Nature vs. Nurture - Twin Studies
April 11, 2015
The exponential growth of scientific and biological knowledge over time has facilitated the genesis of fields of specialization, namely biological determinism, sociobiology and eugenics, just to mention a few. The common thread between these fields is their proponents collectively postulate that all human traits, including weight, strength, intelligence, aspects of personality such as temperament (aggression for example), criminality and morality, are ultimately determined by the information encoded in DNA. They espouse that "we are who we are" because of our genes ...view middle of the document...
The nature side believes that who you are physically and mentally is innate. The nurture side believes that you are born a “blank slate,” meaning that your environment and upbringing makes you who you are. How do identical twins play into this debate? If one falls on the “Nurture” side of the debate, Identical twins separated at birth and brought up in different environments should not be comparable when brought together years later. However, identical twin studies show results of nature versus nurture that prove which side really wins the debate. Identical twins separated at birth and then later reunited show that it is really nature that determines personality traits.
First off, anything environmental (not genetic) is considered part of the nurture side of the debate. In greater detail, this means influences on development arising from prenatal, parental, extended family and peer experiences, extending to influences such as media, marketing and socio-economic status (Neuroscience of Intelligence). The strongest influences are early childhood memories (Ceci and Williams 135). In a more general outlook on influences, one’s whole life experience can be called nurturing. Another nurturing factor is one’s language and religion, which is solely based on where they are placed demographically (Neuroscience of Intelligence). By using the word demographically, I mean the kind of family a person is born into. If you are born in a Muslim family then naturally you will have a Muslim background that influences your religion, language and outlook on life. Other factors that are influencers that can set people off towards non-normal behavior (some examples of non-normal behavior are: drug abuse, violence-prone, committing crimes, sexual harassment) are abusive parents, being sexually molested, witnessing or being force to commit atrocious crimes or taking drugs are all life changing. Researchers argue that if placed in certain environments people change; generally, if it is a “normal” one then you see positive people come out of it. If it is a negative one then you see a higher percentage of negative and abused people, who in most cases become abusers themselves (Ceci and Williams 135). Nurturing in simple terms is how the environment you grow up in affects your life choices.
The nature side of the debate is clear-cut and dictates that everything about you is related to your genetic make-up. In many cases, your strengths and weakness are determined by your genetics. Specific characteristics such as eye color, height, weight, blood type, skin color, and IQ results, are all things that are attributed to your nature (Neuroscience of Intelligence). Some things that are not measurable but are considered part of nature’s influence are things that make you “unique”. For example, the way you hold a glass, the habits you have are solely based on genetic instincts and how your genes guide you. In simple terms, nature can be defined as the idiosyncrasies that one...