Nature vs Nurture: Genes vs Environment

1006 Words5 Pages
In trying to understand human behavior, professionals for centuries have looked at the nature vs. nurture theory. While it is known that the physical traits such of eye or hair color have to do with nature, some strongly believe that genes play a part in the way we behave such as in personality and intelligence and others believe that we behave a certain way solely due to our environment. Professor Jerome Kagan, from Harvard opened up a brand new world and offers a deeper understanding for the way we behave. He pointed out that two-year old Marjorie unlike other children her age started out shy, a tendency he believed she inherited and while it is true that Marjorie cannot change that she is a girl there are certain aspect of her make up that did change due to her environment. Pediatric psychiatrist, Stanley Greenspan is a strong believer of both nature and nurture playing intricate parts but not independent of each other. Even though one affects the other the saying like father like son is not guaranteed to be true. But we must consider that it is highly possible for that inherited genes can be activated due to external influences. To pinpoint for instance what temperaments are inherited, scientist at Allegheny University, are hard at work and are looking closely at twins for answers. It is a hard and long process because each gene has to be singled out and look at in conjunction with the environment. Those with the dopamine-4 receptor gene are thrill seeker says Greenspan but they can be retrained to behavior otherwise. This is accomplished by giving alternative way of meeting their needs. It is clear to Professor Kagan when he studied 500 children for more than 17 years. He even got to the stage where he could de... ... middle of paper ... ...tic components it is important to realize that the mind can be retrained. Where would I be today if my parents did not provide a strict environment where I learned many life lessons? Because of such upbringing I am extremely strict more than I care to be. Such seriousness is also displayed in my son. An excellent point was made that no child needs to be captive to her genetic blueprint. Such statement is true but it is unfortunate that many children were not given the opportunity to change. For the first time I am starting to understand my shyness. I now start to look at all the negative traits in me such as my tendency to be moody and wonder if that too could have been inherited. Maybe one day scientist will be able to tell who carries the gene to commit suicide or even kill. This discovery I will further research to gain a deeper understanding.
Open Document