Nature Vs. Nurture: Unraveling the Threads of Human Development

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Updated: Sep 11, 2023
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Nature versus nurture has been a debate that involves human behavior, and determiners whether it has to do with the environment one is born in or something that was inherited. Nature is often known as the hormone-based behaviors, genetics, disposition, and traits that have been inherited. Some kids get blue eyes from their parents, being able to play instruments and have an atheistic talent often comes for genes or traits pasted down from family members.

Nurture has to do with culture, experience, and environment that can influence a person.

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There is also tabula rasa, known as blank slate. Tabula rasa is a theory that at birth the brain is a “blank slate”, that the mind is without rules or any information and that information will add as one grows. Research has been on child, showing the difference between a child that was showed love and care in the first year of their life. Compared to a child who wasn’t, it affects their emotional connection. There has been research done on why children are born with down syndrome and why they were born that way. Nature versus nurture define who we are as a human being, and determining whether we damaged goods or not. Whether we let our surroundings influence us or just going along with our natural traits.

The biggest challenge in the nurture theory is that there is very little evidence of parents’ influence that actually affect the behavior and personality in adolescences says Harris and Rowe. E. Mavis Hetherington says that children showed earlier developmental problems when risk factors, such as perinatal damage under authoritative parenting. A study was done on adoptees with biological parents that have schizophrenic. The same study was done to adoptees that weren’t at rick of schizophrenic, but they were adopted into families that weren’t dysfunctional. Those children were at higher risk to develop a psychiatric disorder. Similar studies were done with children who had biological parents who had a criminality history. A child who was adopted into a functional family was only 12% at risk of showing criminal behavior in their adulthood. Compared to those who were adopted into a family that wasn’t functioning the percentage rose to 40%. “A third line of research attempts to provide a basis for examining instances in which parental behavior may exert in a causal influence in changing children’s behavior” (Collins, W. Andrew, et al). Proving that nurture does have a greater impact on children, and that the surroundings one grows up in can influence their whole life.

Behavior changes as we gown and learn. “Any scientific approach to the understanding of developmental change must assume that developmental outcomes are determined” (Waston). Developmental outcomes help determine the patterns for an individual. However, this does not determine the ability to predict the outcomes or patterns of the individual. All this depends on: biologically based and behavioral capacities, maturational growth, species-specific, current task demands, and any history of interactions with the environment. However, a lot of that have to do with nurture and not nature. We are born with 46 chromosomes that we inherit from each of our parents. These chromosomes are what determines if a baby is born with blue or brown eye, straight or curly hair, tall or short. The chromosome that have been inherited also determine what kinds of disease one may or may not have. Someone with down syndrome inherited an extra chromosome, the extra chromosome can result in development skills. Identical twins who were separated at birth still show a lot of similarities, and that happens with a lot of twins. That is because twins have all of their genes that same. Meaning that they will have a similar characteristic, even if the twins grow up in two different environments.

The tabula rasa, also known as the blank slate and that the mind is completely blank at birth. The things that give the mind it’s foundation are culture, parenting, socialization, and experience. “Man has no nature”. (Jose Ortega Y Gassett). Meaning that the traits a person was born with doesn’t have anything to do with their behavior and development process. Steven Pinker has a political appeal on blank slake and describes it as “we’re all equal”, that no one is born with more. Saying that people who have more than other often leads to discrimination and inequality. Steven Pinker goes on about how we prefect mankind being born with a blank slake, rather than being born with traits and “more of it”, that can lead the human race into violence, selfishness, and prejudice.

I was raised in a different environment than my older brother was. Being nurtured and taught wrong from right didn’t take me down the same path his at. Nurture to me is greater than nature. “the final expression of genetic predisposition is dependent on nurture” (Collins, W. Andrew, et al). Our genes may lay down the foundation we grow on, but nurture can influence those genes. In my second paragraph when with the studies that were done on the children who had been adopted into different environments, the nurture that a person gets determines who they are. If a child has been neglected and isn’t showed any care or is growing up with an unstable family, that child will show it. Development may be slower, the ability to make a connect with someone else wouldn’t be there and that is because they never had it as a child. Someone who is shy would be taken out other shell with the right people to influence them and encourage them. Nurture trump nature, nurture is who makes us who we are. Nurture has a bigger impact on children, the right parenting skills defines a child’s future. One can learn different skills; I wasn’t born with the ability to speak English. I learned English, with my surroundings and the influence those around me had.

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Nature vs. Nurture: Unraveling the Threads of Human Development. (2020, Aug 25). Retrieved from