Sunday, November 17, 2019

Interaction and influences of genetics Essay Example for Free

Interaction and influences of genetics Essay The current belief in biology disqualify the fact that it is only the genes that determine most of the complex traits of a human being. It is well appreciated that DNA interacts at the molecular level with the signals from the environment as well as from other genes. When this concept is considered at the individual level, certain genes do influence trait development in context to a specific environment (Parens et al. , 2006). In this regard therefore, the degree into which a particular trait is influenced by the environment in relation to the genes depends on the specific environment and genes that have been examined. In most of the cases, it has been discovered that genes do contribute to someone’s personality, intelligence and even the psychological traits. Some of these traits maybe highly influenced by the environment in such circumstances as the environmental deprivation (Baker 2004). Environment genes and family traits. It is virtually possible now to measure the heritability of a trait in a certain population when these traits are determined through the complex interaction of environment and genotype. There is evidence that environmental factors within a family set up do have an effect on childhood IQ but on late adolescence it has been observed that the adoptive characteristics in the family siblings are not in any more unique than in the IQ of strangers (McInerney and Rothstein2007). Personality to a certain extent is heritable (Baker 2004). To support this belief, it has been observed that biological siblings are usually more similar in personality as compared to the adoptive ones while identical twins that have been brought up apart show personality similarity than other people who are randomly selected from the population (Parens et al. , 2006). Adoption studies have thus attempted to measure the strength of traits shared in a family. Though some studies indicate that adopted siblings only share the family environment, other studies have shown that by adulthood, the shared family effect on someone’s personality is usually zero. The question of biological determinism thus becomes real. That is if the genes do have a substantial role in the development of personality and even intelligence, then the question remains if genes really determine who really we are (McInerney and Rothstein2007). Though heritability measures used refer to the degree in which there is a variation between individuals in a certain population, these kinds of statistics are not applicable at an individual level. If a heritability index of a certain personality is 6, it would be inappropriate to say that the individual has 40% of personality traits from the environment and 60% from the parents (McInerney and Rothstein2007). Environment is a key factor that cannot be assumed at any point since even the highly genetically determined trait such as the eye color still do carry with them the environmental influence (e. g. atmospheric oxygen and temperature range). Genes do not directly determine the behavior but depending on the environmental context, they influence such conditions and physical traits as blood pressure, height, digestive activities and weight among others (Parens et al. , 2006). The same could be true of the psych-social complex behaviors. Each of these traits is affected by certain multiple genes that interact with various environmental factors. Thus a gene cannot be plainly said that it controls a behavior trait but rather it maybe more appropriate to say that is has an influence on any observed character (Baker 2004). Conclusion Genes that carry the power of heritability in an individual should be considered as enablers of character traits and not as constrainers as it may have been in some cases. Genes carry the possibilities of the organism but do not on the other hand reduce its options as the environment also has a role in enhancing them or even suppressing their expression. The social scientist can thus conclude that these new possibilities are not necessarily scripted in the advance but rather open to the individuals experience.

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