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Beyond VersusThe Struggle to Understand the Interaction of Nature and Nurture$
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James Tabery

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780262027373

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262027373.001.0001

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Of Dogs, Daycare, and Discipline: A “Genetic Guide to Parenting”?

Of Dogs, Daycare, and Discipline: A “Genetic Guide to Parenting”?

(p.187) 8 Of Dogs, Daycare, and Discipline: A “Genetic Guide to Parenting”?
Beyond Versus

James Tabery

The MIT Press

Depending on which gene a child has, being sent to daycare can either increase or decrease a child’s chances of developing allergies. Likewise, children with one form of a gene respond better to an empathy-oriented approach to discipline, while children with the other form of the gene respond better to a punishment-oriented approach to discipline. Research on these cases of gene-environment interaction raises the prospect of a “genetic guide to parenting”—the idea being that information about the child’s genome would inform parental decisions about everything from whether or not to send a child to daycare, to how to respond to the next temper tantrum. As calls for the whole genome sequencing of newborns increase and the goal of a $1000 genome grow near, the reality of a genetic guide to parenting becomes more likely. This chapter considers what a genetic guide to parenting might look like, evaluating the promises and perils of this new technology as they relate to concerns about medicalization and genetic determinism.

Keywords:   $1000 Genome, Allergies, Gene-Environment Interaction, Genetic Determinism, Genetic Testing, Medicalization, Newborn Screening, Whole Genome Sequencing

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