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Tufts OpenCourseware
For many years, the field of behavioral genetics has assumed that a limited number of genes with large effects were responsible for a variety of human diseases and behaviors. But is this a good assumption, and might there be ideological reasons for the "geneticization" of the human condition?
Highlights of this Course

Part of Tufts overall mission is to emphasize citizenship and public service.  This course starts with the premise that understanding the social uses and misuses of biological knowledge is of particular importance for future health professionals and scientists. Specifically, developing skills in critical thinking and analysis of arguments is crucial if we are to deal rationally with value-laden and controversial topics at the intersection of biology and society.

Course Description

This course examines the application of basic biological ideas to modern social problems in America, in particular, the intersection of biological theories and social beliefs. Among the major issues examined are the ideological uses of science, the biological basis of sex roles and homosexuality, behavioral genetics, evolutionary psychology, and the meaning of race in medical practice.  This course will stress the analysis of evidence in the original scientific literature and a critical reading of how science is reported in the press.

Please note that the course as presented here does not contain the full content of the course as taught at Tufts. The included content is based on material the Tufts faculty and instructors choose to include, as well as factors such as content preparation, software compatibility, and intellectual property and copyright restrictions.
Course Faculty
Ross S. Feldberg
Course Length
50 Hours