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Nature vs. Nurture Feral Children

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´╗┐Nature vs. Nurture ? Feral Children By Daniel Griffin Introduction The nature vs. nurture debate is one of the oldest controversies argued by psychologists and scientists worldwide. It raises the question ?what exactly influences our behaviour and personality??. It is commonly agreed amongst sociologists that we pick up almost all of our skills and behaviours by watching, imitating and listening to others, and that people act as they do because they learned to be the people that they are. This is known as a nurture theory of human behaviour. On the contrary it is argued that people behave as they do because they are animals who act according to their animal instincts and biology. This is known as a Nature theory of human behaviour. For example, one the topic of how a person may become aggressive, the ?nature? side of the debate may argue that aggression is due to hormones and certain chemistry in the brain. On the contrary the ?nurture? side may claim that aggression is imitated or learned as a consequence of a certain environment. The following text aims to examine the impact of genetic versus learned characteristics in humans. Inherited characteristics. Inheritable traits are traits that get passed down from one generation to the next generation and are the result of biology. ...read more.


During his time in the he had been living and scavenging for food with a pack of monkeys. When found, his nails were very long and curled round, he had no language, hopped around on all fours, and wasn?t house-trained. 2. Oxana Malaya (found 1991) - was found as an 8-year-old feral child in Ukraine, having lived most of her life in the company of dogs due to neglect from her alcoholic parents. Oxana survived in a dog kennel behind her house where she was cared for by the dogs and learned their behaviours and mannerisms. When finally discovered she growled, barked and crouched like a wild dog, sniffed at her food before she ate it, and was found to have acquired extremely acute senses of hearing, smell, and sight. 3. ?The bear girl? (found 1937) ? A young girl who had allegedly been adopted and lived with bears for up to twelve years prior to been found in the mountainous regions of Tukey. Once rescued by local hunters they reported that she had become bear-like in her voice, habits, and posture. When taken into care she refused all cooked food and slept on a mattress in a dark corner of her room. 4. ...read more.


The same applies to social skills such as friendliness, honesty, unselfishness and respect; all of these qualities are not hard wired into a child and must be learnt for in order to lead a happy and positive life. Conclusion No human being is entirely composed of either learned behaviour?s or inherited traits. Every person is composed of a combination of traits from each of these categories. Some traits can be link to genetics, whilst others are clearly learned behaviour?s. The process of learning can be simplified using the ?traveller theory?. The journey to adulthood can be compared to a traveller who wants to get from one side of the world to another but has no idea how to get there. In order for the traveller to reach his destination he must be assisted and guided throughout the journey and if he receives incorrect directions he will not reach his destination. The same can be said for a child at birth, in order for the child to become a grownup he or she must be constantly educated and guided by adult carers along the path to adulthood. If there is a derailing in this process, as in the cases of the feral children described above, the chances of becoming a fully functioning, mentally developed adult are severely jeopardised. ...read more.

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