Most helpful positive review
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
In a word: Fascinating!
on December 28, 2000
William Wright tackles the link between genes and behavior in plain language. He makes it clear that as human beings with consciousness and choice, genes do not dictate behavior, but contribute to it. He separates the politics of the fear regarding genetic research from what we know and how we know it and how we use new information. He also discusses how researchers might avoid some methodological hazards or the accusation of fudged data (document everything!).
He says, "Most scientists take the position that knowledge is neutral, value free; the use to which it is put might be good or bad, beneficial or hurtful to society in general. First, learn as much as we can, then let society decide how new information will be used. The opponents of behavioral genetics have consistently feared such a climate of unfettered inquiry." (p. 215)
Much of this book focuses on twin studies, but Wright also describes some of the research on hormone levels and their effects. He attempts to tease out the variables of nature and nurture on specific behaviors such as intelligence, depression, and a tendency toward violence.
My reading of this book sparked a frenzy of my reading other books on twins, homosexuality, and other research on the links between genes, environment, and behavior. I highly recommend this book.
~~Joan Mazza, author of Dream Back Your Life; Dreaming Your Real Self; Things That Tick Me Off; and Exploring Your Sexual Self.