Nature Vs Nurture
The nature vs. nurture argument has been the longest outstanding debate in the field of psychology. Each side holds steadfastly on their points of views and why not? Each side holds valuable evidenced opinions that determine an individual’s development and traits, making it impossible to pick a side conclusively. Nevertheless, nature and nurture play a significant role in human development.
Nature is the wiring of an individual from when they are born, a situation influenced by their inherited genetic makeup and biological factors. Genetics is widely known to determine an individual’s physical features such as hair color, height, eye color, skin color among others. These characteristics have led to a conclusion that genetics may influence other factors such as personality, smartness, sexual orientation and behavior. Individuals that hold on to the genetic position believe that the character traits a human being expresses are due to the evolution of the individual genetic code influencing the differences. Further, they believe that some characters may not appear at birth but later in life when a person’s inner clock switches on and the characters surface such as during the adolescent period.
Nature has gained a lot of attention recently due to various issues supporting this premise. First, numerous scientists have made headway in discovery, by ascertaining various genes that elicit various behaviors. For instance, the discovery of the existence of a ‘gay gene’ that purports that gay people are born this way. Secondly, behavioral theorists and researchers agree on the presence of a ‘behavioral gene’ that orients people towards aggressiveness, crime, and tendency to divorce. However, the most crucial evidence of the influence of genetics towards behavior is in the behavior of fraternal twins raised apart. Observations conclude that fraternal twins raised apart tend to show similar behavior and reactions as when raised together.
Nurture, on the other hand, is the influence of external factors such as the environment that one is exposed to, through experiences and learning. Environmentalists hold the assumption that genetics influence an individual’s character traits. Nonetheless, environmental factors are the chief influences on people’s behavior. These supporters believe that conditioning an individual can make them adopt any behavior, or alter it. For example, training an infant in any particular field without putting into consideration their interests or strengths.
Supporters of the nurture perspective further assert that every human being is born with an empty mind. The mind progressively fills through experiences and teachings influenced by parents, siblings, friends and their neighborhood that make up the environment. Therefore, the differences that occur in children and eventually adults emerge from learning from what is in their vicinity. For example, children reared in a family that provides love and affection becomes loving and compassionate adults.
Moreover, social learning theorist, Bandura also supports the nurture by arguing that various behaviors such as aggression and learning of language are learned from the environment by observing and imitating other people’s behavior. The fraternal twins experiment also supports the nurture position. Despite their similar behavior when raised apart, the environment in which they grow up significantly influences them resulting in remarkable differences.
In conclusion, nature and nurture are outstanding influencers of an individual’s life. It is evident that the genetic composition of an individual determines an individual’s character traits, while nurture elicits the development of other traits and behavior. These extreme positions marked by numerous facts continually drive the debate and informing the nature of human beings.