Nature And Nurture : Nature Vs. Nurture

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As Nature Made Him: Nature vs. Nurture
Human behavior is determined by both biological and environmental factors. Psychologists are interested in learning which of these factors is a greater influence on human behavior and identity. Although psychologists today generally agree that both nature and nurture play a role in conditioning behavior, there is still disagreement about the part that each of the factors have in determining behavior. The nature versus nurture debate focuses around the extent of influence from each and the possibility that one of these factors has the ability to erase the other. This debate is the central theme in As Nature Made Him: The Boy Who Was Raised As A Girl, an account of the case of Brenda Reimer recounted by
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To the world, it was very apparent that Brenda was different. Dr. Money however was relentless in encouraging Brenda’s new feminine identity, and as a result was unwilling to acknowledge her masculine demeanor. Money hid Brenda’s behavioral discrepancies from the scientific community. Although Brenda was far from feeling like a normal girl her age, Money’s reports said otherwise. Albeit false, he used her case as further evidence of his theory that “the child’s psychosexual differentiation will be congruous with the sex of rearing (Colapinto 55).”
Dr. Money is made out to be the villain in the story. In addition to his false reports of her case, Brenda’s horror during her yearly visits to Money are well depicted. These scenes tell of private sessions in which he would force Brenda to take her clothes off or show her pictures of adults engaged in sexual acts. While some of his methods may have been extreme, Money had a solid scientific basis to believe that environment greatly affects one’s behavior. The decades leading up to the 1970’s were the height of behaviorist psychology. Stemmed from the work of John Watson at the turn of the 20th century, behaviorism places emphasis on observable behavior rather than introspection. More specifically, behaviorists prefer to focus on the ways that a person’s environment can predict their behaviors. We can see this in B.F. Skinner’s

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