Genes alone do not cause anti-social behaviour: expert

Otago Daily Times 3 Jan 07
 A gene controlling an enzyme in the brain is an effective indicator of future anti-social behaviour in males, an expert on behavioural genetics says. However, Otago University Associate Professor Richie Poulton cautions that there is no such thing as genetic determinism – genes by themselves do not contribute to later anti-social behaviour.”There is no direct relationship between the two – only when you use the data in combination with a history of childhood maltreatment, the whole picture becomes clearer.” Dr Poulton is one of the authors of the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Study which reveals that genetics may determine if children are predisposed to becoming violent or criminal adults but their environment is the trigger that will push them towards it. Dr Poulton said the 2002 study, received well overseas, showed that the gene must be studied together with environmental factors.