More Genetic Tests: Still Creepy

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.


There’s another spit test out on the market, this one claiming to tell parents which kids have the genetics to be which kinds of athletes. I’ve got a bad feeling about this.

What’s going to happen is that kids of privilege will be tested almost from the cradle, with their helicopter-parents frog marching them toward whichever future seems the most successful. Twenty years later. And poor kids? Kids who’ll never get to find out that they’d rather teach or dance than be the Olympian weight lifter their parents drove them to be?

From Slate:

Envireugenics is less dangerous. It spreads through culture, not coercion. It doesn’t employ murder or sterilization. Instead, it relies on segregation. If your kid is RR, he goes here; if he’s XX, he goes there. We don’t tell you whether you can have a baby. We just tell you whether your baby belongs on the track team, the chess team, or the assembly line.

What’s really disturbing about this idea, in the case of ACNT3, is that it isn’t crazy. The data make a strong case that being XX really does lock you out of success at the highest levels of sprinting and power sports. From an individual standpoint, that doesn’t much matter: You can run track, play pickup basketball, and live happily ever after. But from your country’s standpoint, putting you on the track team is a waste. We need that slot for an RR kid, and we need a genetic test to find him.

That’s what worries me about Atlas Sports Genetics. It’s not just selling a test. It’s selling a mentality.

Soon, all our kids will be getting their cheeks swabbed and their genes decoded before they can talk. Given the US’s sports obsession…I’ve got a bad feeling about this. How could any parent resist knowledge like this? Maybe there are some things we just weren’t meant to know.

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

payment methods

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate