Cognition & Reality

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

…The More They Stay The Same

Filed under: Behavioral Genetics,Diagnosis — drtone @ 10:10 am

Mental illness–or whatever you want to call it–would be stigmatized in any case: No one wants to be around disturbing behavior. A large part of the stigma, however, revolved around the issue of marriage. Throughout most of history, a young person with “insanity” in the family could not marry because it was assumed that the disorder afflicting his or her relative could be inherited. As psychiatry developed in the nineteenth century, and particularly after it assimilated Freud’s ideas, it erected a different standard in direct opposition to the idea that insanity is inherited, which was perceived as outmoded.

In the latter part of the twentieth century, the prevailing view once again became that insanity is inherited, except that a new word was used. Mental illness was designated as “genetic.” With its reference to the exploding science of genetics, this new label acquired enormous power. Never mind that, despite efforts to brush away the evidence emerging now that methods are available for identifying the constituents of an individual’s genome, the genes involved have not been identified and remain unknown. In response to the disappointing findings of large-scale genomic surveys, one researcher commented, “Schizophrenia could well be more complicated than other medical disorders.

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1 Comment »

  1. […] Of Proof Filed under: Uncategorized — drtone @ 10:07 am As I have already indicated here and here, I view with great skepticism the proposition that our behavioral dispositions, let alone […]

    Pingback by “Innateness”: Burden Of Proof « Cognition & Reality — Thursday, 26 August 2010 @ 10:07 am | Reply


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