Myth Busting: Nature Vs. Nurture

The debate of nature versus nurture is a long standing one, but Agustin Fuentes believes that the whole idea of nature versus nature is a myth. He argues in his article, Busting Myths of Human Nature, that the idea of it is inaccurate and negatively influences our world views and how we act. He states that “it obscures our ability to understand ourselves”. Einstein believed that we should not focus on what we believe is true but rather to focus on “what is”. Fuentes believes that the three biggest myths are race, aggression, and sex. For example, there are many types and patterns of physical aggression, but aggression is ultimately influenced by body size, muscle density, gender, etc. Additionally, with race people often expect certain stereotypes and as a result, people follow these stereotypes which limits what they think they can achieve. Similarly, gender also influences the way we act according to gender stereotypes. Fuentes further outlines in his book how to look past these factors and be your own person.

Because so much emphasis is put on nature versus nurture, people feel they need to attribute their qualities to one of these which leads to people influencing their qualities.  Topics such as race and gender are influencing peoples’ daily lives in our modern culture because of stereotyping which is not fair to the people who fall out of these stereotypes. If we didn’t focus putting labels on things, we would be able to be truer to ourselves. This relates to Anthropology because people born in certain cultures might feel they need to act a certain way instead of being themselves.

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