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Policy and Ethical Implications of Biosocial Research


Udry, J. Richard (1995). Policy and Ethical Implications of Biosocial Research. Population Research and Policy Review, 14(3), 347-357.


Social scientists are often concerned that research about the biological causes of behavior will encourage biologically-based public policy. Biosocial research models, jointly examining both social and biological causes of behavior, prevent simplistic biological thinking. Public policy is concerned with bringing about social change. Biological models of behavior primarily explain individual differences, and are not useful for guiding policies directed toward producing social change. When we allow our social ethics to prevent us from asking certain research questions, we will produce politically correct research results. We fall into such strategies because we imagine that ethics can be deduced from the nature of the world.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Population Research and Policy Review


Udry, J. Richard