Do you have the Warrior Gene?

Risk-taking and success may have genetic causes.

The MAOA-L gene variant, the so-called warrior gene, causes its carriers to be more willing to take risks while simultaneously enabling them to better assess their chances of success in critical situations.

For a recently published study, scientists at the California Institute of Technology pitted 83 young men against one another in a financial simulation. This entailed them having to gamble and multiply their seed money, USD 25, in different games. Each man had to choose between a sure option (100% no profit, no loss) and a risky option (various risks of loss and chances of profit) 140 times.

The findings of the study: carriers of the MAOA-L gene variant were more prone to take financial risks, but only if doing so was beneficial to them. This indicates that carriers of the warrior gene variant are in a better position to make decisions, which are beneficial to them.

Earlier studies have shown that the MAOA-L variant can also be responsible for impulsive behaviour and aggressive behaviour, which is why this variant was given the nickname warrior gene.

Human behaviour is complex and affected both by genes as well as by the environment or circumstances. Studies show that carriers of the warrior gene variant more likely show the described behaviour than men without the warrior gene variant.

The warrior gene is on the X-chromosome; hence, men inherit it from their mother. Since men have only one X-chromosome, the warrior gene is fully effective if present. In contrast, women have two X-chromosomes, which is why one single warrior gene either has no or less effect. The effect of the warrior gene on women who have it on both X-chromosomes has yet to be established. The warrior gene test is available for men and women.

Press Reports

Studies on the 'warrior gene'

  • Cary Frydman et al., MAOA-L carriers are better at making optimal financial decisions under risk, Proc. R. Soc. B, (2010)
  • Rose McDermott et al., Monoamine oxidase A gene (MAOA) predicts behavioral aggression following provocation, Proc. Natl Acad. Sci., (2008)
  • Beaver et al., MAOA Genotype is Associated with Gang Membership and Weapon Use, Comprehensive Psychiatry, (2009)

Origins analysis and clarification of Ancient tribe by iGENEA

By Ancient tribes, we refer to peoples from ancient times who are defined not only by their own language, culture and history, but also by their own DNA profile. An origins analysis by iGENEA determines your Ancient tribe by means of your haplogroup and genetic profile. The result refers roughly to the period between 900 BC and 900 AD.

Preview of the iGENEA result


In addition to a certificate containing an origins analysis, genetic profile and personal interpretation, you also receive permanent and unlimited access to the largest DNA genealogy database in the world, which enables you to find people who share common ancestors with you.
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Roman Scholz

Dipl.-Jur. Roman C. Scholz is one of the leading experts in the field of DNA genealogy.

Joelle Apter

Dipl. Biol. Joƫlle Apter is a geneticist and anthropologist.

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Which test is right for me?

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