How would one describe nature and nurture?  

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literaturenerd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The difference between nature and nurture lies what one is born with (genetics) and how one is impacted by the things around them (nurture).

All people are born with a distinct genetic makeup. Within this makeup, people are predetermined to be, for example, brown haired, green eyed, a certain height, and a certain build. Likewise, some people inherit mental and physical disabilities based upon the genetics passed down from their parents.

Nurture, on the other hand, is defined by the way a person is impacted by the world around them. For example, a person who grows up within a loving and caring home will, most likely, become a loving and caring person. Contrastingly, a person who is raised within a close-minded family will, most likely, grow up to be similar.

That said, the nurturing aspect of society is what can change the mentality of a person. For example, if a person was to grow up in a racist and oppressive family, the impact of the non-racist and non-oppressive society could cause the person to question the previous ideologies taught by their family.

On the other hand, a person cannot alter their mental disorders, physical handicaps, or eye and hair color. (These things can be changed, through use of medications, hair dye and contacts, but essentially the person is simply masking what is underneath).

Many studies have been completed on nature verses nurture (and have been criticized regarding their ethical nature). Twin studies have shown that certain things are the result of nature and other things are the result of nurture (studied when twins have been separated at birth and raised by two different families). Years after the separation, the twins are examined regarding the differences between them (illuminating the idea of nature verses nurture).