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Is there a biological explanation for socioeconomic inequality?

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This show originally aired on December 1, 2021.

How much of your personality, behavior and health is driven by DNA? To what extent do your genes matter for educational and economic success? Do these genetic differences matter for social equality?

It’s a complicated question that some have used to justify bigoted views and perpetuate ideas of racial superiority.

A controversial new book argues that DNA does make us different, that genes play an important part in how people think, feel and act, and that acknowledging the role of behavioral genetics is the first step on the path to achieving an equitable society.

How does “genetic luck” determine the way different people think and live? What evidence is there that different genomic variants produce divergent outcomes?

Can genetic science be untangled and reclaimed from its association with eugenicist beliefs, and used to promote social equity instead?

What supports the theory that behavioral genetics could be an asset to the social justice movement?

Guest: Kathryn Paige Harden, Ph.D., professor of psychology, leader of the Developmental Behavior Genetics Lab and co-director of The Texas Twin Project at the University of Texas at Austin, and author of “The Genetic Lottery: Why DNA Matters for Social Equality

"The Source" is a live call-in program airing Mondays through Thursdays from 12-1 p.m. Leave a message before the program at (210) 615-8982. During the live show, call 833-877-8255, email thesource@tpr.org or tweet @TPRSource.

*This interview was recorded on Wednesday, December 1.

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