Over the years, the debated contest of viewpoints regarding nature vs. nurture has been addressed by academics and research. The fact remains that the debate is still ongoing with increasing claims being made about it almost every day. Anthropologists, in particular have addressed the issue with researches and investigations. It all leaves us to the question to look upon from different angles. The issue of nature vs. nurture seems to be well assessed through the implication of theoretical grounds. This paper aims to critically assess different schools of thought regarding the issue of nature vs. nurture.
Famous anthropologists of all time including Edward Wilson, Sherry Ortner etc. have provided their in-depth addresses regarding nature vs. nurture debate. These anthropologists have greatly provided three distinctive grounds of understanding the issue of nature vs. nurture. Before understanding the addresses of differing schools of thought, it is imperative to note that the analogy of any individual cannot be solely dependent upon one factor (Gass, 2007).
Looking at the issue of nature vs. nurture, it can well state that the socio-biological school of thought claims that it is the nature which is more likely to dominate nurture. It is said because the genetic patterns of human beings are able to work favorably than with un-relative selection of genes. In other words, it can be said that association between the genetic relatives is more likely to be effective rather than being connected to strangers. This may come under the standing of nepotism. This concludes that a person may be angry because the family that he belongs have higher rate of anger-showing behavior. This may genetically get forwarded to kin selected in relative genetic structure. In many settings of human interaction, it has been noted that individuals may be able to undertake a strong decision because they believe that the family genes will allow transmission of same flexible behavior to upcoming generations. Similar patterns of needs and desire among human beings are noted when the genetic mapping of their cells is relative to each other. This has also been proven by science that cell generation may have equal characterization. However, this can also lead to another argument stating the weaknesses of a human to be transferred to upcoming generations (Fotaki, 2011).
Secondly, a most powerful yet a very logical school of thought are considered to be feminist. It is because the nature and nurture of babies would always be associated with women one way or the other. This is because they are the ones who will share the experiences forward by educating and training kin (Shankman, 2011). It will not be incorrect to state that the feminist school of thought has basically rejected old school of thought that have not considered the feminist view or cultural representation of women. Herein, it should be marked that the feminist view is based upon gender and not sex. It is because the phenomenon of gender is basically a statement role given to an individual as perceived in the culture. On the other hand, sex is a universal depicter. By understanding this, it rather becomes clear that nature and nurture is greatly affected by the way they are living as a gender in any society (LeVine, 2010). Women raise children under different settings having experiences of their representation. This is the major reason behind different behavior among people. The gender difference has made it quite evident that nurture of individuals may be affected y large depending upon the environment. In this way, the feminist view rejects the concept of genetic linking of cells that makes upon behavior pattern theory.
The anthropologists who look at the issue of nature vs. nurture in a more appropriate manner may categorize human experiences into two categories. Firstly, it is the mental domain of people where individuals are more likely to have an opinion about them. The second one is referenced to as behavior domain which is only visible to an observer. This clearly shows that it is not easy to reach to any conclusion of nature vs. nurture issues. The fact remains that one does not know what is going on in the mind of an observer. This means that they will consider themselves to be either rightly nurtured or wrongly natured. It is a biased view that one can have about himself. Taking this situation in hand, this school of thought namely, materialism states scientific reasoning is must. As long as a person is probable to keep a view about him, he may consider that his nurture or nature is better. This may be a different case for an observer who would think that his assessment of another individual is correct based upon the behavior that is being shown during association process (Cattell & Schweitzer, 2006).
It can be well stated that nature vs. nurture issue is most likely to be repeated over and over in the field of anthropology because of the differing claims of variant schools of thought. There are different researches which are being conducted every now and then to understand the debate of nature vs. nurture. To some extent, these addresses have provided with some acceptable and logical reasoning that have been taken under account in academics. At one point, feminist view on nature vs. nurture issues states that it is the experiences of genders that would conclude the debate because it is largely based upon the cultural representation and experiences of genders in any society. At the same time, it can be noted that the socio-biological viewpoint about nature vs. nurture makes genetic mapping to be the sole reason behind nature design of individuals. Socio-biological school of thought greatly rejects any other approach to understand the human behavior. Finally, cultural materialism is dependent upon the categories of mental and behavior domain determining nature and nurture to be biased and self-assumed areas. It will be easier to understand and conclude the above noted discussion that nature and nurture have their respective roles to play in the lives of humans. One cannot simply state that nature would overcome nurture.
- Cattell, M., & Schweitzer, M. (2006). Women in Anthropology. New York: Left Coast Press.
- Fotaki, M. (2011). Agency versus structure or nature versus nurture: When the new twist on an old debate is not that new after all. Social Science & Medicine, 1-4.
- Gass, S. (2007). Model World: The Hidden Ingredient and Nature vs. Nurture. Interfaces, 37(6), 577-581.
- LeVine, R. (2010). Psychological Anthropology: A Reader on Self in Culture. New York: John Wiley & Sons.
- Shankman, P. (2011, October). The Trashing of Margaret Mead: Anatomy of an Anthropological Controversy. Retrieved from H Net: http://www.h-net.org/reviews/showrev.php?id=33601