The Nature versus Nurture Debate
Western Governors University
The Nature versus Nurture Debate
Nature versus nurture, a debate of the influence of genetics compared to a persons’ environment has been, and continues to be a debate of scholars over many years. On one side of the argument there stands “heritability, a measure of the degree to which a characteristic is estimated to be influenced by heredity” (Wood, Wood, & Boyd, 2011, p. 247). The individuals’ environment or how, where and with whom the person was raised would be the other side of the discussion. On one hand, some believe that nature, the genetics of a person is what decides how a person shall end ...view middle of the document...
There has always been social and political conflict regarding whether or not education is not as good in a poor school district versus a more affluent one, and if a child has a higher chance of being successful in life if they are able to go to one of the wealthier schools. One issue that seems to have become more popular in more recent years is whether or not being homosexual is due to genes or upbringing. These examples are all part of the controversy surrounding the nature versus nurture debate over time.
Success is highly regarded in the US. In order to have this success, many would argue that this begins with a good, solid education. “In 2012 the median of earnings for young adults with a bachelor's degree was $46,900, while the median was $22,900 for those without a high school credential and $30,000 for those with a high school credential. In other words, young adults with a bachelor's degree earned more than twice as much as those without a high school credential (105 percent more) and 57 percent more than young adult high school completers” (National Center for Education Statistics, 2014, para. 3). This “fun fact” as the website states is not always so fun to young people that feel that higher education is not a possibility for them due to the simple fact of being born into low income situation. Intelligence is usually attributed with a person’s level of education. This topic in the nature versus nurture debate has had a lot of attention. This essay will focus on the two aforementioned examples above.
In a study by Rouse and Barrow it is argued that nurture, not nature is what will decide a student’s academic success and whether or not children born into “wealthier” families fair better in education and complete college more than their counterparts that are born into families living in poverty. The authors discuss that where a child lives, how much money their parents make and how much a parent is able to spend with their children (due to work constraints, daycare etc.) will inevitably decide the academic future of the children, not the genetic makeup of the child. “In the United States, the school a child attends is largely determined by the neighborhood where he or she lives” (Rouse & Barrow, 2006, para. 2). This study seems to conclude that the authors believe nurture, or environment to be the contributing factor to success.
J. Michael-Bailey and Richard Pillard published a study in the Archives of General Psychiatry on the prevalence of homosexuality among twins in December of 1991. The study was conducted to argue whether or not homosexuality was genetic and not due to environmental factors. Those running the study focused on groups of male twins and non-twin siblings to try and decide whether identical twin males were more apt to both be homosexual than those male siblings that do not share identical genetics. This study seems to be a solid argument that homosexuality is inherent, meaning that the person is...