Alcoholism: Is It Hereditary?


The kind of clear-cut model of the genetic sources of alcoholism
perceived by the public and presented in popular tracts does not
accurately reflect the state of knowledge in this area. No persuasive
genetic mechanism has been proposed to account for accumulated data about
alcoholic behavior, social differences in alcoholism rates or the
unfolding of the disease. Biological findings about the offspring of
alcoholics have been inconsistent and grounds exist to challenge the
notion of an enhanced genetic liability for alcoholism that has been
accepted wisdom for the last decade. Genuine attempts to forge data and
theory into genetic models have been limited to men alcoholics and to ...

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through genetically oriented research and has dangerous
consequences for prevention and treatment policies. A tremendous amount of
attention and research has recently been concentrated on the inheritance
of alcoholism and on the possibility of accounting genetically for drunken
behavior. The major purpose for this research was the adoption studies
conducted in Scandinavia in the 1970’s which found reliable genetic, but
not adoptive transmission of alcoholism. This contemporary research
focuses on the offspring of alcoholics and on the biochemical or
neurological abnormalities they inherit that may lead to pathological
drinking. Or, alternatively, investigations may focus on a configuration
of personality traits centering on impulsiveness and antisocial activity
that can climax in alcoholism or other psychopathology. In the words of
one popular article on the topic, “A decade ago such a theory of inherited
antisocial personality and alcoholism would have been dismissed out ...

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from that presented by the
19th-century temperance movement. In that earlier era,
alcoholism was viewed as a danger inherent in the consumption of alcohol—
one that could befall any routine problem. This view, which in itself was
a matter of hot dispute among different ethnic, religious and social
groups and carried a good deal of moral baggage (Gusfield, 1963) was
finally discarded when national Prohibition failed and with it the idea
that the United States could reasonably hope to prevent all its citizens
from drinking.

The modern definition of alcoholism, as embodied by A.A., instead
claimed that the alcoholic was a person who from birth was destined to be
unable to control ...

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Alcoholism: Is It Hereditary?. (2004, August 17). Retrieved January 23, 2018, from http://www.essayworld.com/essays/Alcoholism-Is-It-Hereditary/12795
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"Alcoholism: Is It Hereditary?." Essayworld.com. August 17, 2004. Accessed January 23, 2018. http://www.essayworld.com/essays/Alcoholism-Is-It-Hereditary/12795.
"Alcoholism: Is It Hereditary?." Essayworld.com. August 17, 2004. Accessed January 23, 2018. http://www.essayworld.com/essays/Alcoholism-Is-It-Hereditary/12795.
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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 8/17/2004 05:40:52 AM
Category: Health & Medicine
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1749
Pages: 7

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