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Nature versus Nurture?

One of the most debated topics in the social science field is the concept of nature and nurture and how the two ideas work with or influence the human brain and human behavioral system. For generations these two ideas have been debated continuously. The dominate theory of nature was that all behaviors are inherited from the parents biologically. The dominate theory in nurture was that all behaviors were learned by the individual through associations with friends, family, and community.

The two sides could not be integrated and every scientist was based on one side of the others. Luckily, in recent times, many researchers and scientists are trying to integrate nature and nurture. Using new genetic research techniques and evolutionary theories, these two opposites seem to be coming together. For years the concept of nature was explained by biologists as the genetic or biological make up of a person.

This would have included the inherited behaviors of primary needs and survival as well as their DNA, which influenced all behaviors in each successive generation in an evolutionary timeframe. The nurture side has always been explained by culturalists as the way in which the surrounding family and environment defined the behaviors of the individual. The nurture theory is always defined in timeframes based on learning such as developmental behaviors and psychological changes (Robinson, 2004; Voland, 2000).

Evolutionists are taking these two approaches and creating a new approach that seems to incorporate many facets in relation to behaviors of the individual. This approach is based on the theory that biological evolution is the result of changes to a species gene and is influenced by the society or community in which the species lives. This theory keeps both culturalists and biologists in mind and integrates their theories to create a “culture via nature” rather than versus nature (Voland, 2000, p196).

By following previous behaviors of individuals that have succeeded the person gains new behaviors. From the biological standpoint, this adaptation of successful behaviors is a primary function of the gene that promotes survival, while the culturalists see this integration as a self interest behavior (Voland, 2000). It is this expression that incorporates both biological and environmental aspects that will bring both sides of this debate to be more in line with one another (Robinson, 2004). The nature versus nurture debates really is not longer a real debated.

With the innovations in technology allowing scientists to learn about individual genes and how they function is giving the field of social science new avenues in which to research and discover the truth about human behavior.

References Robinson, G. (2004, April 16). Beyond Nature and Nurture. Science, 304(5669), 397-399. Retrieved December 17, 2008, from MasterFILE Premier database. Voland, E. (2000, September). Nature or nurture? –the debate of the century, a category error, and the illuminating impact of evolutionary psychology. European Psychologist, 5(3), 196-199. Retrieved December 17, 2008, doi:10. 1027//1016-9040. 5. 3. 196

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