High School Science Textbooks Increasingly Link Race to Genetics, NYU Sociologist Finds

High school biology textbooks over the past 15 years have given newfound attention to race, with attention centering on genetic definitions of racial categories rather than previous phenotypical, or appearance-based, models, according to a study by New York University’s Ann Morning, an assistant professor of sociology. But, Morning found, contemporary biology textbooks provide less evidence for their genetic treatment of race than their predecessors did.

“Today’s textbooks have redefined race as genetic without furnishing empirical evidence for this framing, in sharp contrast to the copious explanations and illustrations that were used to support the earlier phenotypic model of race,” Morning explained.

The study, “Reconstructing Race in Science and Society,” appeared in “Exploring Genetics and Social Structure,” a special issue of the American Journal of Sociology. 500

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