Is There A Genetic Basis For Violence?

11 Dec


Is there a genetic make up that leads people to commit violent acts? Probably. Is it a simple “if this then that” connection? Not likely. But we are each a product of our genetic make up and our environment. That includes everything from medical issues such as heart disease and diabetes, to success in the arts such as music and writing, to our basic personality and the way we deal with others.

New research suggests that the elusive “warrior gene” might exist and it might result from defects in two genes: The MAOI gene and a variant of the cadherin 13 (CDH 13) gene.

Wish it were that simple but this is interesting research.

Here are few articles on this research:

BBC News:

Telegraph UK:

The Independent:

Also, I posted on this back in June, 2010:


Posted by on December 11, 2014 in Forensic Psychiatry, Medical Issues


4 responses to “Is There A Genetic Basis For Violence?

  1. Charles Suddeth

    December 11, 2014 at 8:25 pm

    How about the Super Males? ( XYY males) Didn’t some research indicate they ended up with extra testosterone and were violence prone?


  2. D.P. Lyle, MD

    December 12, 2014 at 8:27 am

    Got his from Dr. Carol Nicholson–interesting stuff:

    Hi Doug,

    As you might imagine, there’s a lot of interest in this in the pediatric/child development world, since the MAO promoter is on the X chromosome, and fairly widely distributed in the human population. Males with a poorly functional promoter might not be able to control their impulses. Females with the defective promoter would be likely to have at least one normal copy of the gene. Then, the specific genomic expression pattern, and the epigenetic environmental triggers are of interest, too.

    I’ve been reading a lot about this for a couple of years, since this is part of the third book, An Inserted Killing ( working title).

    Anyway, here’s a paper you’ve probably already read, but I wanted to add it anyway: looks at conduct disorder genetics.



    Carol Elizabeth Nicholson, MD, MS, FAAP


  3. Cynthia Tveit

    December 13, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    I can’t wait to dig into these articles. Great! I love this stuff.



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