Identify a real-world social issue and discuss how biological or genetic factors may influence the issue. Examples
of social problems include bullying, criminology, obesity, and alcoholism. Select a social issue for this post and discuss some of the biological or genetic factors that can negatively influence this issue.
Consider the following in your initial post:
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- What does the biological approach reveal about the issue?
- Is there one biological or genetic factor that appears to have more influence than other factors that negatively impact the social issue?
- Could there be several biological or genetic factors that negatively impact the issue?
Be sure to find and cite supporting evidence for your viewpoint.
Also, please respond to prompt 1 and 2 listed below:
Prompt 1:Nature or nurture has been a long running debate. Hot topics like addiction and obesity are two areas where the debate come out often to better understand the condition and how to appropriately prevent and treat it.
A condition that I am all too familiar with is alcoholism. This is another area where people argue nature vs. nurture. Broken down, some believe that one is doomed to be an alcoholic because one’s parents were an alcoholic so it must be in their genetics. The other argument is that alcohol is a part of their environment and they simply were influenced by this.
Further investigation led me to American Addiction Center (AAC) to better understand which (genetics or environment) were more influential and predicative. Per the AAC, genetics seem to represent 40% to 60% of factors influencing alcoholism. In fact, the AAC was even able to provide some ideas behind biological abnormalities that may assist in the condition. One of those abnormalities is a smaller amygdala. The amygdala is a part of the brain that plays a role in the association between emotions and cravings. The brain could also provide an individual whom is predisposed to alcoholism with fewer and different warning signs. These signs may be hard to interpret and may even go unnoticed. Lastly, those whom show alcohol addiction present with abnormal serotonin levels. Serotonin is a mood-regulating neurotransmitter that is often related to depression. These fluctuations are factors of genetics that have shown a positive correlation to alcohol addiction.
Cartwright, M. (n.d.). Is Alcoholism Hereditary or Genetic? Retrieved July 28, 2017, from
Prompt 2: What does the biological approach reveal about the issue?
Our biological make up genetics is what makes up who we are and will influence many different behaviors and feelings. One real-world social issue that may be influenced by a biological factor is when there is a low activity rate or “novel stimuli” in the amygdale, insula and anterior cingulated. “Neuroticism describes the tendency to experience the negative emotions and cognitions that accompany experiences of threat and punishment, anger and irritation” (DeYoung, 2010). All of these emotions can lead to one bullying another person. Bullying has been a social issue for years and will continue to be, unless people realize how hurtful and harmful it is.
Is there one biological or genetic factor that appears to have more influence than other factors that negatively impact the social issue?
It is not common for there to just be one reason why someone does what they do. When it comes to bullying, sometimes it is a buildup of many factors that lead to one bullying another person. Most of those who bully others tend to have bullied themselves at some point. It is common that those who bully are insecure with something about themselves. Low self- esteem has been thought to be associated with Neuroticism (DeYoung, 2010) which could lead to a person feeling the need to put someone else down in order to make themselves feel better than them. It
Could there be several biological or genetic factors that negatively impact the issue?
Yes, there can always be more than one reason why someone acts the way they do. “Genetically influenced characteristics including aspects of personality such as impulsivity and sensation seeking may mediate the genetic influences on antisocial behavior… some of these genetic and nonshared environmental factors influence bullying similarly” (Ball, 2008). Sometimes it is more than ones’ genetics that influence bullies, it can be due to the environment around them and the behaviors they have learned.
Ball, H. A., Arseneault, L., Taylor, A., Maughan, B., Caspi, A., & Moffitt, T. E. (2008). Genetic and environmental influences on victims, bullies and bully-victims in childhood. Journal Of Child Psychology And Psychiatry, 49(1), 104-112. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7610.2007.01821.x
DeYoung, C. G. (2010). Way Back Machine. Personality Neuroscience and the Biology of Traits. doi:10.3897/bdj.4.e7720.figure2f