Philosophical And Ethical Issues

Behavioral genetics has been a focus of intense controversy both within and outside the field almost from its inception.

Much of the controversy within the field involves conceptual and methodological issues such as the question: Do twin studies yield the most scientifically reliable conclusions about the degree to which genes shape behavior? Rather than address those issues, this entry examines some of the social and ethical issues that may arise as a result of what researchers in behavioral genetics claim to know regarding the role of genes in shaping human behavior. Special attention is given to what may be referred to as the promise or the threat of eugenics, depending on one's philosophic perspective, as that relates to developments in the field.

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