What is the difference between nature vs nurture?
Every person who lives on this planet is unique in their own way. We all look different and have different characteristics and personality traits. Some people are good at some things, whilst others aren’t.
What is the reason for this?
The answer to this lies in the debate between nature versus nurture. This is essentially genetics versus environmental factors.
What is nature?
Nature refers to our genetics. This includes the unique set of genes that we have inherited from our biological parents. These inherited genes are what determine our characteristics and personality traits.
- Eye colour
- Hair colour
- Blood group
It is very common to have the same eye colour and hair colour as your parents. Some diseases are also inherited, such as cystic fibrosis.
Genetics also controls the characteristics of organisms and plants.
What is nurture?
Nurture refers to environmental effects that can determine our characteristics. This includes life experiences or our lifestyle that affects our characteristics.
The lifestyle we live will determine some characteristics. An individual who exercises regularly and has a balanced diet will be at a healthier weight and will not suffer from diseases. Whereas, an individual who does not exercise regularly and does not have a balanced diet will have a higher BMI (body-mass index) and will be more likely to suffer from diseases such as diabetes or heart disease.
This is the same for plants. If a plant does not receive the correct amount of sunlight, water, and nutrients it requires to survive and grow, then it will affect the plant’s ability to grow bigger and to grow fruit.
An individual’s accent is also influenced by the environment they live in as they will most likely pick up the accent of the country they live in. For example, if you live in London then you are more likely to speak with a British accent.
Some characteristics can be determined by both nature and nurture. An example of this is height.
Identical twins have the same DNA; therefore, if we follow the nature argument suggesting that our characteristics are solely due to our genetics, then twins would be the same despite their environment. However, it has been found that twins grow up to have many differences in their characteristics and their environment.