Opinion | Sexuality

The Anti-Racist, Anti-Fear Gene

People with Williams Syndrome, a rare genetic condition, show us what it means to live trusting others as God calls us to.

Over the past month, NPR has addressed various aspects of Williams syndrome, a rare chromosomal condition in which a series of genes on one chromosome has been deleted. Williams syndrome (also Williams-Beuren syndrome, or WBS) is characterized by learning disabilities and cognitive delays, small physical stature and features, a love for music, and a high degree of sociability and trust of other people, including strangers. One NPR report, "Is There an Anti-Racism Gene?" highlighted the fact that people with Williams Syndrome do not share most people's tendency to discriminate against others of different racial backgrounds. A second report, "A Life without Fear," focused on a family in California with a daughter with Williams, Isabelle. It mentioned that Isabelle is "pathologically trusting" and that it is "biologically impossible for her to distrust" other people. A third explored the social alienation experienced, sadly and ironically, by many persons with Williams in spite of their innately ...

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December

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