Controversy over Behavior Genetics

There is no well-validated scientific basis for discrimination or oppression or for speculations about genetic engineering solutions for social problems.

Critics also claim that many mathematical techniques often used in human behavior genetics, cannot be applied to human data. They developed for breeding experiments on animals and plants, and behavior genetic data from humans are not experimental data. They also challenge the validity of much human behavior genetic data. These arguments raise important points about potential (mis)interpretations of behavior genetic , but they do not invalidate the many different findings about genetic effects in behavior in humans as well as in other species. Different research methods reveal the same genetic effects. This means that genetic effects that human behavior geneticists report are unlikely to depend only on flawed method. Furthermore, appropriate statistical modeling appears to take into account many of the criticisms of behavior genetic studies on humans. Such modeling can provide an important understanding of how both genetic and environmental factors affect human behavior. Furthermore, molecular genetic methods have identified close associations between the presence or absence of chemically identified genes and specific behaviors in mice (e.g., Cohen, 1996) and in humans (Brunner et al. ,1993). So remember that the following ideas are controversial, but they do reflect some basic methods used in human behavior genetic research.

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