father as well as paternal grandparents. In the same way, maternal bonding also refers to the children’s relationship not only with their mother but also with maternal grandparents. Many researchers show that, for so many reasons, the children are closer to their maternal grandparents as compared to their paternal grandparents. The usual ranking goes from closest to least close: maternal grandmother, maternal grandfather, paternal grandmother, paternal grandfather. But this is not true in all the cases; exceptions do occur.

Comparison Chart

PaternalMaternal
Associated with the fatherAssociated with the mother
Chromosomes
Heterogametic (X,Y chromosomes)Homogametic (X chromosomes)
Bonding
Children bonding with father and his familyChildren bonding with mother and his family
Origin
From the Latin word “pater” meaning “father.”From the Latin word “mater” meaning “mother.”

What is Paternal?

The term paternal pertains to a father. The word “paternal” originates from the Latin word “pater” meaning “father.” The suffix “al” means “pertaining to.” Hence, the word means “pertaining to a father.” Paternal bonding refers to the relationship between the father and his child. The paternal figure is a father figure. This figure also directs to the paternal family in which all the cousins, nieces, nephews and grandparents from your father’s side are also included. The terms paternal and maternal are also associated with bonds. The paternal chromosomes are heterogametic as they can produce both X chromosomes and Y chromosomes. The bonding of the term paternal also refers to the children’s relationship with his father as well as paternal grandparents.

What is Maternal?

The term maternal pertains to a mother. The word “maternal” comes from the Latin word “mater” which means “mother.” So the word maternal means “pertaining to a mother.” So the maternal figure is a mother’s figure. Maternal bonding refers to the relationship between a mother and her child. It also refers to his relationship and bonding with the mother’s side of the family as a maternal aunt, maternal cousins, nieces, and nephews, etc. The maternal chromosomes are considered homogametic as they only have the X chromosome. Maternal bonding also refers to the children’s relationship not only with their mother but also with maternal grandparents. Many researchers show that, for so many reasons, the children are closer to their maternal grandparents as compared to their paternal grandparents. The usual ranking goes from closest to least close: maternal grandmother, maternal grandfather, paternal grandmother, paternal grandfather. But this is not true in all the cases; exceptions do occur.

Key Differences

  1. The word “paternal” is a Latin word “pater” meaning “father” and the suffix “al” means “pertaining to.” So the word means “pertaining to a father.” whereas The term “maternal” is a Latin word “mater” which means “mother.” So maternal means “pertaining to a mother.”
  2. Paternal bond refers to the relationship of a father and his child. On the other hand, the maternal bond refers to the relationship between a mother and her child.
  3. Paternal chromosomes are heterogametic (X, Y chromosomes) on the flip side maternal chromosomes are considered homogametic (X chromosomes).
  4. Paternal includes all the family from a child’s father side while maternal includes all the family of his/her mother’s side.

Conclusion

The terms paternal and maternal refers to mother and father. Hence, both terms exist in a relationship of the children with their mother and father.

Author:

Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson

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