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    Vassar College
  Jan 18, 2018
Catalogue 2017-2018
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STS 266 - Genetic Revolution & Identity

1 unit(s)

This course draws on a variety of scientific, ideological and sociological frameworks to consider the impact of the genetic revolution on our identities as biological and cultural beings. In recent years the unprecedented availability of genetic information has led human beings to redefine themselves in genetic terms. Various researchers have claimed to discover genes influencing intelligence, sexuality, gender, religiosity, aggression and addiction among others. DNA evidence has become a common legal tool, and individuals can acquire extensive genetic information about themselves via “personal genetics” companies. We discuss the ethical, legal, and social implications of this new genetic determinism using multiple frameworks. We also examine the depiction of genetics in popular culture and the effects it has on perceptions of identity. Topics may include nature and nurture, epigenetics, the commercialization of genetic information, DNA databases, and privacy, sexual identity, and race. Nancy Jo Pokrywka.


Not offered in 2017/18.

Two 75-minute periods.

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