More on Genetics and Violence

One of my Blog Sisters pointed to this article about research linking a single gene — that is affected by abuse in childhood — to violent behavior by men.
The article states that The gene’s effects were more difficult to study in girls, because it is found on the X chromosome. Females have two X chromosomes, while males have an X and a Y. Thus, in girls, the version of the gene found in one of their X chromosomes could cancel out the effects of the other. That may help explain why females in general are less prone to violent and criminal behavior, the team said.
What’s interesting about the study is that, while the genetic potential for violence seems to be there in males, that potential needs an early environmental trigger to become active.
As the article explains, Simply having that version of the gene did not guarantee a boy would grow up to be a criminal. According to Terri Moffitt of King’s College London and the University of Wisconsin, who helped lead the study, Its relation to aggression only emerged when we considered whether the children had been maltreated…… This suggests that the best strategy for preventing violence is to prevent child abuse.
Seems like a good example of how nature and nurture are the yin and yang of personality development.

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