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Nature Vs. Nurture : A Debate Within Psychology

There ‘s a debate within psychology about whether certain aspects of behavior are genetic or learned characteristics. Certain physical characteristics are genetic, like color of eyes, hair type, and skin color. Other things like driving, talking, or tying your shoes are learned. People wonder if personality and mental abilities are genetic or learned. There are good arguments for both the nurture, and nature side of these three issues: intelligence, personality, and homosexuality.


The process of genetically inheritance is the transmission of traits from parents to offspring. Each cell in the body has 23 pairs of chromosomes and one chromosome from each pair is inherited from the mother and one from the father into the child. Mutations in the DNA code causes different forms of genes to appear in the offspring. People genetically inherit their facial features, some diseases, instincts, and some would argue their sexuality, personality, or intelligence. Sexual desires, along with sleeping and facial recognition, are said to be instincts.

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Learned traits are behavioral traits that a person is taught to have for their environment and survival needs. They ‘re usually forced onto the person to improve survival or to fit in. The most accepted theory is that most of a person ‘s behavior is a result of their environment. Instincts are known since birth and contradict some things that are thought to be a learned trait.
According to Jennifer Smith in the article “Waking Up from the American Dream,” “One ‘s intelligence, in a very real sense, is simply a matter of luck. One is born with it and can only gain

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so much through effort.” People relate someone innovative usually to have a high level of
intelligence. When background checks are given to the person the influences of nature versus
nurture are brought up. The argument is whether intelligence is learned or is one born with their
intelligence. Today most psychologist recognized that human intelligence is formed by both genetic factors and their environment.


Those who argue that intelligence is hereditary would say a who developed early skills quickly were born smart. They ‘d say an average person wouldn ‘t be able to achieve the greatness someone like Albert Einstein could. Evidence of genetic influences include: “Twin studies suggest that identical twins IQ ‘s are more similar than those of fraternal twins” (Promin & Spinath, 2004). and, “Siblings reared together in the same home have IQ ‘s that are more similar than those of adopted children raised together in the same environment” (McGue & others, 1993). The idea of nature in intelligence was strongly rejected by early modern philosophers. If two parents with very high IQs have a child with a very low IQ, it ‘s most likely due to genetic mutation.


There are many environmental influences that are said to influence intelligence, the biggest being family and education. If a child has a home life that encourages learning they usually are of higher intelligence than a child not in that type of home. A person ‘s access to education also determines their intelligence level, and usually the more education they have the more intelligent they are. Anup Shah, in the article “Causes of Poverty,” on the website GlobalIssue, claims, “Children raised in poverty tend to miss school more often because of illness.” Nutrition affects intelligence throughout a human lifespan. Proper nutrition establishes a

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base for future intellectual development. Stress also plays a part in human intelligence. There ‘s
many prenatal factors that can cause developmental delays.
The development of personality is another part of the nature versus nurture debate. The argument is whether personality traits are more hereditary than influenced by their environment.


One ‘s personality is their combination of qualities that make their character.
It ‘s often easy to see similarities between a child ‘s personality and it ‘s parents. But it seems that the child ‘s personality has developed from it ‘s parent ‘s influences. Some people would say they got their short-temper from their parents or everyone in their family exhibits the same type of interests. It ‘s hard to tell if the child ‘s personality traits are influenced from being around their parents or are hereditary. In twin studies identical twins if environmental factors are the same, the only thing that can make identical twins more similar than fraternal twins is their greater genetic similarity. 40% of identical twins ‘ personality is hereditary.


When children exhibit certain behaviors that neither parent demonstrates can be argued that nature plays a role in the development of the child ‘s personality. When people are around another person a lot they tend to display traits that that other person displays. If a nice child is abused by a parent they can start to become more aggressive and violent later in their life. The United States government has spent billions in genetic research and the current evidence seem to show that we don ‘t have genes for our personality. Personality is not determined by any single gene but by may genes working together. Even working together genes are not powerful enough to control or create one ‘s personality. The genetic factors work with the environmental factors to create personality.

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The debate about homosexuality and whether it ‘s a result of nature or nurture has been
going on for a long time. It has taken even greater importance now because it ‘s become so widely
debated throughout the world. With some places making it legal for gay marriage and some places making it not legal. People are trying to fight for the homosexual ‘s right to have the same rights and marriage benefits of a regular married couple. There ‘s been compromises trying to give them some of the same rights but not all.


Some people think homosexuality is a biological factor. They think it ‘s as much of a choice as one ‘s race is. They think nature is responsible for a person to become a homosexual. Some of the strongest evidence that people are born gay is based on the fraternal birth order effect. Researchers calculate that about 15 to 30 percent of gay men have the fraternal birth order effect. Several studies have shown that men with older biological brothers are likelier to be gay than men with older sisters or no older siblings. The likelihood of being gay increases by 33 percent with each older brother. Scientist haven ‘t been able to prove much else for the reason some people may be homosexual. Some people claim no one would choose to be gay and go through all the ridicule they go through. With such an anti-homosexual society they ‘d rather be straight, but they cannot control who they develop feelings for and who they find attractive.
Other people believe homosexuality is a choice or the result of something negatively affecting a p

erson. Some say sexual orientation is not like an instinct. People become homosexual through life experiences and the influences around them. Some homosexuals admit to figuring out they rather be in bed with a man over a women later in life through their own experiences. Some people believe homosexuals have the choice to leave the lifestyle. They say dating and

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marriage doesn ‘t magically happen and that we choose the life we want to live and who we want
to live that life with. Some people think others become homosexual if they ‘re raped as a boy.
Those people say being homosexual is all about the sex.


The nurture versus nature arguments for most topics are very controversial and both don ‘t really have any proof to say whether one is right over the other. One might have more information, or make a bigger argument than the other but there ‘s no proof to prove the other wrong. For me it ‘s hard to choose a side in any of these arguments. It ‘s hard to choose a side when there ‘s not any 100% proof the other is wrong. My opinions lead towards the nurture side for most of the topics. Nature vs Nurture don ‘t have exact proof for the other to be wrong but both pose a good stance and argument against the other.

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Nature Vs. Nurture : A Debate Within Psychology
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There 's a debate within psychology about whether certain aspects of behavior are genetic or learned characteristics. Certain physical characteristics are genetic, like color of eyes, hair type, and skin color. Other things like driving, talking, or tying your shoes are learned. People wonder if personality and mental abilities are genetic or learned. There are good argum
2019-05-06 03:51:17
Nature Vs. Nurture : A Debate Within Psychology
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