Approaches - Biological - Anxiety Obesity and Homosexuality

anxiety, obesity and homosexuality as applied to the biological approach

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  • Created on: 17-06-12 13:36
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Anxiety, obesity and homosexuality
Anxiety
Disorders ­ panic attacks, phobias and OCD ­ genetic basis (Kendler et al.)
Genetic predisposition for developing an anxiety disorder
Trigger events in the environment
Chemical ­ neurotransmitter norepinephrine
High level of neural activity in the amygdala
Stressful life events ­ essential component for triggering anxiety attacks
Prone because of genetic make-up
No single-gene explanation
Contribution from a number of genes (Plomin et al.)
Biological links between smoking as a teenager and developing an anxiety disorder as an
adult
Thought to be a biological mechanism linking smoking and anxiety
High levels of nicotine may sensitise certain areas of the brain ­ increase vulnerability
Obesity
Twin studies ­ both body weight and the amount of fat in the body ­ strong genetic basis
Body fat: MZ ­ 0.80; DZ ­ 0.40
Obesity: MZ ­ 0.70
Obesity has two main biological components:
o Number of fat cells in the body. Obese = more fat cells
o Body settles at a constant weight as an adult regulated by an area of the brain called
the hypothalamus
Number of fat cells and weights the body settles at are genetically determined
The ease with which someone can lose weight through dieting may also have a genetic basis
Homosexuality
Homosexuality among males may have a genetic basis
Buhrich et al. ­ relatives of homosexual males showed a higher incidence for homosexuality
than in the general population
Bailey et al. ­ twins
MZ 50%; DZ 20%
Environmental factors play at least an equally important role in determining the sexual
orientation of an individual

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