Genetics Versus Upbringing: Human Behavior and Characteristics

Genetics Versus Upbringing

The debate on whether human behavior and characteristics is due to the genetic make up or the upbringing has been continuing since the beginning of human civilization. Therefore, different scientists, anthropologists, as well as philosophers have outlined differences in their understanding and argument concerning the topic. In this context, the supporters of Darwinism suggest that human characteristics is influenced by the genetic makeup. Therefore, people inherit certain characteristics from their parents. In this manner, it is argued that a tall person can be traced from the parent’s height. In this case, upbringing becomes a major effect in the adaptations to the environment rather than the physical and mental characteristics of the person.

On the other hand, the environment (upbringing) has been emphasized as the main factor that shapes human behavior and characteristics. Such an argument is based in egalitarianism; whereby inequalities in human characteristics are not due to inheritance but due to social conditions. In this case, the characteristics of humans such as cognitive behavior are influenced by the social interactions. For instance, one is able to learn and develop cognitive skills due to interactions with other people. It is argued that if a child is subjected to isolation for a long period there will be challenges in learning as opposed to the child that has been exposed to social interactions at an early age.

All in all, the human characterizes is influenced by a combination of genetics and upbringings, In this argument, human behavior and physical straights can be inherited from the parents. For instance, one may inherit overweightness from the parents. However, through effective treatment as well as maintenance of diet, one can avoid being obese even if he/she has the genes that can cause obesity.

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