Does it make a difference that sex offending has genetic link?

A high-profile piece of research recently suggested that the sons and brothers of convicted sex offenders are more likely to be convicted of sex crimes than others. The implication is that the potential for committing a sex offence may be written in our genes. But while this is an interesting finding, it is unlikely to help prevent sex crimes or catch offenders.

Putting a figure on the genetic basis for behaviour seems to suggest that these factors are inherited directly by the children from their parents. Of course genetic material from both parents is passed on, but genetic traits are developed through interaction between genes and the environment. As can be seen from the percentages above, the largest proportion of cases involved a large, rag bag of environmental factors, whether shared or specific to that individual, that are by far the greatest influence on behaviour than inherited genes.

Separating out genetic and environmental factors – or nature and nurture – may be useful as a model but does not really make sense because research has demonstrated that gene development is affected by the environment.

Any report of genes influencing behaviour tends to polarise opinion. Some may welcome the science and see this as confirmation that sex offenders are biologically different from other people and could perhaps be prevented from offending. Others will be concerned about the stigmatisation of family members defined as “at risk”, but still unlikely to offend themselves. Only about 2.5 percent of brothers or sons of convicted sex offenders were also convicted so the preventative programmes aimed at at-risk families, suggested by the researchers, would mainly target the innocent.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: Sex offending may be in the genes but knowing that won’t prevent it

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

As Europe sees record coronavirus cases and deaths, Slovakia is testing its entire adult population. WSJ's Drew Hinshaw explains how ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
globalmethanebudget globalcarbonproject cropped x

Infographic: Cows cause climate change? Agriculture scientist says ‘belching bovines’ get too much blame

A recent interview by Caroline Stocks, a UK journalist who writes about food, agriculture and the environment, of air quality ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...
favicon

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend