‘Warrior Gene’ Fuels Gang Membership, Male Gun Violence

June 8, 2009

(ChattahBox)— A new study for the first time, links the so called “warrior gene,” a variant of Monoamine oxidase A or MAOA, to gun violence and gang membership in boys who have it. Male gang members with the gene variant are also more likely to become the most violent gun-toting members in a gang.

The study conducted at Florida State University’s College of Criminology and Criminal Justice, analyzed DNA data and lifestyle information obtained from more than 2,500 respondents to the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health.

Lead Researcher, Kevin M. Beaver, noted criminologist, believes his findings provide additional proof to add to the genetic side of the age-old Nature vs. Nurture argument. Previous studies of violent youthful offenders have blamed sociological and environmental factors for criminal behavior, together with genetics.

Scientists have long thought that the warrior gene was responsible for risk-taking and aggressive behavior in boys, since the gene variant was first discovered in experiments conducted on Rhesus macaque monkeys in 2004.

However, Beaver’s study shows a direct link between boys who have the specific variant of the MAOA gene, called the “low-activity 3-repeat allele,” to gang membership and participation in gun violence. What this means, is that scientists finding the warrior gene in boys can predict gang membership, based on the existence of the gene variant alone.

The MAOA gene affects levels of neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and serotonin that control mood and behavior, with the hereditary mutations causing aggressive and violent behavior.

Although both girls and boys have the MAOA variant, only boys are affected with increased aggressive and violent behavior. Scientists theorize that since the mutated gene only appears on the X-chromosome, girls who have two X-chromosomes, most likely have another copy of the gene that’s healthy.

Boys, on the other hand, have one Y-chromosome and one X-chromosome, so a mutated gene would not be counteracted with a good copy.

This provocative study that is sure to spur debate, is available in the Journal of Comprehensive Psychiatry.

Source


Comments

One Response to “‘Warrior Gene’ Fuels Gang Membership, Male Gun Violence”

  1. jon smith on June 23rd, 2009 5:29 pm

    we should test all the males under 45and put the ones with this gene in re education camps.we need to ban our right to bear arms so these dangerous men dont hurt us with guns….THIS IS THE MOST RACIST NAZI LIKE STUPID THING I HAVE EVER HEARD.I SUPPOSSE IN THE WHITE COMMUNITY THE SAME GENE PRODUCES STAR FOOTBALL PLAYERS AND SO ON.HOW MANY PEOPLE WITH THIS SO CALLED GENE HAVE DIED DEFENDING THIS COUNTRY.DESCRIMINATION BASED ON AN ALLEGED GENE IS REALLY SILLY.I BET EVERY WHITE MALE SPEACIAL FORCES SEAL OR GREEN BERET WOULD ALSO HAVE THE DANGEROUS WARRIOR GENE.IF THIS IS TRUE THEN WHERE IS THE GAY GENE OR PEDOPHILE GENE.WAKE UP PEOPLE SCIENTISTS ARE FULL OF B.S AND POLITICAL AGENDAS. SAY NO TO GENETIC DESCRIMINATION

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