Research is exploring how genes and the environment influence behavioural traits such as aggression, anxiety, intelligence and sexual orientation.
This report addresses concerns over how this information could be used to try to predict, change or select such traits.read more »
The House of Lords Science & Technology Committee has drawn on the Council’s ‘ladder of interventions’ to illustrate its conclusion that a whole range of measures – including some regulatory measures – will be needed to change behaviour in a way that will make a real difference to society’s biggest problems.read more »
If we can identify genes that influence a particular behavioural trait, it may be possible to identify and select people who have that trait. This is an area of particular concern because the information could also be used to select which people should (or should not) be born. It is important to stress that this is not currently possible and there are huge practical difficulties.read more »
The report considers behavioural traits such as intelligence, personality (including anxiety, novelty-seeking and shyness), antisocial behaviour (including aggression and violent behaviour) and sexual orientation. The focus is on behaviour within the normal range of variation, rather than diseases or disorders.read more »
Do we inherit our behaviour? Or does it depend on our upbringing? There is little doubt that genes do have some influence on our personality. But how much? Research to find out how our genes influence our behaviour is complex and controversial. There are concerns both about the science itself and the potential applications.
Genetics and human behaviour: the ethical context examines the ethical, legal and social issues that behavioural genetics raises. This summary sets out some of the arguments and recommendations which are discussed in more detail in the report.read more »