Is Genetics the Lead Role for Adolescent Crime Victims! Is this part of Human Nature, or Human Nature doesn’t exist?

(ScienceDaily (May 20, 2009)Genes trump environment as the primary reason that some adolescents are more likely than others to be victimized by crime, according to groundbreaking research led by distinguished criminologist Kevin M. Beaver of The Florida State University.The study is believed to be the first to probe the genetic basis of victimization.

“Victimization can appear to be a purely environmental phenomenon, in which people are randomly victimized for reasons that have nothing to do with their genes,” said Beaver, an assistant professor in FSU’s nationally top-10-ranked College of Criminology and Criminal Justice. “However, because we know that genetically influenced traits such as low self control affect delinquent behavior, and delinquents, particularly violent ones, tend to associate with antisocial peers, I had reasons to suspect that genetic factors could influence the odds of someone becoming a victim of crime, and these formed the basis of our study.”

Beaver analyzed a sample of identical and same-sex fraternal twins drawn from a large, nationally representative sample of male and female adolescents interviewed in 1994 and 1995 for the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. “Add Health” interviewers had gathered data on participants that included details on family life, social life, romantic relationships, extracurricular activities, drug and alcohol use, and personal victimization.

The data convinced Beaver that genetic factors explained a surprisingly significant 40 to 45 percent of the variance in adolescent victimization among the twins, while non-shared environments (those environments that are not the same between siblings) explained the remaining variance. But among adolescents who were victimized repeatedly, the effect of genetic factors accounted for a whopping 64 percent of the variance.

“It stands to reason that, if genetics are part of the reason why some young people are victimized in the first place, and genetics don’t change, there’s a good chance these individuals will experience repeat victimization,” Beaver said.

“It is possible that we detected this genetic effect on victimization because it is operating indirectly through behaviors,” Beaver said. “The same genetic factors that promote antisocial behavior may also promote victimization, because adolescents who engage in acts of delinquency tend to have delinquent peers who are more likely to victimize them. In turn, these victims are more likely to be repeatedly victimized, and to victimize others.”

Thus, write Beaver and his colleagues, victims of crime are not always innocent bystanders targeted at random, but instead, sometimes actively participate in the construction of their victimization experiences.

“However, we’re not suggesting that victimization occurs because a gene is saying ‘Okay, go get victimized,’ or solely because of genetic factors,” Beaver said. “All traits and behaviors result from a combination of genes and both shared and non-shared environmental factors.”

And environmental factors can make a difference, he noted. The social and family environment in an adolescent’s life may either exacerbate or blunt genetic effects — a phenomenon known in the field of behavioral genetics as a “gene X environment interaction.”

Co-authors are criminology graduate students Brian Boutwell and J.C. Barnes of Florida State and Jonathon A. Cooper of Arizona State University.

Journal reference:

  1. Beaver et al. The Biosocial Underpinnings to Adolescent Victimization: Results From a Longitudinal Sample of Twins. Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice, 2009; DOI: 10.1177/1541204009333830
Adapted from materials provided by Florida State University.

Female brain responds more actively to food! Why?

Female brain responds more actively to food. North American study explains greater obesity among women.

The women’s brain responds more actively when exposed to food than men, why women are more obese than men, showed a U.S. study published in the journal “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The study, led by researchers Gene-Jack Wang, Brookhaven National Laboratory, and Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute of Drug Addiction and co-author of the discovery published by the National Academy of Sciences, says that women have the least capacity men to suppress hunger, which may explain the fact that there is more obesity among the female gender.

The researchers performed brain monitoring of the 13 women and ten men in fasting, when they found a different signal in the brain of women when exposed to their preferred food. Even using the technique of cognitive inhibition, used to suppress the thought of food and hunger, the brain responds to food of women remained active, while the man fell.

“The difference of gender is somewhat surprising and the nutritional needs may be responsible for this,” said Nora Volkow. He added: “The fact that the traditional role of women is to provide food for their children may be a stimulus in the brain of women to consume foods when available.”

Eric Stice, expert on eating disorders, described the discovery as provocative, saying that the difference may be related to the difference in estrogen and hormones between men and women. In 2006, 35.5 percent of North American women were obese, compared with 33.3 percent of men, according to data centers of control and prevention of diseases in the United States.

Data from the study

Title: Evidence of gender differences in the ability to Inhibit brain activation elicited by food stimulation

Publication: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, published online on 21 January 2009

Authors: Gene-Jack Wang, Nora D. Volkow, Frank Telang, Millard Jayne, Yeming Ma, Kith Pradhan, Wei Zhu, Christopher T. Volkow, Frank Telang, Millard Jayne, Yeming Ma, kithara Pradhan, Wei Zhu, Christopher T. Wong, Panayotis K. Wong, Panayotis K. Thanos, Allan Geliebter, Anat Biegon, Joanna S. Thanos, Allan Geliebter, Anat Biegon, Joanna S. Fowler. Fowler.

For the Creationist Mind

Don’t mind this post if you already have your facts on evolution straight.

Creationists: Please listen and think about your current standing on this issue. It is important you learn to take all evidence in account on this matter and others as well. If not, your mind might deceive you even on other cases producing injustice and ignorance which are already weapons of mass destruction as it is.