Are you genetically programmed to be a scaredy cat?
A new study by German scientists suggests there’s a genetic explanation as to why horror films amuse some folks, yet fill others with nameless dread. Researchers tested 96 women on their response to crime-scene images and unexpected loud noises, and found that ones with a certain variation of something called the “COMT gene” startled more dramatically than others.
Despite the depth of my scientific knowledge*, I’m not sure how solid the study is. I am, however, vindicated knowing it was not me who, in the middle of a crowded movie theater back in 2002, curled my knees up to my chest, pressed my fists up to my forehead, squinted my eyes, and made a pathetic “eeep” sound when Scary McLonghair crawled out of that television set in The Ring.
So tell me, PopWatchers: Do any of you have the same easily rattled genes as me? And would you be interested in a “cure” for what ails you? (My short answer can be found by clicking here.)
* Took courses called “sociobiology” and “geology” to fill college science requirement.