Chronicle of Higher Education highlights CPC fellow and sociologist Guang Guo's work on genetics

Jan 7, 2009

CPC Fellow Guang Guo's research on how genes affect behavior appears in the cover story for the section "The Chronicle Review" in the January 9, 2009 issue of "The Chronicle of Higher Education." Guo uses the CPC study The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) for his research on genetics. Also named in the article are Add Health project designers and CPC fellows Kathleen Mullan Harris and J. Richard Udry.

"For his AJS paper, on genetic influences on teenagers' sexual activity, Guo zeroed in on several variations of a gene known as DAT1, which helps regulate levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain. In many species, including humans, high dopamine levels have been associated with sexual adventurousness.

"Guo and his co-authors looked closely at 680 white males who had provided genetic samples to Add Health interviewers. (There were too few members of minority groups to adequately study.) The survey also provided information about, among other things, church attendance, whether the subjects had ever lived with a member of the opposite sex, their scores on an intelligence test, and an assessment of their physical maturity. Many of the purely "sociological" results were predictable: Young people who attended church weekly had 60 percent fewer sexual partners than their peers, for instance." (Shea, C. (2009). The nature-nurture debate, redux: Genetic research finally makes its way into the thinking of sociologists, Chronicle of Higher Education (January 9, 2009 ed.)

The article refers to the following articles by Guang Guo and his coauthors:

Guo, Guang, Michael E. Roettger, and Tianji Cai. 2008. The Integration of Genetic Propensities into Social-Control Models of Delinquency and Violence among Male Youths. American Sociological Review 73, no. 4: 543-68.

Guo, Guang. 2006. The Linking of Sociology and Biology. Social Forces 85, no. 1: 145-9.
The article also mentions the special supplement to the American Journal of Sociology on Genetics and Social Structure. Guo's article in that issue is

Guo, Guang, Yuying Tong, and Tianji Cai. 2008. Gene by Social Context Interactions for Number of Sexual Partners among White Male Youths: Genetics-Informed Sociology. American Journal of Sociology 114, no. S1: S36-S66.

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