Free Nature vs. Nurture Essay


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Nature vs. Nurture

 

There has always been a large controversy over whether

inherited genes or the environment influences and effects our

personality, development, behavior, intelligence and ability.  This

controversy is most often recognized as the nature verses nurture

conflict.  Some people believe that it is strictly genes that effect our

ways of life, others believe that it is the environment that effects us,

and some believe that both of these influence our behavior.  Either way,

social scientists have been struggling for centuries deciding whether

our personalities are born or made.  Tests are done often on identical

twins that were separated to see how they are each influenced by their

separate environments.

 

In the past twenty years, it has been discovered that there is a

genetic component to every human trait and behavior.  However, genetic

influence on traits and behavior is partial because genetics account on

average for half of the variation of most traits.  Urie Bronfrenbrenner,

who studies genetics, said, "It is not nature vs. nurture, but the

interaction of nature and nurture that drives development."  Researchers

are finding that the balance between genetic and environmental

influences for certain traits change as people get older.  Also, people

may react to us in a certain way because of a genetically influenced

personality and, we may choose certain experiences because they fit best

with our instinctive preferences.  This means that our experiences may

be influenced by our genetic tendencies.  One way researchers study the

development of traits and behaviors is by measuring the influence of

genetics through out ones life span, and it is found to be that the

genetic influence on certain trait increase as people age.  A research

was done to see whether a trait would show up in a child if it was

environmentally influenced or genetically influenced.  A child was given

more negative attention than another was, and it increased the chances

of the child having depressive symptoms and anti-social behavior.  But

these symptoms disappeared when accounted for genetic influences and how

parents treat their children.

 

There are three types of gene/environment relations.  The first

one is called a passive correlation.  It is to be explained as, for

example, if a musical ability was genetic, and a child was passed a

musical ability trait, than the child would most likely have musically

inclined parents.  Their parents then would provide them with the genes

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and environment to promote the development of that ability.  The second

one is called evocative.  This happens when genetically distinct people

evoke different reactions from peers and parents and others.  And the

third association is called an active correlation.  This is when people

actively select experiences that fit with their genetically influenced

preferences.  This doesn't mean that there are no environmental

influences on behavior, because, for example, it is found to be that a

loss of a parent during childhood promotes alcoholism in women.  It is

also shown that genetics play a big role in influencing people within

society.  Leadership is a big quality that everyone has and there is a

wide range of variations.  Heritability is what researchers call 'the

degree to which behavioral variations within a population can be

accounted for by genes.'  Heritability is what is found to make up a lot

of one's personality.  For quite some time scientists have been trying

to draw a line between heredity and leadership also.  There is no single

leadership personality.  Even intelligence can only go so far with

leadership.  It also involves how people make decisions, and how they

give and carry out rules, how they are involved with a group, and how

they inspire and respect others.  The list of characteristics is

endless.

 

Although genes seem to play as a map for a person's life,

researchers caution that genes act only as an influence.  Anyone who has

enough will or a strong enough experience could effect the way they act

or react for the rest of their life.  In other words, if an

environmental background is changed, the amount of variation that is due

to genetics can change.

 

In conclusion, it is safe to say that the role of genetics and the

environment equalize people's traits and behavior.  You cannot blame

either one because without one, the other would not be activated.  Genes

effect a lot of your personality and behavior but the environment

mutates and molds the way people are going to act.  This will always be

an ongoing controversy because it is nearly impossible to pin point

accurately where the role of genes and the environment steps in.


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