Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Searcher: Questioning The Racial-Genetic Model

The Dresser et. al. article mentions that health characteristics like birth weight and blood pressure are largely affected by environmental influence. The article goes on to suggest (with many more references to other studies) that the Racial-Genetic Model is ineffective in explaining why various different races have higher or lower mortality rates and are affected more or less by different illnesses.
To support this claim I found a study through Dieknekes' Anthropology Blog that analyzes the results of 350 microsattelites being studied for allele frequency. The results put into question the validity of the Racial-Genetic Model. The frequencies were determined to exist in  varying levels globally as opposed to concentrated in specific areas as the above model would suggest. This is vital when considering physical occurrences like birth weight and blood pressure differences in black women versus white women in America. As the Dresser article discusses American born black women has the highest low birth weight between African born black women and U.S. born white women. This suggests that perhaps it is not a racial disparity but a cultural one. A possible explanation might be that much of African-American is concentrated in the South of America where eating habits are arguably worse than anywhere else in the nation. This could be just one factor that could contribute the health of offspring as well as other health concerns that contribute to a raised mortality rate.

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