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Perrin, Andrew J. & Lee, Hedwig E. (2007). The Undertheorized Environment: Sociological Theory and the Ontology of Behavioral Genetics. Sociological Perspectives, 50(2), 303-322.


Growing interest in the genetic contribution to human behaviors has led to the growth of the field of behavioral genetics. The authors consider the concept of "environment" in behavioral genetics and argue that sociology is in a unique position to evaluate and specify a theoretically robust concept of environment. Building on insights from classical and contemporary social theory, the authors argue that the study of genetic influence on behavior needs to incorporate sociological understandings of contextual effects. The authors propose five points for evaluating behavioral genetic studies' conceptualization of environment and use those points to evaluate three exemplary recent studies.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Sociological Perspectives


Perrin, Andrew J.
Lee, Hedwig E.