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Nature versus Nurture Essay Example

Introduction

Human behaviors are influenced by a variety of both internal and external factors. According to the general debate about human behavior, these factors are fostered by nature and nurture. The nature versus nurture debate has been in existence for many years and is used to explain the origin of human behavior. Nature entails the genetic and biological factors that contribute to the outcome of human behavior, while nurture are the external factors that evidence themselves to an individual upon conception. Below is an exploration of the existent theories of nature versus nurture debate.

Nature significantly contributes to the mental health of an individual. According to medics, genetics determine whether or not an individual is likely to suffer from mental disorders. Some major mental disorders such as bipolar disorder, depression, and schizophrenia are believed to be genetic (Moore, 2013). For instance, studies show that a person whose family has a history of bipolar disorder is four to six times likely to develop the mental condition. However, this evidence cannot be used to imply that the genetics determine the state of one’s mental health because other external factors could affect one’s psychological health too (Moore, 2013). For instance, drug and substance abuse, which is caused by one’s interaction with the environment, is one of the major causes of mental disorders. Therefore, the state of one’s psychological health is neither determined by nature nor nurture.

According to studies about twins, both nature and nature play significant roles in the outcome of human behavior. If twins are born and brought up together, they will grow closer to each other and are likely to develop similar behavioral traits (Tiner, 2018). Research shows that twins brought up together develop close relationships between themselves than those they grow with, including their friends (Tiner, 2018). Researchers indicate that the closeness is brought about by common genetics. However, twins who are separated at birth and brought up in two different environments will portray different behavioral outcomes. This is because the environment that an individual is brought up in plays a significant role in determining the outcome of their behavior (Tiner, 2018). It is therefore misinformed to argue that either nature or nurture solely determines the behavioral outcome of an individual.

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Another subject of nature versus nurture debate is human intelligence. A variety of research studies have proved that intelligence is a genetic factor. According to researchers, the IQ of a person is entirely genetic. That is, if one’s family has a history of high IQ, then an individual from such a family is likely to be a prodigy (Bynum, 2018). However, the arguments of researchers do not apply when it comes to academic grades and tests (Bynum, 2018). The learning environment that an individual is subjected to also determines their level of intelligence, and this explains why people with same IQ capacity score differently in academic tests. Another dimension of this debate is that a person with a very high IQ is unlikely to know a particular subject unless they are introduced to it, implying that genetics alone cannot contribute to the intelligence level of an individual (Bynum, 2018). The external environment that one is exposed to after birth and as they grow up will determine their level of knowledge and intelligence. Therefore, it is impossible to ascertain whether nature or nurture alone determines the level of intelligence in a person.

The question of sexual orientation can as well be used to contribute to the nature versus nurture debate. Genetics play a significant role in determining one’s sexual orientation as science indicates that children have a genetic relationship with their parents (Bynum, 2018). According to this genetic relationship suggested by scientific research, it is expected that a child will take after the sexual orientation of their parents (Bynum, 2018). If one’s parents are heterosexual, they should as well be heterosexual. Noteworthy however, this is not always the case. Today, there are numerous cases of gay people who were born of heterosexual parents. It is impossible to explain the origin of gay people born of heterosexual parents through genetics (Bynum, 2018). Human interactions are likely to influence or send one into developing an interest in particular sexual orientation. A child brought up in an environment where gay people exist is expected to create a similar sexual orientation (Bynum, 2018). It is therefore difficult to tell which between nature and nurture really contributes to one’s sexual orientation.

Human talent is another factor at the center of nature versus nurture debate. Some researchers stipulate that talent is hereditary, implying that it is genetically inherited. There is numerous evidence that points to that direction, as there are many cases of international football players whose children have as well become international football players (Sarah, 2012). For instance, the four sons of the Real Madrid coach, Zinedine Zidane, are all football players in the team. However, not all children inherit their talents from their parents. Some people have risen to become international musicians despite the fact their families have no histories of such skills (Sarah, 2012). A child brought up amongst musicians is as well likely to develop musical talent. It is therefore impossible to determine whether nature or nurture contributes to one’s behavioral outcome.

Still on the capabilities of a person, what one becomes or likes seems to be influenced by both nature and nurture. There are behaviors one cannot inherit; however, the development of such behaviors as informed by one’s environment is still impacted by one’s genes. For instance, one may not have inherited such concrete behavioral traits as the political party they support, the religion they practice, and the language they speak because these traits are largely provided by one’s environment, including their culture and home environment (Psychology1101, 2008). However, one inherits the traits upon which their underlying talents and temperaments are based. For example, a person inherits from their parents how to be religious, how to become conservative or liberal, and how to become proficient with language. This then means that whether a person is conservative or liberal to some extent determines their political stance. It also implies that how fast the person can become proficient with language affects the number of languages they can speak. On the same note, their understanding of religion and extent of religiosity significantly impacts their religious affiliation. Thus, neither nature nor nurture alone influences one’s behavioral development.

Conclusion

The complexity that surrounds the nature versus nurture debate cannot be easily unraveled. Both nature and nurture intersect to determine the outcome of an individual’s behavior. It is impossible for an individual to have a complete behavioral outcome without the interplay of these two factors. As seen, studies on twins, human intelligence, and causes of mental health evidence the relationship between nature and nurture.

References

Moore, D. S. (2013). Current thinking about nature and nurture””. In The Philosophy of Biology (pp. 629-652). Dordrecht: Springer.

Tiner, T. (2018). “Nature vs. nurture debate”. GoodTherapy. Retrieved June 28, 2020 from https://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/psychpedia/nature-versus-nurture

Bynum, F. (2018). “Nature vs. nurture theory: is it in our genes or our environment?”. Medicinenet. Retrieved June 28, 2020 from https://www.medicinenet.com/nature_vs_nurture_theory_genes_or_environment/article.htm#what_is_nature_vs_nurture_definitions

Psychology1101. (2008). Nature vs. nurture [Video]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5aNaMlSc3Ag&list=PLC6B610F325F65635

Sarah, M. R. (2012). “Nature and nurture debate”. Explorable. Retrieved May 24, 2018 from https://explorable.com/nature-vs-nurture-debate

Nurture versus Nature Essay Outline

Introduction 

Thesis: The debate on nature versus nature has been in existence since time in memory, but so far no one has been able to define the contribution of nature or nurture to human behavior.

Body

Paragraph 1:

Mental health is a frequent subject of discussion in nature versus nurture debate.

  • Mental health disorders can be passed on genetically.
  • Some external factors such as drug and substance abuse can as well cause mental health disorders.
  • Individuals born in families with a history of bipolar are 4 to 6 times likely to get the mental health condition.

Paragraph 2:

Twin studies show that nature and nurture contribute to human behavior.

  • Twins raised together in a familiar environment develop similar behaviors
  • Twins separated at birth and built in different situations will reflect different behavioral outcomes.

Paragraph 3:

Human intelligence also reveals that nature and nurture contribute to human behavior.

  • People with high IQ capacity cannot develop knowledge in specific areas unless they are introduced to them.
  • People with same IQ capacities perform differently in academic tests.

Paragraph 4:

The question of sexual orientation can as well be used to contribute to nature versus nurture debate.

  • There are children born of heterosexual parents that turn out to be gays.
  • External factors such as one’s environment influence their sexual orientation.

Paragraph 5:

Human talent is as well in the center of nature versus nurture debate.

  • Some children such as those of Real’s coach, Zinedine, take after their parents, while others do not.
  • One’s growing environment influences their talents.

Paragraph 6:

What one becomes or likes seems to be influenced by both nature and nurture.

  • There are behaviors one cannot inherit.
  • However, the development of such behaviors as informed by one’s environment is still impacted by one’s genes.

Conclusion:

  • Restate the main idea of the essay, the thesis statement.
  • A summary of the main subpoints of the essay.
  • A final impression for the reader.
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