The Genetic Lottery Book Review: Why DNA Matters for Social Equality by Kathryn Paige Harden

Genotypic scores can be calculated for any trait whose variability is influenced by genes, even in the smallest way: schizophrenia, height, IQ, academic achievement, sexual orientation, alcoholism, life expectancy, BMI, political beliefs and such. However, Harden’s main focus is on educational attainment (years of schooling), whose genotype scores predict a person’s share “to the well-being of the nation”. A study of 1 million individuals found 1,271 DNA fragments to be significantly associated with school attendance, with about 12% of the observed variation in educational attainment being hereditary. This may be an underestimation of genetic contribution, but it is clear that most of the variation in people’s educational attainment – perhaps up to 88% – is not captured by genotype scores. For me, the message was simple: Worry about the navigable part – the non-magnetic component is definitely related to variable environments. After all, there’s a lot we can do to create a more equal environment, and the work won’t take decades.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/can-genetics-help-eliminate-inequality/2021/11/17/e7767ad6-286c-11ec-9de8-156fed3e81bf_story.html The Genetic Lottery Book Review: Why DNA Matters for Social Equality by Kathryn Paige Harden


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