Is it true that a student who excels at school is more likely to succeed in the classroom because of their genetic disposition or are they in a better position to do so? Was it because of his genetics that a man killed someone, or was it from watching others? Does a person’s character come from their upbringing and experiences, or are they predestined? Nature versus Nurture is the concept that determines whether the environment or genetics are more important in shaping a person’s personality.
Sir Frances Galton was a psychologist who introduced the debate between nature and nurture in late 1800s. According to the nature argument, genes are a blueprint that is instilled from birth and determines who you are. Your genes are responsible for many characteristics. You can control your hair, eye and blood colour. According to the nurture argument, our environment is responsible for who we are. It is the effect of our environment on our character. Weight is one example. Some diseases can also be caused by the environment of a person. Type Two Diabetes or Coronary Heart Disease are examples. Scientists have studied specific individuals to determine if nature or nurture is the main factor.
Animals have been the main subject of many experiments over the past few decades. Michael Meany, a researcher from the University of California, studied rats to see if having a mother who was more affectionate affected their behavior with children as they aged. He concluded rats who grew up with loving mothers were more nurturing towards their own children. Rats that had less loving and friendly mothers as children showed similar characteristics to their offspring.
Researchers have studied the effect of genetics, environment and our characteristics on identical twins. Since identical twins share the same DNA, they should also share identical characteristics. This study concludes that differences between identical twins may be caused by the environment. These studies have shown that genetics and environment are both responsible for many traits.
Researchers from the University of Amsterdam and Dr. Beben Benjamin analysed twin studies that took place in the last 50 years. Dr. Beben Benyamin stated that there is overwhelming proof that both genetics and environmental factors influence diseases and traits. “On average, approximately 50 percent of differences between individuals are genetic. The other 50 percent is environmental. This statement is not without exceptions. Bipolar disorder was caused by a combination of genetics and environmental factors.
A recent study has shown that the two sides of nature and nurturing are both partially accurate. The field of epigenetics is concerned with the interaction between nature and nurture. Exercise, diet, stress and tobacco use can all affect our genes. The altered genes are passed on to future generations. Epigenetics examines heritable genetic changes caused by lifestyle decisions.
The essay shows that it would be great to have a simple answer from all of these studies about nature vs. culture. It’s not as simple as that. A recent article on the nature vs. nurture debate said that the biological parents were the best predictors to an adopted child’s mental health or personality. It shows that genetics are a big factor in determining someone’s character and traits. Later in the article, however, it states, “No behavioural characteristics are completely inherited. Therefore, you can’t exclude the environment entirely either.” This suggests that both a individual’s natural nature and their experience in life play a part in shaping who they are.