DNA Testing Find People Cherry Pick Their Results #dna

Jan Meisels Allen

A recent study published in the American Journal of Sociology, Genetic
Options: The Impact of Genetic Ancestry Testing on Consumers' Racial and
Ethnic Identities, finds that genetic ancestry testing did not change their
"beliefs" as to whom they are, regardless of the DNA testing showing they
might have Hispanic, Native American, black or other heritage.

The study of 100 Americans >from various ethnic and racial backgrounds who
had taken the home DNA test and then the researchers returned 18 months
later to determine if the tests shifted how they saw their identity, instead
showed the DNA testes tended to "cherry pick" rather than embrace some of
their findings based on preconceived biases. Fifty-nine percent of the
participants did not alter their views on their identity, despite the
information in the tests. Another study finding was, those who embraced
their test results, more than 80% of them went on to document this change in
the census - upending the tradition of racial categories based solely on
appearance or knowledge of descent.

Some of the results as reported in The Guardian, found whites were likely to
embrace their new racial identities as long as they believed others would
still accept them. One of the comments about a participant who before the
test identified as a white Mexican American the article was, was found to
have Native American, Celtic and Jewish ancestry. Researchers found "he
embraced his Jewish roots over the other ancestries highlighted in the
To read The Guardian article see:

The study may be accessed and purchased >from the American Journal of
Sociology found at:

Thank you to Jeanette Rosenberg, JGS Great Britain, for sharing The
Guardian article with us.

Jan Meisels Allen
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

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