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ANTH 362 Midterm: Week 5
Terms in this set (12)
Human Genetic Variation and the Concept of Race
Humans are relatively homogeneous: we all have sim. genetic makeup and not a lot of variation within human species
Humans show low levels of variation compared to chimps: this is b/c humans are a relatively young species and from a founding population
More genetic variation within human populations that between them
Non concordance of traits and racial classification systems
Diff. individual traits don't share same patterns of variation across geographic locations (height and skin color not correlated)
Dist. related populations are sim. for certain traits if they evolved under the same selective pressures (not indicative of genetic distance)
--skin color phenotypes in sub-saharan Africa, southern India, Australia, and Melanesia cluster together
--"Pygmy" groups in West Africa and Southeast Asia convergent evolution in morphology
Pattern of genetic Variation: Richard Lewontin
Most variation WITHIN populations
--Lewontin: based on classical markers including blood groups and other proteins
--Numerous other studies using classical markers and DNA sequencing: 10% of variation is between races, 5% of variation b/w populations within races, and 85% of variation within populations!!
Isolation by distance
High gene flow b/w geographically close populations and less gene flow b/w those that are farther away
As geographic distance increases the genetic distance also increases
B/w groups differences based on local environment
Geographical gradients across species due to gene flow and sim environmental pressures: smooth transition across populations
There are genetic difference b/w major continental groups but these are relatively minor
--most are in non-coding DNA
--Most alleles assoc. with complex diseases are ancient and shared across populations
Importance of race
Race as a worldview: culturally structured way of perceiving and interpreting reality
-Public perception is that races are discrete, permanent, and rel. homogenous
-Variation culturally in how race is classified
"Race exists as a sociocultural phenomenon that has force in people's lives--one with biological consequences"
--health disparities as a window onto race
"If race is not biology...why are there such clear differences among racially defined groups in a range of biological phenomena?"
Health disparities and race
Substantial inequalities b/w racially define groups for all major causes of morbidity and mortality
Burden of poor health especially high in African Americans
Race is often used uncritically in biomedical science and public health b/c we all are same race: assumption that genetics are cause of health issues when in fact health issues are caused by social construct of race and discrimination.
Biology ≠ genetics
Over focus on genetic cause
Biocultural approach to understand how race become biology: need to consider multiple levels of analysis and need to use a developmental and life-course perspective (Gravlee)
Stress and health
Direct physiological effects through activation of stress response (cortisol levels increase to handle stress--long term high levels can cause health issues) and indirect effects through health-related behaviors (diet, smoking, sleep)
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