Are Genetics or Environment Most Important in Determining Who Our Kids Will Be?
The nature vs. nurture debate is particularly relevant to parents through adoption, egg donation, sperm donation, or embryo donation. How do genes and the environment affect intelligence, IQ, behavior, temperament, weight, substance abuse, mental illness, and depression? What have the leading researchers in this field found? Our guests are Sally Ann Rhea, the study coordinator for 25 years for one of the most renown adoption research projects in the world, the Colorado Adoption Project, focussing on investigating genetic and environmental influences on human behavior; and Dr. Alexandra Burt, Associate Professor of behavioral genetics with affiliation with the Michigan State University Twin Registry and a research focuses on the role of genes and the environment interplay in the development of anti-social development.
- How do you design studies to tease out in real life subjects the relative influences of genes and environment?
- Is it nature VS. nurture or nature AND nurture.
- What traits are more inherited?
- What traits are more influenced by the environment?
- How much of intelligence or IQ or cognitive development are controlled or influenced by genetics. How similar in intelligence are adopted children or children from egg donation, sperm donation, or embryo donation to their genetic donor or birth parent?
- How much of a child’s temperament or personality controlled or influenced by genetics. How similar in intelligence are adopted children or children from egg donation, sperm donation, or embryo donation to their genetic donor or birth parent?
- How do genes affect behavior?
- How heritable is substance abuse, alcoholism, and addiction?
- How likely is it that your child through adoption or egg donation, sperm donation, or embryo donation to have a substance abuse problem if it was in their donor’s or birth parents family history?
- Which mental illnesses are genetically inherited? Bi polar? Schizophrenia? Obsessive compulsive disorder? Anxiety Disorder?
- Is anti-social behavior inherited?
- Is risk taking behavior inherited?
- Is ADHD inherited or genetically controlled?
- Is obesity controlled by environment or genes?
- Why are children in the same family so different from one another?
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