- The Oxford Handbook of Evolution, Biology, and Society
- About the Editor
- About the Contributors
- Introduction: Evolution, Biology, and Society
- Divergence and Possible Consilience Between Evolutionary Biology and Sociology
- Sociology’s Contentious Courtship with Biology: A Ballad
- Edward Westermarck: The First Sociobiologist
- Discovering Human Nature Through Cross-Species Analysis
- The Neurology of Religion: An Explanation from Evolutionary Sociology
- Reward Allowances and Contrast Effects in Social Evolution: A Challenge to Zygmunt Bauman’s Liquid Modernity
- Sex Differences in the Human Brain
- The Savanna Theory of Happiness
- How Evolutionary Psychology Can Contribute to Group Process Research
- The Genetics of Human Behavior: A Hopeless Opus?
- DNA Is Not Destiny
- On the Genetic and Genomic Basis of Aggression, Violence, and Antisocial Behavior
- Genetics and Politics: A Review for the Social Scientist
- Genes and Status Achievement
- Peer Networks, Psychobiology of Stress Response, and Adolescent Development
- Stress and Stress Hormones
- Social Epigenetics of Human Behavior
- Physiology of Face-to-Face Competition
- Evolutionary Behavioral Science: Core Principles, Common Misconceptions, and a Troubling Tendency
- Evolutionary Family Sociology
- Evolution and Human Reproduction
- Evolution, Societal Sexism, and Universal Average Sex Differences in Cognition and Behavior
- Evolutionary Theory and Criminology
- The Biosocial Study of Ethnicity
- Human Sociosexual Dominance Theory
- From Paganism to World Transcendence: Religious Attachment Theory and the Evolution of the World Religions
- The Evolutionary Approach to History: Sociocultural Phylogenetics
- Why Sociology Should Incorporate Biology
Abstract and Keywords
This chapter examines the recent massive expansion of genetic research into human behavior. Based on decades of twin research, there were high expectations of strong genetic effects for almost all behavior. Further work on candidate genes from animal research proved initially exciting. Although that research continues, it now currently receives much less attention, in contrast to whole-genome examinations. This chapter provides insight into the whole-genome era of behavioral research and the extent to which it may or may not be a profitable endeavor. Sociologists are generally unaware of this body of research, but it will likely continue to grow. The methods, strengths, and limitations of genome-wide work are discussed. A discussion of the future of this area and the extent to which this provides any leverage for social research of human behavior concludes the chapter.
Colter Mitchell is Research Assistant Professor of Family Demography at the Institute for Social Research and Faculty Associate at the Population Studies Center, University of Michigan. His broad research interests include exploring biosocial mechanisms and interactions for health and well-being across the life-course with a focus on integrating genetic, epigenetic, and social factors. He also investigates new methods for collecting and analyzing biological and social data.
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