The GLP is committed to full transparency. Download and review our Annual Report.

Poverty can trump a winning hand of genes

| September 23, 2013

When psychologists first started studying twins, they found identical twins much more likely to have similar IQs than fraternal ones. They concluded that IQ was highly “heritable”—that is, due to genetic differences. But those were all high socio-economic-status (SES) twins.

Erik Turkheimer of the University of Virginia and his colleagues discovered that the picture was very different for poor, low-SES twins. For these children, there was very little difference between identical and fraternal twins: IQ was hardly heritable at all. Differences in the environment, like whether you lucked out with a good teacher, seemed to be much more important.

In the new study, researchers found this was even true when those children grew up. IQ was much less heritable for people who had grown up poor.

Read the full, original story here: Poverty Can Trump a Winning Hand of Genes

Additional Resources:

The GLP featured this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. The viewpoint is the author’s own. The GLP’s goal is to stimulate constructive discourse on challenging science issues.

News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.

Send this to a friend