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An Overview of The Nature Versus Nurture Theory and Its History

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The nature versus nurture theory is the scientific, cultural, and philosophical studies that determine whether human culture, behavior, and personality are caused primarily by nature or nurture. Nature theory is defined as hormone-based or generic behaviors, while nurture theory is defined as environment and experience (Agin, 2010).

Both Nature and Nurture theory cause crime causation as many scientists have outlined both theories as inseparable in the making up the nature x nurture schema.

History of Nature versus Nurture Theory

The recent studies often center around the effects genes might have on human personalities as opposed to the influences that early environment and development might have on a person. As social behaviors have changed, so have popular understandings of these two theories grown. In the 1960s, for instance, psychologists and pop culture were profoundly influenced by the theories of behaviorism. This theory thus led to the widespread belief that experience and training mostly affect the human personality. It was during this time the researcher John Money tried to demonstrate that gender was as a result of early conditioning by raising a boy child, whose circumcision was unacceptable, as a girl. His experiment at first seemed successful in the beginning but ultimately was a failure (Agin, 2010).

In recent years, the nature side of theory has undoubtedly gained more attention, with headlines propagating the newly discovered genes for every behavior. Evolutionary psychology and sociobiology are the two branches of science that demonstrate the evolutionary cause of human behavior. The study is quite popular. However, critics still stress the important role of early childhood environment, development, and cultural influences. Many have argued that sociobiology and evolutionary psychology are deterministic pseudosciences(Sameroff, 2010).

Nature vs. Nurture Theory

Many scientists outline the arguments by emphasizing both nature and nurture In this scheme, as inseparable theories. Some genes, for instance, cannot be active without certain environmental inputs. For example, the development of vision is a prime example of this. People cannot develop normal sight without the exposure to visual stimuli. Similarly, crime causation committed by some individuals may be generic, but environmental inputs activate the behavior (Moffitt, 2005). And for some life-long smokers, they may never experience smoking-related illnesses, and this may be in part to their genes. Environmental toxins may alter the expression of some genes, and genes for many behaviors assumed to have a genetic basis, but this has not been discovered. Developmental systems theory, among other existing theories, presents an alternative to this recent argument that does not require scientists to advocate either for nature or nurture theory.

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An Overview of the Nature Versus Nurture Theory and Its History. (2018, November 15). GradesFixer. Retrieved November 28, 2021, from
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