Have a symptom?
See what questions
a doctor would ask.
Articles » Genetics Center » Nature versus Nurture

Nature versus Nurture

Nature versus nurture is the age-old discussion over how much of us is born and how much of our behavior is made. Nature refers to DNA and nurture refers to our environment during development. How much of us is caused by DNA and how much is caused by our upbringing and environment. This issue has been addressed with regard to numerous issues including:

  • Intelligence - are we born with a high/low IQ or does our environment affect it?
  • Gender identity - is our sense of gender born, or can it be altered by surgery and environment; this is an important issue for treatment of infants born with malformed genital organs.
  • Criminal behavior
  • Addictions

In some cases, the issue is regarding "susceptibility". For example, alcoholism is clearly not something we are born with, but perhaps some people are born with a greater susceptibility to this addiction.


By using this site you agree to our Terms of Use. Information provided on this site is for informational purposes only; it is not intended as a substitute for advice from your own medical team. The information on this site is not to be used for diagnosing or treating any health concerns you may have - please contact your physician or health care professional for all your medical needs. Please see our Terms of Use.

Home | Symptoms | Diseases | Diagnosis | Videos | Tools | Forum | About Us | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Site Map | Advertise