New Zealand's Maori people don't have "warrior gene" that makes them violent

Published: Friday, September 11, 2009, 11:45 [IST]

Wellington, September 11 (ANI): A new research has shown that despite being over-represented in New Zealand's criminal fraternity and prison population, Maori do not have a "warrior gene" that makes them violent.

The Maori are the indigenous Polynesian people of New Zealand. The group probably arrived in southwestern Polynesia in several waves at some time before the year 1300.

According to a report carried out in www.stuff.co.nz, scientist Gary Hook's review, 'Warrior Genes and the Disease of Being Maori', challenges the idea that Maori are genetically wired to commit acts of violence.

Three years ago, researchers Rod Lea and Geoffrey Chambers said high criminality among Maori was due to the monoamine oxidase, or "warrior", gene.

But, Dr Hook said there was evidence they had made several serious flaws in their scientific reasoning.

Not only was the science criticised, but the ethics of claiming "genetic explanation for negative social and health statistics" had been questioned, Dr Hook said.

"While conviction rates for domestic violence of Maori exceed those of any other group there is no indication that the (monoamine oxidase gene) system carried by Maori functions any differently from that of any other ethnic group and certainly no evidence to indicate that it was anything to do with violent behaviour in Maori," he added.

"Blaming domestic violence on genes simplified the problem and laid the blame on Maori themselves," Dr Hook said.

Racial stereotyping, particularly by scientists, was "unethical and scandalous", he said.

"Maori are not borderline psychotics, retarded, hyper aggressive, depressive, antisocial, impulsive, suicidal risk takers and to suggest otherwise is irresponsible and not supported by the facts," he added.

According to Dr Hook, Maori nature was not the reason for high criminality rates.

"Perhaps, it was because of victimization during 160 years of colonisation or an "Eurocentric" justice system," Dr Hook said. (ANI)

 

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