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Aliya Saperstein's Research Covered in the Stanford News

Photo of Aliya
Feb 11 2019

Stanford sociologists explore who does, and doesn’t, want a DNA ancestry test

Stanford sociologists found that racial identity, when ancestors immigrated and knowledge of family history influence people’s decision to take a DNA test.

At-home DNA testing kits may be the latest fad, but according to new research by Stanford sociologists, not everyone is keen to find out whether they are related to the British royal family or a Neanderthal. In a survey of nearly 110,000 Americans, sociologists Aliya Saperstein, along with former graduate students Adam Horowitz (PhD ’16) and Jasmine Little (MA ’17), found that people who feel most certain of their heritage are more likely to decline a free test because they believe the results would confirm what they already know – even if their perception of their ancestry might not be accurate.

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