Криминальные гены?

Могут ли гены предрасположить человека к преступлению? В настоящее время некоторые американские юристы стали использовать подобную «генетическую защиту» в качестве аргумента для облегчения наказания для лиц, признанных виновными в совершении убийств. Существуют ли гены алкоголизма? Или гены гомосексуальности, религиозности, склонности к разводам или гены, определяющие, как человек проголосует на выборах? Если вы верите в утверждения ученых, называющих себя «поведенческими генетиками», многие аспекты человеческого поведения так или иначе будут определяться нашими генами.

Заявления подобного рода имеют долгую, часто подвергавшуюся сомнениям историю, уходящую корнями к евгенике (eugenics movement), движению начала 20 века и его признанному «отцу» Фрэнсису Гальтону (Francis Galton ) в Викторианской Англии. Но какими бы экстравагантные ни были утверждения и социальные преступления сторонников этого движения, включая принужденную стерилизацию тысяч людей (в основном женщин) в Европе и Соединенных Штатах Америки, считается, что сегодня эти заявления стали несколько другими. В настоящее время они словно подкрепляются достижениями молекулярной науки, генетики.

Конечно, многие социальные проблемы имеют место в семьях: наши общества не эгалитарны, люди, живущие в нищете, обычно выращивают детей, которые также живут в бедности. Но, тем не менее, это не делает бедность генетической. Подобным образом дети богатых родителей могут наследовать богатство, но это социальное, а не генетическое наследство.

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