Nature vs. Nurture Through time, psychologists have argued over whether only our genes control our behaviors in life or if the environment and the people surrounding us have any effect in our lives. This is called nature versus nurture. We do not know what dictates our behavior, or if it is a combination of both. One question is, if genes control our behavior, are we really responsible for our actions? I think that if we can make choices we are responsible for our actions. While or genes influence various aspects of our personalities, there is no denying that our environment has some effects too.
Our genes make us, but our experiences and our surroundings shape the way we behave as people. The people we grow up with, especially our parents teach us ways of acting and thinking that we keep for the rest of our lives. Television is a good example of this. When crime happens, people are quick to blame the violence we see on TV, but why do some people act on this violence while others, who probably view the same amount of television, do not make any violent acts in their lifetime? I believe that it has to do with how a person grew up. If you grew up being told what is right and what is wrong and, then you can sort out the violence on television from what you see to how people are intended to act in real life.
But if you were not taught these things or did not get the attention you need and as a child you saw your parent constantly fighting, then these lines between TV and reality become indistinct. Researchers have also found out that, even though a person may have a certain behavior-controlling gene, it is not always active. This research puts the responsibility for actions back on the individual. Humans do have free will, and they can choose if they want to let their body or their mind control them.
Another question is, if an individual does not have the "bad gene," but they commit a crime, are they more responsible. To look at this issue from another perspective, judges determine responsibility for actions by something called blameworthiness. This acknowledges a person of their actions and their consequences. If a person does not know what they are doing, such as a mentally ill person who commits a crime, or they are not aware of the consequences, such as a child who plays with a parent's gun, then they cannot be legally held responsible. This would answer the previous question with a firm no.
Blameworthiness makes no mention of genes, so if you had the "bad gene" and you committed a crime that you were fully aware of doing and you knew the consequences if you got caught, you would be fully responsible for your actions. From my standpoint, all healthy individuals are responsible for their actions. I believe that genes control our physical characteristics, but have a small role in controlling our behaviors. As I mentioned before, some people have a certain genes, but they are not active in their bodies. This could mean that many people with the "bad gene" have lead perfectly normal, law-abiding lives, while many people without the "bad gene" could have committed crimes. Research say that only a small amount of criminals in our prisons have the anti-social personality.
It is too risky to take responsibility off of individuals, because it just creates excuses for inexcusable behavior. I think that nurture plays a much bigger role in the shaping of our behavior than nature does. Placing complete control of our behavior on our genes takes away responsibility off the individual, which is dangerous. If people believe that they have no control over their thoughts and actions and it is all up to their genes, then we will see complete chaos. People will not engage in a healthy lifestyle because they will believe that, it doesn't matter what they do, genes will dictate their fate. We will also see an increase in crime rate because people with the "bad gene" would be able to get away with crimes because it's not their responsibility; it's "their genes' fault." We do know that our genes determine our physical properties, like whether we have brown or blond hair, but whether or not they control our behavior is still vague.
I believe that they have a very limited role in determining behavior. Genes may influence a person physical appearance and not the appearance you create for yourself. Many believe that a person's personality comes from who they are raised by and who they hang out with, also what culture you were brought up in plays a part in your behaviors and action.