Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: May 28, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963930 | Print ISBN: 9781412941655 | Online ISBN: 9781412963930| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Howard F. Taylor
The social and behavioral sciences have in recent years played host to what has come to be called the “nature versus nurture debate.” This is the question of to what degree our genes (“nature”) explain human differences in certain phenotypic variables such as intelligence, personality predispositions, criminal tendencies, and so on, versus the degree to which the social environment (“nurture,” which includes many social structural variables such as schooling, one's social class status, one's parent's or parents' social class status, one's family socialization practices, nutrition, peer group influences, and so on) also explain intelligence, personality, and criminal tendencies. Comprising part of this debate is the question of whether and to what extent there is interaction between genes and environment upon intelligence or personality predispositions. This is the issue of whether and to what extent the effect of genes depends upon what social environment(s) the individual is raised in, and combine ...