Nature vs Nurture: Genes vs Environment

896 Words4 Pages
As shown in any Psychology 101 course - when the topic of psychology is brought up numerous sub-topics emerge in the minds of the listeners. These sub-topics include therapy, how the mind operates, personality, animals, and the notorious Sigmund Freud. These specific thoughts are rightfully deserved. However, one of the oldest and fundamental issues of psychology is rarely thought of. This great issue spoken of is the debate of nature vs. nurture (Cherry). Generally, the nature vs. nurture issue debates whether the behavioral make-up of a person is determined by what they inherit through genetics, nature, or the pool of the particular environment they are submerged in, nurture. Nature vs. nurture is such a prominent debate because it influences the various beliefs of the origins of homosexuality, addictions, and intelligence (McLeod 2007). With research these beliefs and this debate can be thoroughly depicted and evaluated. Nature vs. nurture does not only affect psychology, this debate is considered as a factor in many current hot topics; as for example, homosexuality. Is homosexuality caused by genetics or the environment one is born into and raised from? Sociobiologists have been trying to determine this for decades (Johnson 2003). There are several different theories on how homosexuality is actually commenced and it is guaranteed that mostly all of those theories relate directly back to nature and nurture. On the biological side, in 1957 Karen Hooker conducted a psychological experiment in order to test for biological determinism for homosexuality. The people subjected to testing were self-acclaimed homosexuals and heterosexuals who all shared approximately the same age, intelligence, and education. The subjects completed three psychological tests. In the end, the two subject groups’ answers to the tests were highly similar. This incited Hooker to conclude that sexuality is not based on environmental factors (Cornuelle 2010). However, this evidence does not change the mind of psychologists on the environmental side. Psychologists on this side believe that childhood events as not only one of the key elements, but the most significant key element involved in homosexuality (Johnson 2003). According to the article Homosexuality: Born or Made?, these psychologists examine and interpret parental and family dynamics. However, there is a lack of evidence that supports the idea of homosexuality being caused by one’s environment, or that heterosexual and homosexual children are raised any differently (Giamanco 2005). Nevertheless, the cause of homosexuality is one of science’s greatest mysteries. Although there have been countless experiments and tests done on this subject there is no definite answer as to what the cause of homosexuality is.
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