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Understanding Twins

By: Shea Hill

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Understanding the relationship between twins can be difficult.  Some sets of twins are very close and others not so much, but no matter what they share a bond that only twins seem to understand.   

According to the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, the birth rate for twins is 1 in every 36 live births, which is 49% higher than what it was in 1980.  Twins are becoming more and more common as years go on, but they still peak the interests of many.

Here at Oconomowoc High School there are a total of 27 twins, identical and fraternal.  Most people assume that twins do everything together and are very alike, but that isn’t always the case.  

Amanda Burt is a senior here at OHS and is a fraternal twin,  “My sister and I don’t look alike at all and have extremely different interests.  She’s into music and I’m into sports.  I have blonde hair and she has brown,” Burt said about the differences between her and her twin sister.

Twins that are very different from each other and aren’t best friends does not mean they are a bad set of twins, in fact this is normal.  The term Twin Mystique explains people’s belief that twins are born inseparable, have an unbreakable bond, telepathic intimacy and are best friends forever.  When people start to buy into the twin mystique they look at twins as a unit and not as two unique individuals.  

“I actually like how different we are from each other, even though I am a twin I still feel like I am my own person, with my own personality, talents and interests,” Burt said.  

Fraternal twins are two separate eggs making them legally twins but genetically no closer than regular siblings which can help explain the different connections twins have depending on if they are identical or fraternal.  

After conducting a survey to all of the twins at OHS, of those who responded, 62% said yes to the question “Are you and your twin best friends?”  And a high percentage of 93% said they like being a twin.  

Identical twins are naturally closer than fraternal twins because it is a single egg split in two, meaning both halves contain the same DNA, making them almost exact replicas of one another.  Twins start to bond in their mother’s womb itself. They may start interacting with each other as early as 14 weeks into a pregnancy.

Christian and Micah Kimball are seniors and OHS and are identical twins brothers.  LIke most identical twins, they share a bond that allows them to be individuals while still being able to accept and appreciate that they will always have each other.  

“Micah and I get along really well and have very similar interests. That is one of the main reasons why we are so close. We have played sports together growing up and participated in many other things outside of school as well,” Christian Kimball said.  

Though the Kimballs are very close they will be attending different colleges in the fall of 2016.  

“It’s nice to have someone there with you growing up that you can depend on and will help you get through life. I think we will stay very close after high school even going to different colleges. We will be visiting each other many times but I’m sure it will be nice to have some time away from one another,” Kimball said.  

Another set of identical twins here at OHS are seniors Allison and Rachel Bentheimer.  

“Rachel and I have always been close since we were little. Everyone always asks why we do everything together and it’s hard to explain. You never will know how it feels being a twin unless you are one,”  Allison Bentheimer said about her relationship with her identical twin sister Rachel.

Allison and Rachel have been tap dancing together since they were five years old and are also apart of the girls lacrosse team together.  They both plan on attending UW Oshkosh in the fall but are still deciding if they want to room together.  

“We have been rooming together for our whole lives so it will be a big change,” Bentheimer said.  
Finally, all twins, fraternal or identical, best friends or not, look alike or not at all, are unique individuals and should be looked at as separate human beings with respectable traits that make them the same and others that make them very different.

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Understanding Twins