My DNA Made Me Do It!

At this point, every news outlet has discussed the conclusions of some researchers from the University of North Carolina.  The researchers insist that three genes “may” play a strong role in determining why some young men raised in rough neighborhoods or deprived families become violent criminals, while others do not.

The research team studied only boys, and used data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, a U.S. nationally representative sample of about 20,000 adolescents in grades 7 – 12.  They found specific variations in three genes that appeared to be associated with bad behavior, but only when the boys suffered some other stresses.  “But if people with the same gene have a parent who has regular meals with them, then the risk is gone,” said one of the researchers.

Genes give us a range of potential – the interaction of those genes with real life determines the outcome – and it appears like family is everything with respect to raising decent, adjusted, functional children.