Genetics. Behaviour. Intelligence. Sexuality Essay

758 words - 3 pages

Your personality is determined by your DNA. Your family history determines your intelligence. You are born gay. The idea that genetics has an influence on a person’s personality, behaviour and sexuality is a very old concept..
A person’s personality is influenced by their behaviour. (Higgins, 2000) “Human behaviour is a loosely defined foundation for individuality, generally considered to be influenced and developed by the environment. However, recent molecular studies have exposed genetic factors that suggest a more biological origin for behaviour.” (Deering, 2014) Twin and adoption studies have shown that behavioural characteristics can be genetic, such as self-esteem, various personality traits, general intelligence and academic achievement.
Until the 1960s, researchers looking for the origin of human behaviour looked at the environmental factors, such as attributing schizophrenia to bad parenting. However, schizophrenia is believed to be genetic due to the increased risk of recurrence in close relatives and the high concordance between identical twins, it does however have a high environmental component too. (Lewis,1997, p. 133) The greater the genetic contribution to the expression of a trait, the greater the chance of inheriting that trait. (Stine, 1989, p.151)
Studies have shown that behaviour can be inherited in more than one way. In the 1980’s, researchers who attempted to isolate the gene that caused bipolar affective disorder identified three different chromosomes that predispose a person to this very distinct behaviour pattern, however association of one gene with one behaviour is usually only partially conclusive.(Deering, 2014) Behaviour depends on the interaction of multiple gene sequences with environmental influences.
Intelligence is a multi-factorial trait that is difficult to define and measure. Nature as well as nurture contributes to the development of individual differences in intelligence. “Intelligence is considered an expression of behaviour, yet the delineation of what makes an individual intelligent has been highly debated.” (Deering, 2014) Sir Francis Galton investigated genius, which he defined as “a man endowed with superior faculties.” (Lewis, 1997, p.132) Due to the wide variety of what characterises an intelligent person, researchers can only estimate a person’s intelligence by doing tests which consist of verbal, pictorial, and numerical questions.
Advances in molecular genetics makes it possible to identify specific genes responsible for genetic influence on cognitive abilities and...

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