Boston Globe Op-Ed: Is Crime Genetic?

The Cathedral, in its ruthless suppression of the truths of Human Biodiversity (HBD), can only succeed in doing so for a finite amount of time.

Like blades of grass that push up through sidewalk concrete, Truth has a funny way of doing that.

The Boston Globe (!) has a piece titled “Is crime genetic? Scientists don’t know because they’re afraid to ask” co-written by two sociology professors:

This research has consistently revealed that parenting styles correlate with self-control development in children, and self-control in childhood predicts a variety of important outcomes, including criminal behavior. Criminologists make their living uncovering precisely these types of associations.

Yet these studies will never achieve the accuracy of a randomized controlled trial, because all of those factors, like self-control, delinquent peer affiliation, etc., are also, to some degree, heritable.

Ah, heritability. A term that is much maligned in disciplines like criminology and often serves as a wellspring of confusion. Humans differ in height, weight, personality style, and behavioral tendencies — not everyone is nice and outgoing, just like not everyone is as tall as a professional basketball player. But here’s the important part, heritability has to do with the origins of these differences. To say that something is heritable is to say that genetic differences play a role in creating observable differences.

Variety in our gene pool matters when we seek to understand why some people can dunk a basketball or compose a sonnet, and why some people persistently break the law. The effects of genetic differences make some people more impulsive and shortsighted than others, some people more healthy or infirm than others, and, despite how uncomfortable it might be to admit, genes also make some folks more likely to break the law than others

Although the term ‘Political Correctness’ isn’t used in the piece, the authors address this root cancer thusly:

For decades, behavior geneticists have been analyzing sibling data (mostly twins), which is one of the most powerful methods for probing the relationship between two variables.

Yet most criminologists do not utilize these designs. Not for any good methodological reason, at least none of which we are aware. Instead, it seems that the word “gene” makes social scientists nauseated. Not long ago, in fact, the top journal in the field of criminology published an article calling for an end to twin studies. Let that resonate a moment. There was an actual call to remove a perfectly good research technique from the field, one that also happens to be exceedingly valuable when trying to rule out widespread problems like genetic confounding.


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