Genetic Identity

Genetic Identity of the Individual Every individual cherishes his or her individuality, identity, or unique role in the world. As defined in the Oxford Dictionary, individuality is “the quality or character of a particular person or thing that distinguishes them from others of the same kind.” Professional sociologists have long debated the power of environment in shaping identity, thus playing a role in the individual’s world view and responses. Frida Kahlo visually represented the influence of the environment on the individual in her painting, Self Portrait Between the Borderline of Mexico and the United States, 1932, depicting the vast differences between Mexico and the United States, while also conveying her dismay at the American …show more content…
Twin studies are the most common research method when investigating the dueling effects of genetics and environment. Twins have identical genotypes, so differences in their behaviors can be attributed to differences in their environment. These studies have produced results that support the influence of genetics over environment since the 1970s. For example, Scientific American contributor Charles Choi reported on the political findings of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, and the data from both fraternal and identical twins studies indicated that “72 percent of differences in voting turnout and roughly 60 percent of differences in other political activity” can be attributed to genetics (Choi). This meant that people of different environments with different experiences made the same choices, and those choices then had to be linked to their genetic similarity. New findings such as these have led to the development of behavioral genetics subfields, such as political genetics, that continue to bring light to the relationship between genetics, environment, and human behaviors contributing to …show more content…
Their research analyzed differing social constructs and determined the influence of genetic, personality, and environmental factors in the development of each (Weber, et al). Their findings concluded that “in-group favoritism and identities have a genetic basis” by finding that “roughly 41 percent (.642) of genetic variance is unique to racial identification” and 37 percent is such to ethnic identification (Weber, et al). In these two areas, racial identity and ethnic identity, a significant portion of society’s social sphere is positively correlated to genetic similarity. Group identification is necessary for confident development of a sense of self, as seen in Frida Kahlo’s painting and in the testimony of the speakers of “Vanishing Voices”, an article in National Geographic by Russ Rhymer. In the article, a speaker of the disappearing language Aka states, “Aka is our identity… Without it, we are the general public,” indicating how central communication is to identity (Rhymer). The article proceeds to discuss a linguistic shift in the 1950s, which “theorized that all languages were built on an underlying universal grammar embedded in human genes” (Rhymer). This continuity of language, therefore, is another feature of culture and identity

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