M1 Discuss the Nature Nurture Debate in Relation to the Development of an Individual

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M1 - Discuss the nature-nurture debate in relation to the development of an individual

The historical debate regarding nature and nurture has been going on for years and is still unresolved. Many theorists believe what we have inherited and our genes, makes us the way we are and how we develop. Other theorists believe it is the way we are brought up and our experiences, that make us the way we are and how we develop. Physical

The way we look can be argued to be mainly due to nature. The genes we inherit from our parents make the basis of we look. For example, people often say ‘Don’t you look like your father/mother!’ Genetic inheritance can determine our eye colour, whether we have straight or curly hair or how tall we will be. We can also inherit certain disease which can seriously impact on our health. However, we can make decisions on how we look and change our appearance. There are many different cosmetic procedures available to alter our appearance. How we live our life and the choices we make can also have an impact on how we look. For example, eating junk food and not exercising can lead to obesity. The environment we are brought up in and the experiences we have, can influence our health which contributes to physical development. An example of how nature and nurture affect our physical development is; we may carry genes that increase our risk of developing type 2 diabetes, but if we eat a healthy diet and get sufficient exercise, we may not develop the disease. The genes for characteristics we inherit are called genotypes. The actual express of these characteristics are phenotypes. The phenotypes are what decide our physical traits such as; eye colour and height – they can be seen. Genes we inherit can affect our health. For example, a daughter is more likely to have breast cancer if her mother has had it. However, our life choices and the environment can increase our chances of having breast cancer. For example, if we smoke. Cheryl Cole’s mum has never had any breast cancer, so she may not have inherited the disease. However, the fact that Cheryl smokes can increase the risk of her getting breast cancer. In the argument for nature, a study was carried out in America by Dr. Stefan A. Czerwinski and his colleagues. They argue genetics have a strong effect on rate of growth, the size of body parts and the onset of growth events. In their study they “followed their subjects for thirty years. By using such parental measurements as height and weight, these scientists were able to predict quite accurately the approximate height and weight of their subjects at the age of thirty.” www.livestrong.com (2007) In the argument for nurture, environmental factors that can affect physical development include toxins and the climate, but the main factor is probably diet. The Minnesota twin studies found even identical twins who share the same genes can grow up to be of different height if they are raised in different environments. Such environmental factors as nutrition can affect physical growth significantly. www.livestrong.com (2007) Cheryl is a slim size 8 and has never been obese. Both of her parents are also slim and always have been. It could be argued that Cheryl is slim due to the genes she inherited from them – nature. It could also be argued that Cheryl is only slim because she attends the gym regularly and eats a balanced diet - nurture. From a young age Cheryl’s parents encouraged her to attend dance classes as a form of exercise. Did this contribute to her choosing to maintain a healthy lifestyle? Or was she made that way? I think that being in the public eye, she is constantly aware the media will pick up on her putting on any weight. So because she has been in the public eye from a youngish age, she has maintained her slim figure because she doesn’t want to be critisised within the media and the environment she is in. Intellectual

Is our intellectual development the result of genes? Or is it how we are brought...
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