Mar 04

The misconceptions of how genetics is associated with a certain disorder are socially constructed. Right away people think that if something is derived through genetics, that it is unchangeable, hence creating an implicit acceptance to a disorder. The way genetics are being reported through the media is causing this error.

People may hear about how a disease/disorder is linked to a specific gene despite thorough investigation and adequate information. The flaws in the organizations that help deliver this information are causing millions to believe that this link actually exists.

It seems that the largest problem is how the new gene discoveries are being decompressed and poorly reported to the public. Reporters want to generate stories and appeal to readers with out-of-context headlines and articles with broken down words so it is easier to understand. Creating such misconceptions and errors in our society can cause problems.

Women may become overly anxious about hearing about a new gene linked to breast cancer. People may also pay less attention to other factors contributing to a disorder because they think it is solely caused by their genetic makeup. How can we minimize the errors in delivering information about genes in the news?

Maybe if our capitalistic society was structured differently, reporters, magazines, and journals wouldn’t be in such a rush to publish information for a quick-story. Why can’t we be more patient, learn the facts, do proper research, then publish concrete facts? False information is rarely fixed after it is published, so why not get it right first?