Nature vs Nurture

Topics: Nature versus nurture / Pages: 12 (2941 words) / Published: May 29th, 2008
Introduction o The terms nature and nurture as a convenient catchphrase for the roles of heredity and environment in human development can be traced back to 13th Century France o So was the way we behave engrained in us before we were born? Or has it developed over time response to our experiences?

Many scientists think that people behave as they do according to genetic dispositions or even “animal instincts”; this is known as the “nature” theory of human behaviour. Even though scientists have known for decades that traits such as eye and hair colour are determined by specific genes encoded in each human cell, the nature theory takes things a step further, to say that most abstract traits such as intelligence, personality, aggression and sexual orientation are also encoded in an individuals DNA. An example of this would be the highly controversial idea of a “gay gene”, pointing to a genetic component to sexual orientation. In a 1993 research study, the term “gay gene” gained popular usage, as in this study it is believed that in a particular segment of the X chromosome, which was said to be more prevalent in homosexual men, which reported that homosexuality could be attributed to this section of DNA. This study became so controversial because eugenically minded religious extremists even envisaged abortion as a means of decreasing the incidence to the gene. However this study has since been disputed, although geneticists have succeeded in identifying genes that play some role in influencing human behaviour, they have been much less successful in shedding light on the complexities of human personalities.

Another nature argument takes place in the “twin’s studies”. Twin studies became popular in the 1970s and 80s using both identical twins and adopted children. One well known study is known as the “Colorado Adoption Project”. One of the things that researchers found is that kids raised by their biological parents tend to be similar to their parents in

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