Brave New World on children s soccer fields?

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Yesterday the AP offered its readers a rather creepy story about at-home genetic testing intended to determine if children have certain genes associated with improved athletic performance. The article cites the example of a father who counseled his soccer-loving nine-year-old daughter about what her test results might mean before submitting a specimen to find out about her chances of someday playing on a U.S. Olympic team.

ACSH's Dr. Gilbert Ross and the whole ACSH staff are disturbed by the ramifications of such testing, especially in youngsters. Can you believe that parents would actually do this? he asks. Whether it s scientifically valid or not and it seems to me not it sounds like Brave New World. A doctor quoted made a comment, This is recreational genetics. Will parents next do prenatal testing of their children in utero to see if they can become sports stars who might one day fulfill the dreams of their parents? It s scientifically baseless and ethically abhorrent.

ACSH s Susan Ingber comments, In addition to issues involving helicopter parents pressuring their children, a person s genotype does not assure anything in the real world. They are more like probabilities. If we were merely the sum of our genes, my identical twin and I would have the exact same strengths and weaknesses.