Scientific American reports on another look at the origins of violent behavior in children… and rather than blaming food additives, junk TV or general social ills, they’re saying children’s violence is the parents’ fault. Not because mommy and daddy aren’t strict enough, but because of their genes – and things they may have done before baby was even born:
“We’re looking at to what extent the chronically aggressive individuals show differences in terms of gene expressions compared to those on the normal trajectory,” he told ScientificAmerican.com. “The individuals that are chronically aggressive have…more genes that are not expressed.” The fact that a gene can be silenced or the level of protein it encodes reduced, he added, “is an indication that the problem is at a very basic level.”
When children first begin to poke, prod and even slap, parents, teachers and siblings often react by indicating that those behaviors are inappropriate. But, citing studies done in animals, Tremblay notes that an unfit environment beginning in the womb may affect a child’s ability to learn this lesson in the first place.