Nature vs. Nurture Issue

As concerns the debate of nature versus nurture, I found that it usually concerns the importance of a person’s innate quality versus the way he or she was brought up or his/her personal experiences in the determination of their behavioral and physical characteristics. The act of nurturing involves promoting the development or nourishing a child, or the acts of feeding and supporting them by their parents. On the other hand, nature refers to life or the phenomena that is witnessed in the physical world. The “nurture vs. nature” phrase was initially utilized in the discussions concerning the influences that our heredity and environments have on our communal advancement. John Locke, the philosopher, suggested that humans usually acquire their behavioral characteristics from the way they are nurtured. In addition, Locke suggested that the development of humans only comes from influences in their environments.

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According to Lippa, the genetic organization of many properties that our brains have does not only depend on the information received through our senses. Scientifically, in order to separate the effect that comes from our genes from those that come with our environments, experts in the field of behavioral science have advocated that we carry out twin studies and adoption studies. This may be done by decomposing the variances that exist within a population into their genetic and ecological parts. According to experts, such moves from an individual to an entire population may help in creating a serious distinction in our perceptions on the debate concerning nature along with nurture. The existing variances between the two have further been broken down by scientists who stipulated that there are differences between the shared and unshared factors. Scientists have previously used the term ‘heritability’ for explaining the variances in characteristics that exist in humans due to their upbringing in different environments.

According to Sigelman and Rider, nurture does not explain effectively the variances that exist in most of our characteristics. According to the two, peer groups or other ecological factors are more vital than family ecological effects. More recently, other definitions of nurture have been expanded for the purposes of including their influence on a child’s development. These influences may arise from the prenatal experiences, parental and peer experiences and their extended families. Previous studies indicate that environmental inputs to our human nature could arise from the stochastic variations we have had during our prenatal development. Heritability is a term that has been utilized in this debate to show the levels of genetic variation among people who share similar traits. However, this term may not been used when referring to the levels that certain individual characteristics occur due to ecological along with genetic factors. Nature along with how we were nurtured are said to be responsible for the characteristics that an individual may possess. The contributions of our genes and ecological systems to our individual characteristics can be determined by studying twins. In the first study, I would use identical twins that have been reared separately are compared to other people who have been selected randomly.  These twins should have similar genetic make ups but come from different environments. A second study may be carried out on identical twins that have been brought up together and a comparison made to fraternal twins also brought up together. In using adoption to determine the genetic characteristics of individual’s, the biological siblings brought up together may be weighed against adoptive siblings. However, these studies will be limited, since they have a small range of genes or environments from which samples are gotten. Most of these studies have also been carried out in the developed countries, thereby implying that their results cannot be generalized to include people from the undeveloped parts of the world. The term ‘heritability’ has been used for describing the origin of the variances that exist between different individuals. According to previous studies, an individual’s development usually depends on various ecological factors and the different genes found in humans. The variations that exist in our characteristics occur due to the differences found in our genetics or environments. For example, the Huntington’s disease has been said to be caused by differences in our genetic make ups, whereas the characteristics we possess like speaking our native languages are obtained from our environment.

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In this debate, nature emphasizes the biological factors that are reflected by a specific amount of organisms. Subsequently, the activation of genes in humans takes place at certain times, when an individual is developing, and are founded on the production of proteins. These proteins usually comprise of hormones along with enzymes that are responsible for signaling and structuring these molecules for directing our development.  When considering the influence that genes have in the debate, variations in promoter areas of the transporter genes referred to as 5-HTTLPR do exist. This gene is mainly inherited and is responsible for happiness in humans and can be used in measuring their satisfaction in life. On the other hand, the nurture side of this debate emphasizes on the amount of reflection an organism has regarding environmental factors. In actual terms, the interaction of our ecology and genes affects the developments of individuals. Biologically, the interaction of our genes with the hormones in the environment will be used for signaling the beginning of a new phase of development. For the purposes of correcting deadly errors in the genetic makeup of an unborn child, the hormones in our bodies have to collaborate with our genes and cannot work alone. Our genes and surroundings should be in sync so as to ensure the normal development of a child. In addition, despite acquiring genes for tall height from a parent, an individual cannot grow without eating well. According to previous reports, the key to comprehending the complex human behaviors and diseases lies in studying our environments, genes and the equal interaction between these two elements.

The family environment that a child in turn grows up in may have effects on his or her IQ. According to the previous research, the development of a normal child requires some level of accountability while a person provides care. A good environment plays a vital role in ensuring that a child develops well, whereas abusive environments have adverse effects on a child’s intelligence. According to Moore, the genetic relationship that exists between our positive personal characteristics such as happiness, are reflections of our psychopathology comorbidity. Most of the personality factors that are found in humans are usually consistent across different cultures. This fact is supported by the notion of identical twins living apart but having similar personalities, compared to people that have been selected at random or fraternal twins. Likewise, biological siblings have been said to have more personality similarities than any adoptive siblings. These studies have helped in bringing out the fact that our personalities are somehow inheritable.  For instance, in an experiment conducted using 973 pairs of twins, their heritable differences were found to have been fully accounted for by the personality domain’s model of five factors. During the experiments, room was provided to allow for an examination of the people’s genes and their environments.

The adoption studies have mainly been put into use, when measuring the strength of effects that are shared in families though siblings that have been adopted only have to share their family environments. These studies additionally indicate that by the time a child is approaching adulthood, the adopted sibling’s personality are similar to those of a stranger. This, therefore, implies that the level of their shared family effect on their personality is normally zero. Environmental effects that are not shared by the adopted siblings are more than their shared ecological effect. This implies that the environmental effects that are considered to as life-shaping have lesser impacts that effects which are not shared and which are also hard to identify. A likely source of effects that are not shared by individuals is the arbitrary variations that occur in an individual’s development program. Thus nurturing cannot be the main factor within our environment, since these environments along with our situations have impacts on our lives. However, reports suggest that these situations do not influence our reactions to the ecological factors. Instead, our personality traits have been said to be responsible for how an individual may react to a certain situation. For instance, extraverted prisoners may become unhappy compared to the introverted prisoners, and may react to their imprisonment more negatively because they have preset extraverted personalities.

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Genes are reportedly responsible for mediating and influencing the existing relationship between our personalities and our well-being. The theory on human development seeks to merge old ideas coming from fields like sustainable development, feminist economics, ecological economics and welfare economics. These theories usually seek to avoid the unconcealed normative politics through the justification of its theses in the fields of economics, ecology along with social sciences while working within the context of the globalization process. These theories mainly focus on the measurement of an individual’s well-being, while detecting any uneconomic growth that may come at the expense of human health’s. It models how to deploy social and instructional capital for optimizing the total values of the human capital found within an economy. These theories have their major focus on the roles played by individual capital within the environment, along with the adaptation of an individual to living well in it.

In conclusion, after analyzing the facts presented in the paper, both nature and nurture can be said to attribute to the behaviors and genetic composition of an individual. They, however, determine their characteristics depending on the situation an individual may find himself or herself in.

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