The knowledge of medical genetics is currently used with prenatal testing, and the advancements in the field of behavioral genetics may someday allow for its use with prenatal testing as well. The use of prenatal procedures for medical phenotypes has its own implications and should these techniques be used for behavioral phenotypes, such implications can also apply. The complexity of behavior in terms of the factors that may affect it, along with the way it is conceptualized and perceived, adds further implications for prenatal testing of it. In this thesis, I discuss the qualitative, quantitative, and historical facets of prenatal testing for medical and behavioral phenotypes and the undercurrent of eugenics. I do so by presenting an example of the medical phenotype (cystic fibrosis) as a case for envisioning the implications of medical phenotypes before delving into examples of behavioral phenotypes (aggression, impulsivity, extraversion, and neuroticism) in order to explore the implications shared with those for medical phenotypes as well as those unique to it. These implications then set the foundation for a discussion of eugenics, and the considerations for how behavioral genetics with prenatal testing may give way to a modern form of it.
- Prenatal Testing and Behavioral Genetics
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