Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Genetics, race, health, and social perceptions

Very interesting...on the differences in perceptions surrounding race, health and genetics. I'm getting the full text from inter-library loan now, so maybe more on this later. The main thing that I would note from the abstract is that Whites are maybe less likely to acknowledge Environment in the Gene X Environment interaction contributing to disease, something not missed by Blacks. I may be over-interpreting here, but that's what I think.

Applications and implications of advances in human genetics: perspectives from a group of Black Americans.

Sheldon JP, Epstein Jayaratne T, Feldbaum MB, DiNardo CD, Petty EM.
Community Genet. 2007;10(2):82-92
OBJECTIVES: We explored the opinions of 40 Black Americans regarding: (1) what they thought most Blacks and Whites believe about genetic causes for perceived race differences in human traits, and (2) the impact of genetic science on them, their families, and Black people. METHODS: We conducted in-depth telephone interviews with 40 self-identified Black men and women. Transcripts of the interviews were recorded and examined for common themes. RESULTS: The majority of our respondents felt that most Whites, unlike most Blacks, attribute differences between these groups to genetic factors. Many in our sample felt that genetic advances may provide benefits in the area of health care, but many also recognized potential harm. CONCLUSIONS: Our results provide a glimpse as to what some Blacks believe about genetic science in the context of racial issues.

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