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Nature vs Nurture speech Essay

Nature vs nurture is a psychology term related to whether heredity or environment has a greater impact on human psychological development (as in behavior, habits, intelligence, personality, sexuality and so on). The controversial debate of nature vs nurture originated in 1869, it was introduced by Francis Galton. This debate is still discussed and studied today by many scientist and psychologists. Though there are scientists that choose either or, there are some who believe it takes both nature and nurture to develop psychologically.

Those that support only nature believe that genetics will determine a person’s personality and traits. On the other hand, those that support only nurture believe our minds are blank at birth; and through learning, experiences and observing the world around us, we development a unique personality. The nature theory, however, emphasizes that personality and character traits are determined by heredity. When comparing a parent to their child, it is evident that certain physical characteristics come from specific genes but can we say the same for their personality traits?

Recently, scientists have focused on aspects of intelligence, aggression, and sexual orientation that may be also encoded in an individual’s DNA. Some parents may think that any bad trait that their child has is a direct result of bad parenting. The Nature Theory suggests that it is actually Huyer-Druschel 2 because of biological genes that were predetermined at birth. Emmanuel Kant, a Prussian professor during the 18th Century Enlightenment period, believed that before the mind can make sense of its experiences, there needs to be an initial structure in the mind that enabled it to give meaning to that experience.

In Galton studies, he found that success ran in the family so he concluded that intelligence was inherited. As for nurture being responsible for one’s personality; John Locke, an English philosopher and physician, founded the theory that the mind was a blank slate, or tabula rasa. Individuals are born without built-in knowledge, instead one learns through experience, parental guidance, and perception.

It is how you are brought up (nurture) that governs the psychologically significant aspects of child development. Currently, the greatest nature versus nurture debate is over the existence (or not) of a “gay gene,” which would suggest that homosexuality is no more a choice than eye color. This has added fuel to this controversial debate. There wasn’t much research done on philosophers that believed both nature and nurture contributed to one’s psychological development.

But is it so hard to believe they both play a part in the developing personalities? For example, a person can inherit a bad temper from genetics but be raised to control their emotions. There are many parents who believe it is both genetics and upbringing that contributes to their children’s personality. Some of these questions reach to the core of some people’s morals, values, and religious teachings. I believe that is why this debate has gone on for so long and will probably continue to be discussed for many years to come. Although many have their theories and beliefs, not one has won the debate.


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