Does Your Face Match Your DNA?

plastic-cosmetic-surgeryKristi Scott, a doctoral student at Southern Illinois University, has written a thought-provoking paper about the ethical dilemmas surrounding cosmetic plastic surgery, especially when it comes to misrepresenting our genetic code and fitness to the opposite sex.
As Scott explains:

Evolution continually selects the best genes to proliferate the species. Emerging cosmetic plastic surgeries allow us to bypass our genetic code and cheat our naturally predetermined appearances by altering the perceived external flaws and ignoring the intact internal code where the “flaws” remain. Without these self-identified unwanted physical attributes, people who otherwise might not have been perceived as desirable mates for procreation allow themselves to be perceived as desirable enough to pass on their genes. … What we see on the outside is not necessarily what we are going to get on the inside, genetically speaking.

Which means those who have had cosmetic surgery owe it to their potential mates to disclose which procedures they’ve had, Scott writes:

Genetically it is important to communicate and give a visual reference so that the mate/potential mate is aware of what genetic predisposition they are getting involved in.
This disclosure then opens up for discussion whether or not that attribute that was modified by CPS will be a problem to pass on to potential offspring. In addition, there is a question of how the two individuals will deal with the attribute if it does produce itself in their offspring. As parents, will they raise the child to handle the attribute by acceptance (in contrast to how the parent handled it), or will the child grow up to receive a similar CPS to “correct” the attribute? This decision starts a spiraling decision process of parent to child in dealing with the “undesirable” attribute. Without the availability of CPS, the attribute may have been hindered in procreation, and been naturally weeded out, but with CPS it is given a potential chance to continue on, despite its perceived lack of desirability.

Category: Genetics

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