Chapter 3

Jordan Argueta and Meghan Dempsey

Adoption Studies

Adoption studies have long been used to gather data for the nature vs nurture debate. They can provide evidence for both sides of this argument through a variety of study findings. Some studies show that adopted children's personalities are much more like their biological parents' than their adoptive ones, this supports the nature side of the debate. However, other studies have shown that adopted children, especially when adopted at a very young age, will grow up to have some of their adoptive parents' personality traits and will even go on to do better than their biological parents on intelligence tests.

Molecular Genetics

Molecular genetics is the sub field of biology that studies the molecular structure and function of genes. So far, no single gene has been tied to a specific trait or behavior but some patterns have been recognized. Molecular genetics can be used to identify a person's risk for a disease that may run in their family and could, therefore, help people to make choices that are most beneficial to their health. The only downside to this is that some fear the possibility of genetic discrimination or in simpler terms, that someone may be discriminated against based on their personal risk of having a certain disease in the future.

Peer Influences on Development

It has been found that when we are developing, our peers are most influential when it comes to how we act, much more influential than our parents. This makes sense because our peers are the ones we will grow up with, work with, and, eventually, mate with. This concerns some parents because they fear that their child will fall in with the wrong crowd but they are the ones that control the children we are first exposed to. By exposing their children to other "good" children, a parent's child will begin to develop those same "good" traits and later on will seek out other "good" children as we tend to make friends with those who are most similar to us.

Cultural Inflluences

Gender Issues/Gender Roles