Sunday, February 21, 2010

Genetic or Enviromental?

I have a friend who was adopted at birth in an open adoption. That is, although their biological parents did not raise them my friend always knew who they were. In my friend’s case however, although the adoption was open they never met their biological family until late in high-school. When they did, they told me “everything about who I am makes since for the first time in my life”. While I was happy for them in this personal awakening, I could not help but wonder if it was scientifically provable that this person developed into who they are purely on genetics or, if it was not because they always knew that they had family other than the one raising them. That is to say, is it possible that traits such as personality are determined by genetics or by environment? The text book talks about how a child raised in a “bad” house hold is actually not at a much higher risk of turning out to be a “bad” child then one raised in a “good” home. Science has proven that our attributes such as temperament, social behavior, and even the way we learn is largely dependent on hereditary traits. However “the social, political, economical and religious activities experienced in everyday life represent the very essence of what it means to be a human being”.
This article discusses whether or not personality, behavior, and temperament are genetic or environmental. They did research with identical twins who were separated at birth and brought up in completely different households. They found that although there were some residual genetic components that effect the developmental process, ultimately, the two grew up to be very different individuals due to their different upbringings. unfortunately, the full article needs a membership, but this is a small bit from it.

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