It’s a long debate that does nature or nurture drive our behavior but it’s an undeniable fact that genes play a vital role in human behavior. There are number of theories explaining the in born violence, aggression and antisocial behavior in human but most of the experts are agreed on the fact that human social behavior is rooted in the complex interaction between one’s environment and genetic. One of such genetic discovery is about “Warrior gene”.
About warrior gene
Located on X chromosome, reside the most provocative and the controversial gene of all “Warrior Gene” also known as “MAOA (Monoamine Oxidase A). MAOA is an enzyme in our brain whose role is to metabolize neurotransmitter (NT). Neurotransmitters as you may know are involve in our brain functioning and have a major role in our behavior stimulation. Similarly, MAOA gene breakdown NT such as noradrenaline (involve in ANS), adrenaline ( fight or flight response), serotonin (involve in happiness), dopamine (emotional response like pleasure, motivation and pain).
Effect of warrior gene
Higher activity or level of MAOA results in the lesser level of the neurotransmitters (nor-adrenaline, adrenaline, serotonin and dopamine). However, lower activity of MAOA results in higher level NT and in return these NT make you more prone to violence and aggression i.e. if these people are provoked or isolated there is chances of their aggression to come out due to low activity of this gene (Cohen, 2014).
Studies about MAOA
It is studied that warrior gene is linked with risk taking & retributional behaviours. As men have only one copy of X chromosome “ a variant that reduces the function of this gene and thus, have a more influence on them”. Women’s on the hand, have two pair of X- chromosome. Hence, are likely to have at least one of a functional gene copy. However, it’s not much studied extensively in women.
Nature vs Nurture
It is wrong to put everything solely on genes and inheritance. As mentioned in first paragraph it’s still a long ongoing debate about the role of nature or nurture. Just because someone have warrior gene doesn’t make them a psychopath or a killer. To hide behind a genetic factor doesn’t give anyone a green light to criticize or blame other person. It also don’t give opposite side a pass to do crime. Discovery about the warrior gene has given us a factual information to look deep into human biology and to understand the mysteries lies in human itself.