101552: My Genes Made Me Do It

About the Course:

Note: M. Stanton Peele has been a voice in the field of alcohol and drug problems for many decades. His viewpoints are thought provoking and sometimes controversial. It is not required that all professionals agree with his perspectives. At a minimum however, the thoughtful professional must consider and address the challenging concepts Peele sets forth in his writings.

Note: We offer a number of courses based on Peele’s writings. If interested, simply enter M. Stanton Peele into the Search bar.

Americans are increasingly likely to attribute their own – and others’ – behavior to innate biological causes. However, the quest for genetic explanations of why we do what we do may more accurately reflect the desire for hard certainties about frightening societal problems than the true complexities of human affairs. This article discusses the revolution in thinking about genes and the consequences for how we view ourselves.

Publication Date:

July/August 1995

Authors

Stanton Peele; Richard DeGrandpre

About the Authors:

Stanton Peele has been investigating, thinking, and writing about addiction since 1969. His first bombshell book, Love and Addiction, appeared in 1975. Its experiential and environmental approach to addiction revolutionized thinking on the subject by indicating that addiction is not limited to narcotics, or to drugs at all, and that addiction is a pattern of behavior and experience which is best understood by examining an individual’s relationship with his/her world.

Richard DeGrandpre is associated with the Department of Psychology, Saint Michael’s College, in Colchester, Vermont.

Recommended For:

This course is recommended for health care professionals, especially addiction counselors, psychologists, mental health counselors, social workers, and nurses who seek knowledge about genetic factors in human behavior. It is appropriate for all levels of participants’ knowledge.

Course Objectives:

  1. Describe current assumptions about genes and human behavior and how reactions to genetic claims can be influenced by popular culture.

  2. Explain the human genome project, the study of genes for mental illness, and models of how genetic factors may influence behavior.

  3. Report on genetic ties to obesity, the role genetic discoveries have played in finding cures for diseases, and the method of studying behavior genetics.

  4. Discuss the inheritance of homosexuality and everyday psychological traits, discuss possible ramifications of the belief that traits are pre-determined, and discuss models for viewing the relationship between nature and nurture.

Exam Questions

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