Intergenerational trauma?

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arapahoepark

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
So...something I found out that is being peddled around is a notion of intergenerational trauma. Allegedly, since stress affects the body it also affects the genes somehow. It's supposedly passed on which is supposed to explain why kids and minorities behave the way they do.
Any thoughts, especially @Eyedoc84 and @Nate ? It sounds ludicrous like a mixture of Lamarkism and Eugenic ideas.
 

Taylor

Puritan Board Graduate
Just more blame shifting. My wife and I are both in education. I can tell you with a great degree of certainty that the common denominators in all of our worst children are (1) original sin and (2) dysfunctional, broken, and/or disordered households. Of course, there is no denying that this disease spreads through generations. Animals can practically only beget more animals. It literally almost never fails that when we have a psycho student, that the parent (because there’s almost always only one present, and it’s usually the mother) is worthless.
 

KMK

Administrator
Staff member
A child in the womb is adversely affected by any trauma suffered by Mom. Trauma can lead to depression and anxiety which could adversely affect Mom and Dad's ability to parent. Maybe this is what they are talking about?
 

arapahoepark

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
A child in the womb is adversely affected by any trauma suffered by Mom. Trauma can lead to depression and anxiety which could adversely affect Mom and Dad's ability to parent. Maybe this is what they are talking about?
I don't think womb or trauma while pregnant is the same thing.
 

arapahoepark

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Just more blame shifting. My wife and I are both in education. I can tell you with a great degree of certainty that the common denominators in all of our worst children are (1) original sin and (2) dysfunctional, broken, and/or disordered households. Of course, there is no denying that this disease spreads through generations. Animals can practically only beget more animals. It literally almost never fails that when we have a psycho student, that the parent (because there’s almost always only one present, and it’s usually the mother) is worthless.
I agree.
But it seems like liberals have found common cause with Charles Murray. Heritable is being used as a synonym for genetic and therefore immutable.
 

Nate

Puritan Board Junior
So...something I found out that is being peddled around is a notion of intergenerational trauma. Allegedly, since stress affects the body it also affects the genes somehow. It's supposedly passed on which is supposed to explain why kids and minorities behave the way they do.
Any thoughts, especially @Eyedoc84 and @Nate ? It sounds ludicrous like a mixture of Lamarkism and Eugenic ideas.

This is the first I've heard that specific term and the idea that behavior of subsequent generations can be genetically written by the stress of prior generations. However, there is a similar process that has perhaps been theoretically extrapolated to this idea of intergenerational trauma. It's pretty well documented that sustained nutritional or metabolic stress can alter the epigenetic status of an individual--even in the gametes of an adult. These epigenetic changes can then be passed down to their offspring. The epigenetic changes often alter the rate or timing of metabolic gene activation so that future generations have a higher or lower propensity for developing various aspects of metabolic syndrome. This has been documented in humans and is readily replicable in the lab in both cells in a dish and in animals. You are correct that Lamarckism--in the somewhat attenuated form of epigenetic inheritance--has been making a comeback due to examples like this.

Perhaps there have been similar animal experiments where some sort of psychological or physical stress was applied to mice and the behavior of subsequent generations was assessed. If this experiment was, in fact, performed and the results showed that the mice offspring displayed 'poor behavior', that would be an interesting result. However, to then apply that type of result to human behavior (especially sinful behavior if that is what is being claimed) goes way too far.
 

C. M. Sheffield

Puritan Board Graduate
A child in the womb is adversely affected by any trauma suffered by Mom. Trauma can lead to depression and anxiety which could adversely affect Mom and Dad's ability to parent. Maybe this is what they are talking about?
No, they're talking about the trauma inflicted on their ancestors by your ancestors. And the only way to heal it, is for you to give them whatever they want.
 

J.L. Allen

Puritan Board Sophomore
From what I've heard about this, and briefly discussed with a friend of mine who psychologist, it has to do with people who were oppressed in previous generations (think American slavery) and how that is stopping people from being able to be successful. That, and all the systemic racism that is rampant like cops literally hunting minorities. Or something like that... EDIT: please know that my tone is filled with eyerolling and heavy sighs. I don't stand for this nonsense, but I'm sure y'all know that.

 

py3ak

Unshaven and anonymous
Staff member
The idea that stress or trauma would affect gene expression doesn't seem absurd to me. There's a lot to learn about epigenetics. The observation may help to understand the kind of problem being faced, and maybe down the road even with some therapeutic possibilities.

However, like most observations, its meaning and application will be interpreted according to different worldviews. E.g., we can acknowledge the sins of the fathers being visited on the children to the third and fourth generation, without thereby absolving the subsequent generations of moral responsibility.
 

Nate

Puritan Board Junior
A quick perusal of the academic journals shows that this concept is quickly gaining popularity in psych journals but is absent from the 'hard science' journals.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
Depends on how it is glossed. Am I, a descendant of a Scottish man who came here in 1920, responsible for all the evils from 1600 onward? No. On the other hand, if a woman is a witch and the daughter of witches and consecrates her unborn child to Satan, you might expect some trauma. Similar stories can be found from those who have fled Freemasonry.
 

Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
I think they are probably trying to create a pseudo-scientific basis for rePARations.
 

83r17h

Puritan Board Freshman
It sounds just plausible enough to be science fiction.

I'd really love to see someone try to demonstrate it on a chromosomal level. After all, aren't we supposed to trust the science?

Indirectly, doesn't the concept being proposed (that trauma is passed down genetically, causing worse performance) explicitly declare the inferiority of those who are descended from trauma-sufferers? That is problematic, but also would appear to be a necessary consequence. If the genetic effect is simply environmentally induced, then the problem is not actually the past "inheritance" of trauma, but the present experience (and one might say, over-emphasis because everything is so dramatic and literally the end of the world when I can't find my phone).

Also: counterexamples seem to abound, that disprove the proposed concept.

Final question on a scientific basis: why are psychologists writing about genetics, instead of biologists? I thought we were supposed to trust the experts.

It seems as though what is perhaps more accurate is cultural transmission across generations. If you have a culture without a healthy concept of authority stemming from a healthy concept of the family, you're going to have problems. If you have a culture where you are not taught to respect your ancestors and elders, you'll have a culture where people don't respect themselves. If you have a culture where people don't recognize the legitimacy of any authority, you're going to have a culture where people are grasping authority up for themselves to dominate others without responsibility. And when that culture meshes with something we call the normal order of society under law, it's necessarily going to find itself in trouble because it considers that society under law to be illegitimate in enforcing ethical standards upon it. Especially when said society claims that it derives its rule from the consent of the governed.
 

RobertPGH1981

Puritan Board Sophomore
There is a line of thinking in Counseling Circles for Drug Addicts. The thought process is that there is a gene that can be passed to make one more likely to be an addict because their parents/ancestors were addicts. That is why they call drug addiction a disease rather than a choice. I can say that it's a choice since God saved me from an alcoholic lifestyle in my teens into 20s. But on the flip side I cannot drink alcohol like a normal member of society, so for me my conscience makes me avoid it all together.

In some sense there is merit to this since many in my family including my own father, some uncles and cousins struggled with alcoholism. I think the merit comes from your worldly experience and choices based around your surroundings, and the sphere of influence you had as a child.
 

Susan777

Puritan Board Sophomore
The idea that stress or trauma would affect gene expression doesn't seem absurd to me. There's a lot to learn about epigenetics. The observation may help to understand the kind of problem being faced, and maybe down the road even with some therapeutic possibilities.

However, like most observations, its meaning and application will be interpreted according to different worldviews. E.g., we can acknowledge the sins of the fathers being visited on the children to the third and fourth generation, without thereby absolving the subsequent generations of moral responsibility.
Epigenetics is a very hot topic right now although it would seem that the potential for misapplication would be fairly great. I remember a time when child adoption was considered a very risky thing because of this intergenerational psychic trauma theory. A child who was genetically primed to express negative or antisocial traits based on parental history might not be considered a desirable addition to the family. I can only hope that as believers, christians will filter this type of research, much of which is based on animal models, through the lens of Scripture.
 

ChristianLibertarian

Puritan Board Freshman
So...something I found out that is being peddled around is a notion of intergenerational trauma. Allegedly, since stress affects the body it also affects the genes somehow. It's supposedly passed on which is supposed to explain why kids and minorities behave the way they do.
Any thoughts, especially @Eyedoc84 and @Nate ? It sounds ludicrous like a mixture of Lamarkism and Eugenic ideas.
Parents pass on bad habits, feelings and behaviors not through genes but through how their live their lives.
 

83r17h

Puritan Board Freshman
It's a legitimate question since I have never seen nor read it. I only saw the trailer a few days ago.

Not sure about the new one. Unless you're a hardcore sci-fi nerd who needs to see it for that reason, you should not watch the old Dune movie. It's gotta be one of the weirdest films I've ever seen (save for 2001 A Space Odyssey, which surpassed Dune in weirdness). Much better: the Dune board game, where you fight wars and get frustrated, and lose badly because someone killed your best general! :lol:

I suppose if you wanted to try and search for intergenerational trauma in Dune, you could find it. But that would be in the book series, not necessarily in the movies. There's these characters that retain memories genetically across different lifetimes and such, which would parallel it.
 

83r17h

Puritan Board Freshman
Casting stones in glass houses are we? :)

I'm definitely a total nerd, and should be made fun of for it :) I think I've seen most of the absolutely terrible "sci-fi classics" movies - enough to qualify me anyways. I'm also a computer scientist, which kinda gives me away. My nerd cred involves the fact that I program in vim. But I've actually pretty much stopped watching most movies now, except every once in awhile I'll watch an older one. Too much nonsense in movies nowadays, too much work to do, and too many books to read!
 
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