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Applications and implications of advances in human genetics: perspectives from a group of Black Americans

Sheldon, J.P.; Epstein Jayaratne, T.; Feldbaum, M.B.; DiNardo, C.D.; Petty, E.M.

Community Genetics 10(2): 82-92

2007


ISSN/ISBN: 1422-2795
PMID: 17380057
DOI: 10.1159/000099085
Accession: 051615267

We explored the opinions of 40 Black Americans regarding: (1) what they thought most Blacks and Whites believe about genetic causes for perceived race differences in human traits, and (2) the impact of genetic science on them, their families, and Black people. We conducted in-depth telephone interviews with 40 self-identified Black men and women. Transcripts of the interviews were recorded and examined for common themes. The majority of our respondents felt that most Whites, unlike most Blacks, attribute differences between these groups to genetic factors. Many in our sample felt that genetic advances may provide benefits in the area of health care, but many also recognized potential harm. Our results provide a glimpse as to what some Blacks believe about genetic science in the context of racial issues.

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