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DNA Testing – Don’t Blame Me, Blame My Genes


The idea that DNA testing can reveal genes that may be linked to certain behaviour such as aggression is a controversial one. When it comes to our actions, it is very easy to blame everything and everyone but yourself. Taking responsibility for violence and aggression is most crucial in today’s civilised society. The idea that genetics could dictate how susceptible we are to aggression is a most precarious one. Although DNA testing may reveal genes that link us to violence, the notion of taking away personal responsibility over our actions is exceedingly dangerous.

Violent Temperament – DNA Testing

Scientists are debating the question as to whether a violent temperament can be linked to our genes, but it’s thought that some genetic abnormalities revealed in DNA testing do indicate a link to violent behaviour. It’s clear however that the environment we live in does influence how we behave. But DNA testing could help uncover genes that will provide clues to why some of us are more aggressive than others. It’s hoped by understanding these genes in more depth this could lead to scientists perfecting drugs to target the problem.

DNA Testing and Genetic Make-Up

The notion that DNA testing is able to uncover genetic make-up raises many ethical questions. Playing God, improving the human race or creating super humans which are free from genetic disorders raises many uncomfortable questions. DNA testing can unlock the code to life and human make-up, and thus the idea that behaviour from addictions to violence can be controlled or influenced by scientists offends some religious groups. Some believers won’t even acknowledge Darwinism and evolution, or accept that humans can interfere with their own make-up.

DNA Testing - Concerns

Sociologists also have concerns about the role of DNA testing in the investigation into certain behaviour. Some fear violent crime could be dismissed as not being the fault of the offender because of his or her genetic make-up. On the other hand, the information could also be used to discriminate against people who have undergone DNA testing; information could be used for example by future employers to screen potential candidates.

DNA Testing and Research

Although genes and DNA testing can uncover some interesting results, and the field of DNA testing is certainly one that needs more intensive research, no serious scientist believes that there is a “gene for criminality”.  They do however admit to the fact that genes can make you more predisposed to certain personality traits. When these genes are mixed in the bubbling cauldron of our environment, upbringing, and general circumstances, the result is a complicated equation that dictates our behaviour. It’s thought that our environments are stronger indicators of how we behave but DNA testing can reveal genes that could affect how readily or susceptible you are to certain behaviours, such as hostility and aggression.

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