Nature vs. Nurture
Tidewater Community College
The debate of nature and nurture on behavior has been debated since classical Greek times. Anne Anastasi (1958) believed that the proper question for this debate should not have been which of the two causes behavior or how much of each affects behavior. Instead, she believed that the question asked should have been “How do nature and nurture interact to produce development.” (Miller, 2002)
Developmental psychologists have been split on this debate for decades. Some psychologists believe that genetic factors provide the potential for some behaviors. Other psychologists believe it is environmental factors that play a large role in enable people’s behavior. The newest stance of psychologists is an “interactionist position”, meaning it is a combination of heredity and environmental factors that contribute to a person’s behavior. It is believed that the two factors, heredity and environment, are “inextricably intertwined” and they are both fully involved in development (Miller, 2002).
There are several developmental theories. Some say basic psychological principles of learning and stress on those are the biggest factor to our development. Others believe it is the role of the environment that most influences our development. Then, there is a third group that believes our physiological makeup is the biggest influence.
A study was conducted in 1991 by Bailey and Pillard to determine the link between homosexuality, genetics, and environment. In this study, they studied homosexual males with monozygotic co-twins, dizygotic co-twins or adoptive brothers (Bailey & Pillard, 1991, Dec; 48(12))
Their results revealed that 52% of the monozygotic twins, 22% of dizygotic twins and 11% of adoptive brothers were homosexuals. Another 1991 study, this one conducted by LeVay, studied the volume of 4 cell groups in the anterior hypothalamus of the brain in three categories of people in the postmortem...