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An explication of the nature nurture debate in relation to humans animals and culture

Two-way causality across levels of analysis. Moving from the most categorical types of gender difference to the subtler ones, possible explanations might be found in genetics e. I will review each of these in turn, but first consider the larger, controversial issues that surround these topics in public discourse. On one side, genetics explains everything and people are just like other animals.

Nature, Nurture, and Their Interplay

For example, a 1998 Washington Post poll used the following phrasing: Is it mainly because of the way men and women are brought up, or are the differences part of their biological makeup? But this answer is not good enough. The males are hierarchical; 10 percent of them control the feeding territory and do all the mating. If a dominant male is removed, other males fight to fill the vacant position in the hierarchy, and a new male becomes dominant in the territory.

As a result, the testes become enlarged, more sperm are produced, and the size and coloring of the fish change, as does its behavioral pattern of aggression. All these examples show that sexual anatomy and physiology can be pliable under social and environmental influences. The feedback down to the level of DNA occurs not only in a slow evolutionary sense with the sifting of the gene pool over generations.

DNA folds up in three dimensions with only some parts of the code activated by being exposed at a given time.

  • The feedback down to the level of DNA occurs not only in a slow evolutionary sense with the sifting of the gene pool over generations;
  • However, this trend is nothing new;
  • Moving from the most categorical types of gender difference to the subtler ones, possible explanations might be found in genetics e.

Special molecules and systems regulate gene expression according to the needs of the organism. Indeed, sex hormones such as testosterone have their effects on the body precisely by regulating the expression of certain genes. Those and other hormones in turn respond to moods, perceptions, and social relationships, minute by minute, as we shall see.

So, the world of culture nurture feeds back to the deepest level of biology natureand this happens in all of us, every day. However, this trend is nothing new. It follows a long-term and almost linear decrease in age of puberty over more than a century in European countries. This change may result from urbanization, since in Poland during this time period the average age was about two years younger for city dwellers than country folk.

In truth, however, scientists understand, control, and change biology e. We would be lucky to find that war and sexism were biologically determined, 100 percent. We could find the hormone or neurotransmitter that inhibits these unfortunate behaviors, then add it to the water supply like fluoride.

Unfortunately, real biology is a lot more complicated and less deterministic. As this and the next chapter will show, biological systems are extremely complex, flexible, and varied. Daly and Wilson 1983; Wilson 1978, 105; Draper 1985; Klama 1988, 3; poll: Morin and Rosenfeld 1998: Caspari 1978, 104; orangutans: