Phobias may be memories passed down in genes from ancestors
Memories may be passed down through generations in DNA in a process that may be the underlying cause of phobias
Memories can be passed down to later generations through genetic switches that allow offspring to inherit the experience of their ancestors, according to new research that may explain how phobias can develop. Scientists have long assumed that memories and learned experiences built up during a lifetime must be passed on by teaching later generations or through personal experience. However, new research has shown that it is possible for some information to be inherited biologically through chemical changes that occur in DNA. Researchers at the Emory University School of Medicine, in Atlanta, found that mice can pass on learned information about traumatic or stressful experiences – in this case a fear of the smell of cherry blossom – to subsequent generations. The results may help to explain why people suffer from seemingly irrational phobias – it may be based on the inherited experiences of their ancestors. (via Phobias may be memories passed down in genes from ancestors - Telegraph)
i would love to know what this means in the context of slave descendants.
Yes, me as well, and also what this means for surviving families of not just enslavement, but also Indigenous genocide, and in some cases, both simultaneously. We have our great grandmothers memories. For some of us, this inherently means trauma. I have heard of a book called “Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome” but as far as I’m aware this is just that, and not peer reviewed.
However, I think we’ll come to find that this will play a huge role in the way we shape and form academia in the future. As it becomes clear that anything from multi-generational wariness to European-looking people to fears of water or possibly even animals used to enforce enslavement can be explored as a genetic memory… Maybe those atrocities themselves will no longer be forced under the rug.
There is a systematic downplaying of colonial history; to the point where people don’t even know what land they stand on or who it originally belongs to. However, for the descendants, even if they are forced out of their own histories and cultures, they will STILL carry some form of memory of these decades/centuries long traumas. It will affect them throughout their lives and they may not even know it… I often see this now in the form of all-to-regular self hatred.
When it is empirically proven that the descendants of the enslaved and survivors of genocide carry a genetic memory, maybe the colonizer’s academic structure will force itself to honor those it constantly erases. Or maybe it will simply shape itself again to continue on how it already does; as active agents of social violence.