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The Gene Bomb

By: David E. Comings, M.D.

Have you often wondered why in recent years there seems to be an increase in the number of children and adults with attention deficit disorder, learning disabilities, anxiety, anger and rage? Why the frequency of depression, suicide, crime, and related behaviors is increasing? Why our youth are so frequently dropping out of school and turning to drugs and alcohol?

These trends are usually attributed purely to environmental factors and to the stress of our increasingly complex and technological society. In The Gene Bomb, Dr. Comings proposes a revolutionary new theory that just the opposite is occurring - that our increasingly complex society, with its requirement for more and more years of education, is selecting for the genes associated with these behavioral disorders, and that these genes are increasing and will continue to increase in frequency.

Dr. Comings suggests that the critical factor is not only the number of children individuals have, but the age at which they have them. He first reviews the evidence that a wide range of these behavioral problems have increased in frequency over the latter part of the 20th century, and that these behaviors are caused, in part, by genetic factors. He then shows that regardless of the behavior, individuals who have the problem tend to have children earlier than those who do not, and that this can provide a powerful selective force for the genes involved. The dramatic differences in age at the birth of the first child is largely driven by the number of years of education. This factor has become significant only in the latter part of this century.

This important new theory has broad implications for public policy - as well as the future of the human species.

Table of Content

Table of Contents


Part I. Evidence that Addictive, Disruptive, and Other Behavioral Disorders are Increasing in Frequency

  1. Increase in Depression
  2. Increase in Suicide
  3. Increase in Alcohol and Drug Abuse
  4. Increase in Anxiety 

  1. Increase in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Conduct Disorder
  2. Increase in Autism
  3. Increase in Learning Disorders
  4. Decrease in IQ?
  5. Increase in Crime

Part II. Evidence These are Interrelated Genetic Disorders

  1. Tourette Syndrome - A Hereditary Spectrum Disorder
  2. ADHD - A Hereditary Spectrum Disorder

  1. Conduct Disorder
  2. Learning Disorders

Part III. Evidence that People with Addictive-Disruptive Behaviors Have Children Earlier

  1. 14. Gene Selection
  2. The Adolescent Problem Behavior Syndrome
  3. Conduct Disorder and Teenage Pregnancy
  4. Teen Attitudes about Getting Pregnant
  5. The Berkeley Study
  6. The NLSY
  7. NLSY - IQ
  8. NLSY - Crime
  9. NLSY - Drug Abuse
  10. NLSY - Alcoholism
  11. NLSY - Sexual Behavior
  12. NLSY - Marriage
  13. NLSY - Welfare

  1. NLSY - Suspended or Expelled from School
  2. NLSY - Education
  3. NLSY - Grades
  4. NLSY - School Dropouts
  5. NLSY Children - Disruptive Disorders
  6. NCDS - The National Child Development Study
  7. NCDS - IQ
  8. NCDS - Socioeconomic Status
  9. NCDS - Relevant Variables
  10. Data from New Zealand
  11. National Center for Health Statistics

Part IV. Causes

  1. Education and Gene Selection
  2. Birth Control
  3. Other Causes

Part V. Proving or Disproving the Hypothesis

  1. Criticisms of the Hypothesis
  2. Proving the Hypothesis 

Part VI. What to Do

  1. What to Do - Without Genetic Testing
  2. What to Do - With Genetic Testing
  • Summary
  • References
  • Abbreviations, Definitions, Glossary
  • Index
The Gene Bomb

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