The issues of behaviour genetics and behavioural changes in response to biological structures for scientific progress are discussed with opposing arguments presented by those who are against behavioural genetics research. The ethical implications of such research are also discussed.
Behaviour genetics is a complex issue and deals with rational arguments on how behaviour should be changed in accordance with the needs, genetically or otherwise. Behaviour is often considered as species specific and behaviour changes are in response to alterations in biological processes and structures. However it has to be kept in mind that certain human behaviour tends to run in families which implies a strong genetic characteristic of behaviour.
Behaviour is often considered as species specific and certain behaviours help in differentiating closely related species. Behaviours could be reproduced and behaviour genetics help in identifying the genes that produce common traits and characteristics. The fact that behaviours are largely dependent on genes could be exemplified using the case of behaviour changes with alterations in biological processes and structures. For instance drugs can alter brain chemistry and behavioural manifestations are changed with mental illness or brain injury (CNN, 2000). Certain behaviours would be characteristics of not just certain species but also of certain families and certain members of a family would show similar or related behaviour traits. Behaviour is also an evolutionary phenomenon that seems to persist across related species and there is very little difference in DNA sequences that form the primary basis of behavioural differences.
The main reasons for which selective breeding and genetic engineering are carried out would be profitability although improving the lot of future generations could be one of the reasons for genetic engineering as only the desired attributes are emphasised. Genetic engineering could solve the ethical issues of using behavioural changes and responses by creating traits in organisms that are mainly beneficial for society although this may not be practically possible as multiple genes can lead to a particular behaviour and genes may cause multiple behavioural traits, all of which may not even be socially acceptable (Byrne, 2004, Plomin et al, 2002). Also, creating behavioural changes in organisms through genetic engineering can lead to negative traits as well such as criminal behaviour and this could be itself an ethical issue and would bring out major debates.
It is essential to understand the implications of behavioural genetics in today's society. What would be the main reasons for