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Warrior Gene


Boys who carry a particular variation of the gene Monoamine oxidase A (MAOA), sometimes called the “warrior gene,” are more likely not only to join gangs but also to be among the most violent members and to use weapons, according to a new study from The Florida State University that is the first to confirm an MAOA link specifically to gangs and guns.

Findings apply only to males. Girls with the same variant of the MAOA gene seem resistant to its potentially violent effects on gang membership and weapon use.

I find the tie in to guns odd as opposed to weapons in general. I imagine that using a weapon is part of being in a gang as a tool of being a gangster as opposed to a gene dictating gun ownership over, say, a stick.

2 Responses to “Warrior Gene”

  1. Rivrdog Says:

    This smells fishy. I had several Masters-level abnormal psych courses of study, and in none of them did I find reference to ANY studies relating genetic propensities to specific acts using specific tools.

    This is an inferential leap of the first magnitude, and peer review should have shot it down before it got off the FSU campus. The fact that peer review WAS NOT involved means that either the peer review process there is corrupt, or the researchers deliberately avoided peer review, or possibly both.

    What the study DOES indicate is simply that some gangsters were found with that particular gene, perhaps out of proportion to finding gangsters from any other control group.

    The fact that they were gangsters armed with guns has nothing to do with anything relating to the research.

    Adoption of a social behavior (gangsterism) is a LEARNED BEHAVIOR, and associations between genetic variations and learned behaviors are so tenuous as to require complete proof, not mere suggestion. The very first such behavior examined, alcoholism, is still being actively debated, decades after the association was first proposed between certain genetic makeup and the behavior of alcoholism. While debate rages, more and more evidence stacks up that alcoholism is almost always a LEARNED BEHAVIOR.

  2. ErnestThing Says:

    The only logical conclusion to this direction of study is the development of a “cure.”

    Mandatory grass-eater injections?

    Prozium, anyone? 🙂

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