Can culture protect genetics from misuse?

February 21, 2013 |

The following is an excerpt.

In the past, good science has been used for unethical purposes, like eugenics. The concept of culture can protect genetics from a similar fate, an anthropologist argues.

For Robert W. Sussman, a professor of anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis, the key starting point for all these discussions should be the understanding that while all human behaviors are driven in some way by our genetic makeup, the vast majority of individual variances result from a person’s social, environmental, and cultural exposure.

“The anthropological concept of culture is extremely important and often misunderstood because many of the things that are assumed to be biologically determined, like criminality or homosexuality or IQ, are really behaviorally and societally defined,” says Sussman.

Read the full press release here: Can culture protect genetics from misuse?