Development Across the Life Span: Nature Versus Nurture Essay examples

1666 Words Mar 4th, 2012 7 Pages
Development Across the Life Span: Nature versus Nurture
Barry University

What is Nature versus Nurture?
Development across the lifespan is one of the most interesting areas of psychology. The word development refers to human development which can be defined as “the scientific study of changes that occur in people as they age from conception until death.” (Ciccarelli, & White, 2009)Psychologists study this developmental change over time through several different methods. The book highlights three: Longitudinal design, cross-sectional design and cross-sequential design. Longitudinal design is a research design “in which one participant or group of participants is studied over a long period of time.” Cross sectional design differs
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Because most can agree that there is an array of causes leading to gender identity, roles, and sexuality, it is often determined that gender and sexual preferences are a result of both nature and nurture. In terms of nature, biological conditions, such as complications during pregnancy or chemical imbalances, have been associated with homosexuality. Nature and nurture are both extremely important during crucial stages of human development, specifically when identifying gender roles and sexuality. When studying nurture, homosexuality has been linked with child abuse. In studies of physical abuse in children, gay and lesbian individuals were more likely to report former abuse than heterosexuals. In one study, seventeen percent of gay and lesbian participants reported abuse, while only twelve percent of straight participants were determined to be abused as children. (Saewyc, Bearinger, Blum, and Resnick, 1999) Even in families, homosexuals were found to be abused worse than their straight siblings as children. (Tjaden, Thoennes, and Allison, 1999) While some are able to overcome the abuse endured as children, many are left with trauma as adults. Though it is difficult to determine a definite outcome of former physical abuse, there is an obvious connection between childhood experiences and sexual preference as adults. Through these studies, it becomes clear that nurture plays a strong role in
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