Parenting myths and the DNA revolution

The truth about nature vs nurture

Every parent wants their child to succeed in life, and strives to provide the best possible environment for their child to develop in. But is this ultimately a futile endeavour? Half a century of research indicates our genes, our nature, are the deciding factor in who we are, not our nurture, writes Robert Plomin. 

Walk into any parenting section at the bookstore and you will see countless titles focused on issues like feeding, sleeping, toilet training, and how to manage parent-child relationships. The books differ in their approach, but one thing they all have in common is that they place a premium on environmental effects of parents. And it makes sense, right? It’s natural to assume that the way children develop depends on the way they’re raised. This is, after all, an idea that is deeply embedded in our culture.

But this runs counter to my 50 years of research showing that genetics, nature, is the major systematic force making children who they are—th

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