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u03d1 Nature versus Nurture Essays

u03d1 Nature versus Nurture

The childhood development nature versus nurture debate continues to grow. Is a child’s development influenced primarily by genetics and biological predisposition? Or, could it be environment? The nature and nurture question is possibly one of the oldest theories debated in psychology (University of Phoenix, 2004).

Nature which is also known as heredity is the genetic code you are born with. The mother passes mtDNA to both boys and girls while the father passes only YDNA to boys.

 Some examples are IQ, height, weight, and behavior. Another example of nature is the study of adopted babies. Families who adopt children share the same environment, but not the same genetic code. The Texas Adoption Project found “little similarity between adopted children and their siblings, and greater similarity between adopted children and their biological parents”.  Moreover, adoption studies indicate that by adulthood, adoptive siblings are no more similar in IQ than strangers, while full siblings show an IQ correlation of 0.6. While identical twins raised separately are similar are similar in IQ (Bouchard Jr., 1998). This is an example of how important the role of nature plays on a child’s development. Anne Anastasi’s stressed that intelligence scores are not pure measures of “innate ability”. (“Women’s intellectual contributions to the study of mind and society“, n.d.)

When (Planet Papers, 2001) considering a person’s environment in influencing ability, nutrition plays an important example. A group of children were given vitamin and mineral supplements for eight months. They were given intelligence tests before and after the eight month treatment. The result was improvement in the scores as compared to another group who was not given mineral or vitamin supplements.

You get your blue eyes from your mom and your freckles from your dad. But where do we get our thrill seeking personality and talent for singing? Did we learn these from our parents or is it predetermined by your genes?

I believe that both play a part and that any claims of “culture free” and “culture fair” testing are untrue. My beliefs are based on personal experience of having adopted my daughter in 1995. When she was adopted she was classified as high risk because her birth mother was mentally retarded and suffered from epilepsy, bi-polar and ADHD. It is true that she has her birth mothers brown eye color but then so do I. Denise has not inherited any of the health issues that her mother has. Denise should be in 9th grade but since she functions at a higher educational level she is homeschooled. This helps to prove to me that you need to have both nature and nurture for a child to develop.


Bouchard Jr., T. J. (1998). Genetic and environmental influences on adult intelligence and special mental abilities. Human Biology, 70(2), 257-279. Retrieved from http://www.answers.com/topic/nature-nurture-controversy#cite_note-16

Planet Papers (2001,). Nature vs. nurture. Message posted to http://www.answers.com/topic/nature-nurture-controversy#cite_note-16, archived at www.planetpapers.com/assets/3492.php

University of Phoenix (2004). Child and adolescent development. Retrieved September 25, 2009, from www.myresource.Phoenix.edu

Women’s intellectual contributions to the study of mind and society. (n.d.). In Scarborough & Furumoto (Eds.), Women’s intelligence contributions to the study of mind and society. Retrieved September 25, 2009, from http://www.webster.edu/~woolflm/women.html


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