Essay Nature vs Nurture: Genes vs Environment

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The argument of nature vs. nurture is a long-standing one in the psychological and social worlds. It is the argument about whether we are ruled by our genes or our upbringing. It is my thought that neither is true. It is nature working with nurture which determines our personality and our lifestyle.

The Nature Argument The proponents of the nature side of the nature vs. nurture argument hold the position that we are who we are because of our genetic code. They think that they have isolated genes that determine whether someone is predisposed to alcoholism, smoking, and mental as well as physical illness. In April of 2006, Susan Bergeson and a team of scientists at the University of Texas “found 20 gene candidates that could influence
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When the horrific acts took place at Columbine High School in Littleton, CO, the first response of those living in the community and around the world was to place the blame for the actions of the shooters squarely on their parents. The prevailing thought was that maybe the parents didn’t pay enough attention to them. This was really an unfair assumption on the part of the world. This instance did, however, help scientists explore further the peer relationship of the nurture side of the argument. Judith Rich Harris helped bring this thought process around with her thesis that “after an all-too-brief period of babyhood, the tribal--and sometimes secret--world of a child's friends and schoolmates exerts a potent and even decisive influence.” (Healy. 1999) This more firmly places in control the nurture side of the argument.
Nature vs. Nurture History These arguments have a long-standing place in psychology’s history. It dates all the way back to Plato, who believed that character and intelligence were inherited. Aristotle disagreed, believing that everything in the mind comes from the outside world. This debate was picked up again in the 1600’s, with John Locke’s belief that “the mind is a blank sheet on which experience writes.”

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