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Midterm Paper Begley S 1998 The Parent Trap Newsweek Sept7 52-59 The article I chose was taken from Newsweek titled The Parent Trap The article adressed the age-old debate over nature versus nurture highlighting theories of the author of a controversial book The Nuture Assumption Why Children Turn Out the Way They Do Parents Matter Less Than You Think and Peers Matter More Judith Rich Harris the author of the book argues against the belief that the way parents bring up their children influences their development She takes the side of nature in favor of genetic make-up and sees peer groups as the determining factors that have long lasting effect on a childs development into adulthood According to Harris nothing parents do will affect his behavior mental health ability to form relationships sense of self-worth intelligence or personality Harris argues against research that concludes that divorce puts kids at greater risk of academic failure and problem behavior like drug use and drinking She suggests that maybe the reason some parents are prone to divorce is genetic that the tendency to be impulsive or aggressive makes you more likely to divorce therefore these genetic tendencies were possibly passed on to their kids and are the cause of their problem behavior The same argument goes for parents who treat their kids with love and respect and who get along well with others that have children who have successful personal relationships The nice DNA made the kids nice not the parenting I believe that Harris is assuming that people who have bad genetic temperments and are unsuccessful at relationships should not try to have children because they are putting them at risk for also having bad temperments which cause them to follow in their footsteps and result in problem behavior Therefore parents with bad genes put kids at risk for problem behavior not divorce Using the example of her own children Harris argues that siblings
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