If you are sexual beast, blame your genes!

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I recently came across an article which revealed that there is ‘genetic disorder’ behind sexual offence. So, one could argue that a rapist cannot be blamed entirely for the offence. There is also a sexy little gene that triggers such animalistic tendencies, which he is not responsible for; it was transferred, not acquired by choice.

The revelation, made by an Oxford University study, observed the relatives of the sexual offender. Their history was dug out and, interestingly, in many cases, it was astonishing to see the result. Most fathers and siblings had also been indicted for sexual offence at some point of time in their lives!

How do we tackle this?

Dr Rajan Darjee, a consultant forensic psychiatrist in Edinburgh, who was not involved in the work, said: “Genes influence brain development, and brain functioning underpins psychological functioning, so it should not be surprising to find that genetic factors play a role in sexual offending.”

That genes play a role does not mean that a person is “less responsible” or that crimes are inevitable, he added. “It just emphasises that genes are an important part of a complicated jigsaw.”

Niklas Långström, who teaches psychiatric epidemiology at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm and lead creator, said: “This does not imply that sons or brothers of sex offenders inevitably become offenders too. But although sex crime convictions are relatively few overall, our study shows that the family risk increase is substantial.”

There is no proof for a “sex offending quality”, he included. Rather, a constellation of genes connected to components, for example, drive control, knowledge and sexual hunger are prone to impact the danger of an individual conferring an offense.

The sex-offending habit is usually juxtaposed with the phallocentric and misogynistic attitude of the society which assume the body of a woman as a mere object for gratification. We clearly need a proper psychiatric set up to judge and help these people. A spokesman for the National Organisation for the Treatment of Abusers, said: “The possibility of carefully targeted interventions and support for families in which the relative risks are higher is an exciting prospect for a committed professional community.”

There is an underlying danger here. Will it not ostracise those from society whose sexual tendencies, impacted by genes, are known?

The scientists and technologists need to think about this…

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