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Gender

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Shrota Desai
Prof. Megan Dresibach
Communication Skills 099
November 22 2014 Being yourself and being who you are mean two different things. When hearing the two lines, one may tend to think that both phrases mean the same however, they don’t. Put some thought into it; are babies born with talent, ideas, goals or preferences? No, as an individual grows up, they develop these things and they develop their own personal identity as a result. Today in the fields of modern science, psychology and neuroscience, as well as literature and pop culture, the behavior of males and how they should appear as true men is heavily debated. In “Were You Born That Way?” George Howe Colt ’s main argument is between nature and nurture. He uses his own experiences and parenthood to support his argument by using genetic facts, realistic emotion and the way he gives himself knowledge. John Updike delivers his own personal account in "The Disposable Rocket." Reflecting on the recklessness of his male youth, he describes the essence of being a man with great imagery. He notes that his constant quest for sexual pleasure, the greedy thirst for adventure, and bold carelessness are features that glorify the male body. However, one could argue that men can be much more than that; they can be anything they want. In other words, Updike describes a type of lifestyle which- at least in the 21st century- is not unique to, or descriptive of the male gender. One way he uses his own experience to develop his argument about nature vs. nurture is through genetic facts. According to his article he states, “…Watching my daughter arrange her 37 Beanie Babies by color in chronological order. My lump of putty is eight now and I don’t need a DNA scan to tell me that she has inherited her mother’s intelligence, her fathers stubbornness, her grandfathers wit” (Colt 87). This quote is an example of nature. The traits found in one gene makes us who we are. In his text, he also says that, when he sees his daughter, he sees a part of himself in her. Why? Because of their identical genetic traits. Another way colt defends his argument is through giving himself knowledge. In the beginning of his text, he talks about his choices as a parent and how he will give his daughter a well knowledged future. To support this, he says, “ At home our bedside tables were swaybacked by towers of well thumbed parenting manuals… the shelves were lines with books, educational puzzles and IQ boosting rattles.” (Colt, 1). These were his and his wife’s choices. It was their choice to make an effort to become better parents and surround their daughter with better knowledge. This is an example of nurture. They are trying to teach their daughter better things. As a baby is born, their learning process begins. The things they are surrounded by is what they learn. Lastly, he defends his argument by emotion. In the beginning of his article he states, “If someone had tapped us on the shoulder and told us that none of this would matter that in fact we could switch babies… well, we would have thwacked that someone with a stim mobile” (Colt 1). This was his choice of becoming a better parent and making the right choices. This is an example of nurture. The environment he was surrounded by made him make this choice. If one is surrounded by better things, he will do better things and make wise choices. As we grow, we are projected by the ideas the outside world that brings us theories and ideas. In conclusion, Colt’s main argument was between nature and nurture. Without influences from the world around us, we would not be where we are. Once a person’s identity is developed, it makes us who we are.

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