Nature vs. Nurture


Nature is the extent to which behavior is influenced by biological and genetic inheritance while nurture is the physical environment and factors that affect behavior. Nature and nurture influences the human behavior, personality, culture and physical characteristics. Although both play a vital role in human development, it is not clear whether human behavior is genetically or externally determined. 

Concerning genetic and behavior aspect, nature contributes to stability while nurture changes the human development hence both variables are independent of each other (Goldhaber, 2012). Heredity characteristics contribute to human behavior but not entirely because of environmental factors influence. Hence, there is no sure way of determining that human behavior is wholly attributed to genetic factors.

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Nature-nurture contributes to the physical and mental health. Most physical characteristics are genetically inherited from the presiding family such as skin, height, and eye color. They change depending on the environment and upbringing of the child hence it is nurture influenced. Mental health is mostly nature controlled by the genes, but the environmental factors determine whether an individual develops the psychological health problems. Some practices such as exercising and taking balanced diet can prevent diabetes inheritance from parents. Consequently, mental health is both genetic and nurture influenced. 

The human intelligence is a combination of nature-nurture. The brain inherits the size and biochemistry aspects and it is not entirely identical to that of the immediate family members (Locke, 2017). The brain only develops entirely at the age of 20 (Locke, 2017). Therefore, its development is dependent on the environment in which a child is born and brought up. Additionally, the information feed to the brain and mental state of the child will determine their IQ. In conclusion, both nature and nurture plays a vital role in human development. Hence, there is no sure way to determine which aspect of genetic or environmental factors influence human being’s behavior, culture, and personality.

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  1. Goldhaber, D. (2012). The nature-nurture debates: Bridging the gap. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  2. Locke, J. Nature-Nurture Controversy. Genes and Behavior. 2017: 1106-1138.
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