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Nature-Nurture Debate

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Discuss the nature-nurture debate in relation to the development of an individual The nature- nurture debate refers to the processes that we grow and develop. Nature implies that we develop certain aspects because we are genetically supposed to. However, nurture implies that we develop because of our surroundings, what we learn and influence from our role models. For the infancy stage nature could be seen as responsible for the developing of the child. The chromosomes from both the male and the women would determine the child’s physical features. It would determine their eyes, hair colour, and facial features e.c.t Cherly would have inherited 23 chromosomes from her mum, and 23 chromosomes from her dad. This means she would have a mixture of both of the parent’s aspects. This would have affected her physically because she would look like both of her parents. It is said that the smarter the parents, the smarter the child will be due to genes. However this could be down to nurture.

If the child has very supportive parents and attentive parents when it comes to learning (nurture) then it might have an effect. For example, if the parents were to sit and interact with the child, it would get their brains thinking logically. Also, if the parents were taking the child to play group, he would be influenced by the other children to be active and develop new skills. It would also help the child socially because they are learning to interact with the other children. It would build confidence and self-esteem. Although, even before starting playgroup the child could be very sociable. E.g. not minding to go to strangers. This would be seen as a genetic factor as the child hasn’t had a chance to learn how to be sociable yet. Consequently, if a child’s parent was not a very sociable person and was very withdrawn from people, the child might imitate the actions from his/hers role model and act the same.

The influence from a child’s role models can determine how well people form relationships later on in life. This would affect their social development and maybe their intellectual. If they turn out to be a very shy character, they might find it hard to get involved in class or group activities. Thus jeopardising their learning. As a child, Cheryl was a very confident and outgoing young girl. She wasn’t afraid to stand up in front of an audience and she wasn’t scared to pose in front of a camera. From the papers when Ashely and Cheryl split up, it was said that Cheryl’s mum was told to ‘back off’ by Cheryl. We can interpret that Joan was a very involved person and maybe had a strong opinion. Cheryl could have learnt to be strong minded and confident from her mum. Many people have different viewpoints on the nature vs nurture debate.

In my opinion, I think that in the infancy stage nurture is mainly responsible for social, emotional and intellectual development. This is because babies are very reliant on their care givers and see them as role models. They imitate their actions and a parents actions can have a big influence on a child. Parents act as a baby’s main support system and a baby’s development relies on the parent acting as a scaffolding holding them up, helping them when interacting with the baby. The baby’s main source of development is learning. This is why I think that nurture plays a bigger role in infancy. However, nature also has influence in an infant’s development. This is through the physical development. The genes from the baby’s parents determine how the baby develops physically. For example, their eye colour, hair colour and their body shape.

In the adolescence stage people learn how to develop as a mature individual through school. The teachers influence the students massively. They teach students how to be respectful citizens of the public. However, to behave in a good manner it isn’t just down to the people that influence you, it says that to be a law abiding citizen, your biology has a lot do with it. From Mednick et al’s criminal behaviour study. He found that people that have criminal parents, are more likely to be criminals when they grow up. Therefore there is evidence that biology also plays a part in social behaviour. Emotions are down to biology in this stage, for example hormones in puberty. They tend to cause mood swings in teens of this age. Although, there is evidence to show that children that have parents with depression, are more likely to also have depression. Cheryl’s mum and dad broke up when she was of a young age.

Her mum went through a very rough time and money was tight. If Cheryl did not have the love she received she could have gone down the same road of depression. In this stage I think that nature is mostly responsible for physical and emotional development. This is because this is the stage when hormones are significant in developing. The hormones can effect a number of things including physical changes and emotional changes. The hormones are responsible for puberty which makes peoples figure change, their face shape and their height. When hormones are released in puberty it can also make people emotional.

For example, when girls are on their period they can sometimes be very moody. However, nurture can effect people in this stage when it comes to intellectual and social development. Sometimes teens can be influenced socially by their friends because they copy them. For example, seeing the most popular boy in school smoking might make another person want to imitate his actions. Also, this is a critical stage of school life so they are learning skills and knowledge from their teachers which is helping them to grow as a person.

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