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Am Psychol. 2005 Jan;60(1):115-28.

Race and genetics: controversies in biomedical, behavioral, and forensic sciences.

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Department of Medical History and Bioethics, University of Wisconsin--Madison, Madison, WI 53706-1399, USA.

Erratum in

  • Am Psychol. 2005 May-Jun;60(4):334.


Among biomedical scientists, there is a great deal of controversy over the nature of race, the relevance of racial categories for research, and the proper methods of using racial variables. This article argues that researchers and scholars should avoid a binary-type argument, in which the question is whether to use race always or never. Researchers should instead focus on developing standards for when and how to use racial variables. The article then discusses 1 context, criminology, in which the use of racial variables in behavioral genetics research could be particularly problematic. If genetic studies of criminalized behavior use forensic DNA databanks or forensic genetic profiles, they will be confounded by the many racial biases of the law enforcement and penal system.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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