What movies shouldn’t teach you

After purchasing the Alien quadrology I was very excited to see all the movies again after so many years. One week and all four movies were consumed.

But instead of leaving me with that fascination that it initially left me with as a child, it left me with somewhat of a frustration. Alien 3 was the reason.

I was somewhat disturbed by the portrayal of a real life condition such as XYY syndrome in this movie.

The XYY carriers were all rapists, thugs and violent criminals due to “their excessive production of testosterone” (this is not a case in reality in XYY carriers). A cheap shot at making the environment more “unfriendly” for Ripley by inducing an element of the “extremley unpredictable man”.

The men were portrayed as nothing more than savage rapists.

Alien 3

And it dawned on me; how many other syndromes, conditions and diseases aren’t portrayed in such a way? I am all for liberal and creative rights in arts, and it is not the portrayal of the syndrome that concerns me in sci-fi writing, it is the lack of passion for using actual science instead of resolving to cheap shots and prejudice.

Sci-Fi writers often strive to make characters interesting by giving them real life conditions with a twist.

Because to someone who does not have any further knowledge of genetics or medical sciences, most syndromes and mutations may seem a bit “out of this world” fantastic.

I myself, having at least some level of this knowledge can’t believe that there are actual cases of human chimera, and that it is not a sci-fi phenomenon. However I am fully aware that there is absolutely no difference between a chimera and a non-chimera, and that in fact, many of us may be it without even knowing.

In reality there is either nothing glamorous or nothing “out of this world” about these conditions.

XYY syndrome is characterized by an extra copy of the Y chromosome in each of a male’s cells. Most males with XYY syndrome have normal sexual development and are able to father children.

XYY syndrome is associated with an increased risk of learning disabilities and delayed development of speech and language skills.

This condition occurs in about 1 in 1,000 new-born boys.

There has, to date, not been any coherent evidence that men with XYY are more violent, more prone to crime or appear in a higher frequency as rapists compared to non XYY carriers.

So please, dear Sci-Fi writers.

Consult real scientists, and foremost; Be creative! Refrain from using already existing conditions and thus creating unfair prejudice and create non-existing conditions, for is when you think and create that you inspire science. Inspire us, don’t make us irritated.

 

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