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The doctrine or school that regards heredity as more important than environmental influences in determining intelligence and behavior.

he·red′i·tar′i·an (hə-rĕd′ĭ-târ′ē-ən) adj. & n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(hɪˌrɛdɪˈtɛərɪən) ,




(Biology) a person who believes in the doctrine of hereditarianism
(Biology) of or relating to the doctrine of hereditarianism
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(həˌrɛd ɪˈtɛər i ən)

1. a person who believes that differences between individuals or groups are predominantly determined by genetic factors.
2. characteristic of or based on such belief.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Sociogenomics is the latest chapter in a tradition of hereditarian social science dating back more than 150 years.
In the long term, eugenics would give way to the confluence of changing science and rising social activism--modern genetics and the civil rights movement would quash, but not eradicate the hereditarian thinking that sought to parse humanity into the curable fit and the disabled defective.
However, Christine Ferguson's point that "the intensely hereditarian aspects of 'The Critic as Artist' remain neglected" draws attention to an aspect of the essay which today's readers will inevitably find ideologically problematic: that is, Wilde's deployment of a quasi-Eugenicist discourse (65).
In several countries, England, for example, and Italy as well as in Poland, there were debates between hereditarian, individualistic positions and more social problem and poverty-focused ones.
But at the time of The Scarlet Letter's composition, the departure of fathers from the home to the public sphere coincided with an emerging hereditarian theory that posited the mother's far greater responsibility.
This positivist criminology incorporated hereditarian and biological explanations for crime (borrowing from Italian criminologists) and environmental explanations (borrowing from French criminologists).
These early 'hereditarian' theories followed the belief also propagated by the 'polygenist thesis' that racial differences had existed from the beginning of humanity.
(14) American natural scientists in the 1890s "imposed a radically hereditarian interpretation upon the new experimental discoveries," and American social scientists drew from evolutionary science intriguing possibilities for social control (Cravens xviii).
Eugenicists of all political backgrounds identified themselves as hereditarian. (62) As eugenics became more widespread, the role of the environment was incorporated, and social welfare workers looked for environmental explanations for impoverished families.
Victorian openness arose, in large measure, from a new hope of improvement, and against a backdrop less colored by hereditarian beliefs than has often been assumed.
Bowler, The Mendelian Revolution: The Emergence Of Hereditarian Concepts in Modern Science and Society (London: The Athlone Press, 2001), 130-7.