TALLAHASSEE, Fla., June 5 (UPI) -- Boys born with a variation of the so-called "Warrior Gene" are more likely to use weapons and join gangs, a researcher at Florida State University said.
The study is the first confirm a link between violence in boys and the variation of the gene Monoamine oxidase A, said Kevin Beaver, a biosocial criminologist who led the research at the university's College of Criminology and Criminal Justice.
"We found that variants of this gene could distinguish (male) gang members who were markedly more likely to behave violently and use weapons from members who were less likely to do either," Beaver said in a release from the university.
The gene affects levels of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin, which are related to mood and behavior, Beaver said, noting girls with the same variant of the gene seem resistant to its potentially violent effect.
Beaver and his colleagues examined DNA data and lifestyle information from more than 2,400 respondents to the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health.