Nature vs. Nurture: Parental Promotion of A False Dichotomy Essay

1689 Words 7 Pages
For over a decade, Sir Francis Galton, cousin of Charles Darwin, has puzzled scholars with the question of whether personality is determined by ones biology or environment (Galton, 1874). The term “nature versus nurture” quickly became a catch phrase to distinguish the difference between personality traits that are hereditary versus those that are built on environment. As a parent, I instill in my children an active lifestyle, intelligence, and independence to promote leadership. The qualities described may lead you to assume that I have two sons, but contrary to popular belief, I am raising two amazing daughters.
Gender should not to be confused with sex, although they are often incorrectly used as substitutes for one
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Depending on the sex of their child, parents create an environment conducive to promoting the qualities of their adolescent's gender. The social learning theory states that children passively learn gender through observation, imitation, and modeling (Bakir, 2010). For example, if parents discover they are going to have a son, they communicate gender by decorating the baby nursery in blue, filling their closets with camouflage and athletic clothing, and filling their toy box with fire trucks, LEGO’s, and tool sets. Parents expecting a son avoid the colors pink and purple, clothing such as lacey dresses and bonnets, and toys such as dolls, play kitchens, and fake makeup. There is a similar but opposite result when a parent expects a daughter.
Parents play a significant role in defining differences in gender by engaging in different types of communication between sons and daughters. For instance, parents tend to “promote independence and self-assertion in sons and behavior that encourages cooperation and relationality with daughters during the preschool years” (Lindsey, 2010). The majority of children develop their gender identities based upon
their sex through the standards their parents reflect upon them. While communicating with children, mothers and fathers use different qualities to

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