Do you know about epigenetics?

I didn’t until recently, and it is important. But please let me know if this is not news!
Epigenetics is concerned with maternal characteristics acquired from the environment but passed on, contra Darwin. That is, some characteristics aquired by a woman can be inherited by later generations. (but see comment # 4)

Components of the mechanism whereby the environment can so change your DNA’s expression are possessed only by women, or so it is said. I haven’t yet looked to see if anyone working in the area has raised the question of the intersexed.

One reason it is important is what it means for a number of topics of concern to feminists. For example, violence toward a woman can affect later generations, ones yet to be born. Similarly, starvation can also alter one’s DNA; the effects of (attempted) genocide may be visited on later generations. We probably are far from the end to new effects from the holocaust. The possible negative effects of rape may be worse than we now know.

I have seen various estimate of how many generations can be affected; apparently it may be 5. I have not seen yet a good account of the characteristics passed on, but it looks as though at least some unhealthful characteristics should be on the list. If a trauma causes a woman high blood pressure, her children may be born with a tendency to high blood pressure and/ be vulnerable to stress.

Some references: some references accessible to non-scientists: