Nurture Plus Nature

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Nurture Plus Nature

Raegan Robb
Psych101
Dec.9th 1996

The classic debated topic of nurture versus nature has been, and always will be an argumentative subject in the scientific world. Some psychologists and scientists share the view that our behavioral aspects originate only from the environmental factors of our upbringing. While other opposing specialists argue the outlook in science that agrees with the naturalist idea. This concept of naturalistic ideas supports the hereditary genetic framework, inherited from our parents, is the sole determining factor in our behavioral characteristics. These two opposing viewpoints have produced a multitude of ideas, theories, and arguments in the history of psychology.

John Broadus Watson, the father of American behaviorism, greatly reinforced the source of nurture by studying learned and adaptive behavior patterns in our environmental surroundings (Rathus p.13). During this same time of revolutionary ideas in psychology, American psychologist, Arnold Gesell supported the opposite views of Watson. Gesell theorized that "physical and motor growth and development is monitored and regulated by an automatic natural process"(Rathus p.13). Each of these ideas has persisted strongly in the world of psychology from the nineteenth century on into the twentieth, but now a new and united psychology world acknowledges both theories equally. It is imagined, today, that the explanation of our behavioral characteristics originates from both our heredity, and the environment in which we were raised.

This report supports the theory that both aspects of nurture, with the addition of nature are involved in and explain our complete behaviors. Many studies and experiments have been conducted in recent years of psychology to give this combined idea its appealing thesis. A great deal of research and experimentation has been conducted in order to solve the puzzling results that derive from situational differences in being raised. The different causes and effects of various situations, focus on the actual importance, and necessity of proper nurturing in childhood development (Turecki). Studies on the early developing years in children show how effects of various environmental situations can cause mixed attitudes, personalities, beliefs, sexual preference, and other behavioral patterns in children (Turecki & Adams).

For example, studies have been conducted on whether children that have been raised by single parents are going to develop differently than if both natural parenting members were present through a child's infancy and adolescents. There are also cases being studied about step parenting, or entirely different parenting with the process of adoption. With a shocking change of one or both parents in any stage of life, attitudes, and reactions are apt to become altered with a new lifestyle. Also with step or adopted parents, entirely different siblings could possibly become added to the family structure, altering the environments of all affected children. Psychologists have found that, although various situational differences can be traumatic in a child's life, the influence of the upbringing environment doesn't overshadow the hereditary source of behavior (Rathus p.112).

Extreme concern has also risen about the effects of such traumatic childhood events and genetical characteristics on sexual orientation. The subject of gay or lesbian parenting is also a major concern not only in psychology, but for many people around the world. Psychologists wonder if the affects of this erratic situational difference will result in a inner-conflict between a child's hereditary instincts and environmental behavior. Although the factors of genetics may have a small deciding component to sexual orientation, psychologist John Money, concluded that "sexual orientation is not under the direct governance of chromosomes and genes" (Rathus p.367-368). Children from these conditions...
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