Nature vs. Nurture

Homosexuality, Addictions and Intelligence
There have always been disputes on whether the decision to be homosexual or heterosexual was based on biological or environmental factors. These disputes are known as the Nature vs. Nurture argument. The two sides argue over how gender is chosen within a person. Based on reproductive organs, sex is easily determined at birth: male or female. Gender, however; is the sexual identity an individual takes on. It is possible for sex and gender to be different.

For an example of nurture children who were both born with an injured or damaged reproductive organ, males usually can be raised successfully as females. In order to understand which factor is the deciding factor of a person’s gender, both sides of the case must be fully evaluated. DNA studies which appear to prove that gender is a genetic trait. Researchers have analyzed the makeup of the human brain of homosexuals and heterosexuals seeking a connection between gender and the brains physiology.

They found when studying the part of the brain directly related to a persons’ sexual drive, that homosexuals had an enlarged hypothalamus, whereas heterosexuals had a normal one indicating a direct correlation between the brain and gender selections (AllPsych).

In researching DNA’s role in gender identity, some scientist have identified the gene that determines a person’s sexual preference. Although there are mounting evidence of the existence of a “gay gene, “the opposition denies the existence (AllPsych). People in support of the Nurture argument claim that is an individual conscious or subconscious decision as to his or her gender identify. While many claim that people may control their sexual orientation, their brain, and not the other way around are actually controlling them.

A person DNA and brain physiology control sexual preference which may be associated in the amygdale of the limbic system (Pscyhsmart). When scientist castrated the rats, stopping the creation of androgen, the male rats became submissive. When the androgen was given to the female rats, they began to display masculine behaviors. This experiment resulted in the male rat being submissive and allowing the female rat to mount the male, unlike the normal male rat that would mount the female when engaging in reproduction ( Lippa 102).

Similar to humans, if male do not have proper balance of hormones with his body, he may show feminine traits. These hormones are a biological aspect of gender that affects the decision to be homosexual or heterosexual. On the other hand, for the purpose of this discussion, addiction can take many forms, including not only substance use disorders, but also pathologic gambling, bulimia, and a host of other disorders. Dependency, abuse, and addiction are used relatively interchangeably; however, there is ongoing debate within the field regarding the best terminology.

Furthermore, differences in how these phenotypes are surrounded can have an impact on the results of gene discovery efforts. Genetic loci that have been consistently associated with various forms of substance addiction, as well as those that demonstrate relevance to pharmacologic treatment. While the nature vs. nurture debate has raged, is the contribution of interactions between genetics and environment. In reality, “gene expression is environment dependent” and it impossible to obtain pure estimates of genetic vs. environmental contribution – one could not exist without the other.

The environment a child experiences is partly a consequence of the child’s genes as well as external factors. To some extent a person seeks out and creates his or her environment. If she is of a mechanical bent she practices mechanical skills; if a bookworm, she seeks out books. Thus genes may create an appetite rather than an aptitude. Remember that the high heritability of short-sightedness is accounted for not just by the heritability of a gene for short sightedness but by the heritability of literate habits.

Conversely, on the discussion of intelligence, there are three facts about the transmission of intelligence that virtually everyone seems to accept: 1. Both heredity and environment contribute to intelligence. 2. Heredity and environment interact in various ways.

3. Extremely poor as well as highly enriched environments can interfere with the realization of a person’s intelligence, regardless of the person’s heredity (Sternberg & Grigorenko, 1997, p.xi). Intelligence that appears to relate to ability to reason abstractly, to learn and to adapt. In closing, homosexuality, addictions and intelligence have reliable statistical relationships with important social phenomena, but they are a limited tool for deciding what to make of any given individual. As stated by Ridley, “Mother Nature has plainly not entrusted our genetic capacities to the blind fate of a gene or genes; she gave us parents, learning, language, culture and education to program ourselves with.”

Johnson, Ryan D. AllPsych (2005). “Homosexuality: Nature or Nurture”. Ridley, M. (1999). Genome: The autobiography of a species in 23 chapters. London: Fourth Estate Ltd. Sternberg, R. J., & Grigorenko, E. (Eds.) (1997). Intelligence, heredity, and environment. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

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