aubol006: September 2011 Archives

Nature vs Nurture. Does the way one behave run in genetics (nature) or is it dependent on the way they were brought up (nurture)? This is a main issue in the field of Psychology, and there is evidence supporting both.

A few years ago, Michael Vick, a star African-American quarterback in the NFL, was arrested for dog fighting. Now there is no disagreement that his actions were intolerable, but recently an article was written for ESPN The Magazine by a man known as Toure' that raised the question "What if Vick were white?" (the article can be found here)

The idea is that if Vick were born into a white family, he wouldn't have been involved in the dog fights. One must look at both sides of the nature vs nurture debate to decide what they believe.

On one hand, Vick could be genetically programmed to participate in the dog fights. His genetics could have made him more aggressive, or more likely to gamble, and fighting dogs was how he used his aggression.

On the other hand, the reason for Vick's behavior could have been because of the way he was raised. His father introduced him to dog fighting at a young age so he thought it was acceptable. Also his father left him at an early age as well and that could have caused Vick to search for a new father figure, perhaps one involved in horrible acts such as dog fighting.

I do not believe race is the issue in this situation, if Vick were white he could have been born into a bad family as well. How can someone think that his life would have been better if he were white? I believe that both nature and nurture affected him. Vick was introduced to dog fighting at a young age and he thought that it was okay and therefore continued to do it as he grew up. But still his genetics were also responsible as he found the dog fights enjoyable, and continued to take part in them.

For a brief description of nature vs nurture, watch this video here.

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