Would You Test Your Child’s DNA to Gauge Athletic Promise?

Two companies which offer parents the opportunity to test their children’s DNA for indications that their offspring may possess natural, physical athletic traits are causing pediatricians and ethicists to call a foul, the Washington Post said.


One pediatrician and bioethicist at the University of Chicago told the paper: “This is really disturbing. Sports and physical activity should be fun for kids. It shouldn’t be, ‘You’re going to be the world’s greatest athlete’ or ‘Give up now, kid, because you won’t have a chance’ because of your genes.”


However a spokesman for a Colorado company which analyzes genes for a muscle protein associated with “producing quick bursts of power,” told the Post: “A lot of people get confused and think we’re saying this can tell you whether you or your child will be the next Michael Jordan. It doesn’t tell you that. But it will tell you whether you are producing a protein and whether you are predisposed to be good at a sprint sport or an endurance sport.”


One Utah father told the paper that he had his 10-year-old daughter’s DNA tested because “he was curious to learn more about why she excelled at soccer. ‘I already knew she had that something special,” the father said. ‘This is just a tool to help me determine what to do with her strengths as well as some of her shortcomings.’” (May 2011)