• Victoria Apperley

Nature vs Nurture

Whenever I see this I always love to debate, or just simply look into peoples experiences and what nature seems to have brought along for them as well as the way they have been nurtured. it's something I find so interesting...so thought why not jump into the subject myself and share what I've found...



Is it even a debate?!?


Whilst I know this subject always seems to be a debate, I think there are so many different aspects of peoples personality, physical makeup and ways of thinking that are down to both! For me there is no clear cut!


So what is Nature?


So, just to take it back to basics, "nature" refers to the aspects of us that are genetic. Those things that genetically make up who and what we are. Not just genetics, but the way we have been wired naturally, with biological influences as well as hormonal and neuro-chemical explanations of behaviour.



And Nurture?


Whereas "nurture" refers to the aspects of us that we have learnt. Either from life experiences or being exposed to situations or opinions of others. It could be argued that it is anything that makes you up from conception. From what your mother consumes whilst she is pregnant!



Nativism


Some people may argue that beyond our physical aspects such as eye colour, hair straightness or pigmentation of our skin, that genetics can also determine our mental state, our behaviouristics and even things such as the language we speak! (I read about Chomsky who believed that language is gained through the use of an innate language acquisition device!)


Empiricism


Whereas, on the other side of the spectrum, there are people that believe that babies are born with a "clean slate" and that all of their behaviour is learned. They believe their behaviour traits and personality all come from things they have learned.


My opinion?



I definitely feel myself leaning more towards the latter. But can appreciate that I do see some behaviours reflected from parents to their children, despite outside influences. What is your initial opinion? Do you see your self leaning towards genetic behaviours or learned behaviours?


I personally think parenting, and the way that we parents is so important to how our children will develop into adults, despite maybe some of the genetic issues we may have passed on to them.



But, I can see, in my own life, that I haven't taken on all of my parents personality traits or behaviours. I can see that even whilst being brought up by them, I have neither genetically or through learned behaviours, taken on all of their personality traits. Which, for me, brings in another aspect...


Individual Choice


Whilst we can always try and find a way to "blame" outside influences, at the end of the day, once we get to a certain age, we really can chose how we react, how we behave and even to an extent, the environment we are in. We can also pick who we want to learn off!




One thing I am really trying to instil into my son is his choice, how he can decide to behave a certain way, but there are consequences for that action. I can either tell him not to do something and leave it at that, or I can explain the consequences of either doing or not doing it and leave him to decide. I always (or at least try to) pick the latter!


Let me know what your opinion or experiences are with this...


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