Sociology In what way do ferral children proivde evidence for the nature nurture debate? The nature nurture debate has been one of the most contraversial debates since it was introduced in the 1870’s by one of the first experimental psychologists Francis Galton. Since that time an increasing number of psychologists have become significantly interested in the nature nurture debate- like Galton they to have been trying to determine whether or not the way in which humans conduct themselves are inherited through their genes or if human kinds mannerisms are influenced by the enviroment in which they develop in.
There has been a multitudinous amount of research that endorses the hereditary, also known as the nature aspect of the nature nurture debate. One of the most renowned studies primarily focuses on the DNA of twins to conclude whether or not as they shared similar genetics they would have similar behavioural patterns. The focal point of a study conducted in Minnesota, USA by Nancy L. Segal shows the likeness between identical twins who were adopted by different families at birth.
The brothers who were coincidentally both named Jim by their adopted families were reunited just after their 39th birthday. The twins were astonished to discover that although they had only been in contact for a breif period 39 years previous to their meeting, they shared an abundant amount of similarities. These included the fact they both suffered from survere headaches, bit their nails, smokes and took up woodcutting.
However, studies that focus on the genetics of twins that are raised together that have resulted in similarites between the two parties being dentified have been greatly criticized when utilised in the nature nurture debate as it disregards the fact the twins share the same enviroment. Ferral children have become particularly focused upon by scientists and psychologists studying the nature nurture debate. The word ‘ferral’ means uncultivated or undemesticated. Throughout history there has been a copious amount of debate as to what triggered feral children to become wild. The nature nurture debate often utilizes the cases involving feral children as it not only allows psychologists and scientists questions to be answered but also develops many more.
In the documentary “Wild child: The story of feral children’ there is a segmant that focuses on a girl born in the Ukraine who ‘grew up in solitary confinement never knowing love or social interaction. ‘ According to medical records the girl with the surname Malia was a healthy child. However, as the childs parents were alcoholics they had no regards for their childs wherabouts and one night to drunk to notice left their daughter outside. In a feebal attempt to find warmth the child who was 3 years old at the time crawled into the farm kennel and nested with the mongrel dog that is believed to have saved her life on that night.
Although the dog helped the infant to survive her time spent with it had extreme conciquences. For the five years that followed the incident Miss Malia spent her time living as a dog. In an interview Anna Chalaya a Ukrane institute director said ‘The purpose of speaking, she didn’t think it was neccassery to speak at all’- when referring to the childs capabilities and attitudes towards general human behaviour. This is a particularly interesting example which favours the nuture part of the nature nurture debate.
In recent studies it has been proven that a child is more than often likely to renact the mannerisms of those it is surrounded by. Therefore, as the child spent more time interacting with dogs than humans she began to mimick the way in which the dog behaved and become more like a dog than a human. In addition to the the incident involving the Malia child there have been a vast number of similar accurences involving children becoming ferral as a result of neglect. In Los Angelies a 13 year old girl named Jeanie was held captive by her father since the day she was born.
The childs contact with the other members of her family were restricted as her father had ordered them to only speak to her when neccassary. When Jeanie’s ordeal was finally over experts began working together to introduce her to the world and all it had to offer. Furthermore they were also determined to try and teach Jeanie basic human acts such as learning to use language and grammar. However, although she could learn words, as her brain was starved of stimulation for such a elongated period of time her brain was not able to develop the capacity to piece a sentence together.
Although there is no definative evidence as to which affects the human behaviour more dominantely in the nature nurture debate, this affirms the nurture side of the ongoing investigation. Evidence so far throughout history has entirely proven that feral children support the idea that the way in which humans behave is more often than not due to the enviroment in which they are raised in. However, are we yet to discover hidden aspects of genetics that could determinately prove decades of feral children research wrong?