Nature Beats Nurture

N. Bahar Tenker
Dec 12, 2015

Nature vs. Nurture debate has been still in existence today. This debate plays a vital role in realizing humankind itself and understanding where the differences between sexes are coming from. Advocates of the idea of nature believe that, the differences are acquired at birth, in contrast, proponents of nurture think that differences occur under the influence of the environment. Although environmental factors seem to play an important role to distinguish males and females, it is obvious that the basis for this difference is innate.

I will be examine these differences; physical, psychological and from a sociological perspective, by using BBC Documentary[1], Male and Female: Differences Between Them[2] by Virginia Adams, The Brain: His and Hers[3] by Pamela Weintraub, Biology and Gender[4] by Stephanie Garret and Sexy Socialization[5] by Maria Shriver.

  What is Hypothalamus?

The Sexual Drive

According to the general belief of society, the biggest difference between males and females is males are stronger than females, this generalization comes from ancient societies because in that times men were hunting and the women took care of the children. So the physical strength of men has come to the fore. As I mentioned before, the main difference between males and females may seem like physical power, in fact, they differ in terms of brain size, hormones and organs. Moreover as Weintraub[3] suggest:

"From the hypothalamus, the center of sexual drive, to the cerebral cortex, the set of thought, scientists have found constant variations between the sexes".

Therefore, the behaviors of males and females are differs from each other; not only the utilization of different lobes of their brain but also their brain structures varies. Likewise between males and females, there are hormonal differences. Index Finger Experiment in the BBC documentary[1] show that males and females have testosterone hormone but it is not on the same level. The hormone testosterone is related with masculinity or aggression. Males have higher level of testosterone in their bodies and brains than females have, that is why males are attracted to areas where there is lot of competition like football, in contrast, females are tend to non-competitive areas. Finally, Garret[4] explained:

"One clear difference between the sexes is that women bear children while men cannot".

It is perhaps the most distinguishing factor between the sexes. For this reason, for many years, women have been seen as a symbol of fertility and holiness. These differences that we are born with, isn't just a matter of physical appearance, it is the invisible hormones that directs us. As a result, we can infer that brain differences, hormonal diversity and organs dissimilarity are more vital than the difference in appearance.

Nowadays, males and females formed a perception of mind of thinking; the male mind and the female mind. The reason for this dissimilarity is that the mindset of male and female is almost completely different. Although, this is caused by their opinions, the main reason is essentially innate. To get a better understanding, the BBC documentary[1] did an experiment with 3 hours babies. Newborn babies, males and females, people came up and after looking them they show shaky baby toys to them. Surprisingly, as the male babies are not concentrated on the faces, females looked the faces of the arrivals who looking at her. Besides, when the females weren't interested in toys, males were shown a great interest in toys which are extended to him. This experiment is a proof that females are people-oriented and males are object-oriented.

Additionally, Adams[2] cites:

"In fact, newborn girls do show different responses in some situations. They react more strongly to the removal of a blanket and more quickly to touch and pain. Moreover, experiments demonstrate that twelve-week-old girls gaze longer at photographs of faces than at geometric figures".

Either psychology is an invisible factor, it has a significant role to distinguish between males and females.

The Commons

Socialization is a common factor of two sexes, but there are huge differences on the basis of their behaviors, moreover, these differences come out due to the characteristics of males and females. According to the results of an experiment which performed by the BBC documentary[1], females are more emotional and sensitive than males. In Lonely Girl on the Street Experiment, a little girl was sitting on the sidewalk and waiting. In fact, only 1% of men asking what happened to her, than this rate is 22% among women. Additionally, some women have asked multiple times whether she is good or not. This conclusion should not be a surprise because women generally taste the feeling of motherhood, so they are much more sensitive to such issues.

Another example is that, also in the BBC documentary[1], they asked few questions to the participants of experiment about their car trip. While women remember emotional facts, men interest in environmental thoughts. In conclusion, relation between diversity of human behaviors and the environment but actually these differences come from innate features of human beings.

On the contrary, nurture also has an impact in people’s lives in terms of changing their ideas, behaviors, appearances by using media. Today’s generations were affected by TV series, music videos etc. a lot. As Shriver[5] said

"One study shows that women are more likely than men to be shown in provocative outfits in music videos. (…) Men are more likely to be shown as sex animals and women are more likely to be shown as sex-objects".

This is cause a big problem among teenagers and even adults. Teenagers are influenced by media stereotyping and they try to be look like sexy-thin girls. As a result, a terrible disease anorexia start to occur and spread all over the world. With the developing technology, this kind of stereotypes increases rapidly. One reason for this is TV shows change the relationship between men and women. Men also affected by this and they desire this kind of women in their lives. It is not that easy, so they are unhappy because they can not find such a perfect women. In addition, an article[6] post in The Washington Times mentioned that:

"(…) scientists are beginning to see how the physical structure of person’s brain affected by the kind of nurturing a child receives in the first few months of life".

These examples obviously demonstrate that the effect of nurture, not as much as the effect of nature but it shape human behaviors in terms of directing people’s act and thoughts.


All can be seen from these examples of Nature vs. Nurture debate, it is clearly noticeable that Nature beats Nurture. By; physical, psychological and sociological perspectives the consequence is obviously clear. This is because, despite all external influences, inner needs and qualifications are not influenced. The arguments given in the articles argue how males and females differ from each other. Both sexes are totally different as physical, psychological and sociological perspective. Except from these, I think that nature has an effect on people's behaviors though, the thing which separate males and females is not about the environment. It is more related with the existence of human being. Even our instincts are distinctive, is it possible to believe that is not innate? Hence, these differences may not eliminated or reduced by the influence of the environment.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 BBC. Secrets of Sexes: BrainSex. Web, 2013. Documentary
  2. 2.0 2.1 Adams, Virginia. "Male and Female: Difference Between Them." Gender Differences: Sociology or Biology? 2nd ed. Boston: G.A, M.G. Perry, Ashton-jones and E.Olson, 2000. 4-11.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Weintraub, Pamela. "The Brain: His and Hers." Gender Differences: Sociology or Biology? 2nd ed. Boston: G.A, M.G. Perry, Ashton-jones and E.Olson, 2000. 12-21
  4. 4.0 4.1 Garrett, Stephanie. Gender. 1987. Print.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Shriver, Maria. The Shriver Report: A Woman's Nation Changes Everything. Washington, D.C. : Center of American Progress, 2009. Print.
  6. "Nurture Beats Nature." Washington Times. The Washington Times, 8 May 2008. Web.