Nurture vs Nature

The issue of nurture versus has generated heated debate among people over the years and even up to date, scholars have not satisfactorily concluded which one among them has a greater effect on us than the other. Nurture refers to the genetic predispositions that determine who we are and how we behave. On the other hand, nature refers to the environment where we grow up that influences and shapes our behavior. Nature gives us inherent abilities and traits; nurture on the other hand, takes these genetic traits and shapes them as we discover new things and mature up. This paper looks at how both nurture and nature are argued, as well as my stand on the issue.

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            According to T., B. and T., nature is a determinant of our physical characteristics such as our looks, skin color, hair color, color of eyes, body shape etc. as well as our personalities, because they are genetically passed to us from our biological parents. Some parents believe that when their children have bad traits, such as stealing, or rudeness, it is because they have not done their parenting well. But maybe some of these traits are passed to the children genetically. This opinion is supported by a recent research that was done at University of Wisconsin, which revealed that, a child’s personality is more influenced by biology than by his or her experiences with other siblings.

            The search for behavioral genes has remained a source of constant debate, with many people fearing that criminal acts may be excused based on genetic arguments. For instance, the issue of gays and lesbians has raised several questions, whether sexual orientation is genetically acquired or is influenced by the environment. The article titled, Were You Born That Way, which appeared on the Life Magazine in April, 1998, reported that it is mostly genes that determine ones sexual orientation; this is according to the findings of new studies.

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            On the other hand, it has been argued that while we inherit out characteristics from nature, nurture plays a major role in influencing those characteristics. For instance, while identical twins may be indistinguishable when they are born in almost all aspects, whey they grow up, they develop distinct personalities. While they remain identical in appearance, they have different interests and behavior. This is believed to be the influence of nurture; the environment they grow up in, that influences their personalities and behaviors.

            Other than the environment, the family setting where a child grows up has a significant influence on their behaviors. Children who grow up in families having only a single biological parent are worse off in terms of their behavior as opposed to those children who grow up in homes with both biological parents present, it does not matter whether the parents are married or not, or their race or educational background. In addition, it has been found that, the pushing to succeed academically, that a child receives when he or she is young can make them work hard to excel in life, even if they are naturally academic dwarfs. For instance, Asian families have high expectations on their children when it comes to school work; i.e. the children are expected to perform well in their academics. This pushes Asian children to work hard, in order not to disappoint their parents.

            To a large extent, the society we live in has a great influence on our behavior. How can we explain the fact that our children, who are born and brought up in a good way, end up as thugs or even prostitutes? According to W. the societal influence is largely to blame for this because children and teenagers want to fit in the society, hence they tend be influenced by peer pressure into doing similar things as their peers, whether bad or good.

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            All in all, both nature and nurture contribute significantly to our characteristics, personalities and behaviors’. My stand is that nature is the bottom line of everything, a person has to be born first, and then he or she inherits the traits from his/ her biological parents, after which those traits can then be influenced by nurture. 

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