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The Source of Violence: Nature Vs. Nurture

Autor:   •  March 8, 2011  •  Essay  •  1,016 Words (5 Pages)  •  2,840 Views

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The source of Violence: Nature vs. Nurture

During the 18th century in England, people found leisure and entertainment by acting violent towards animals. One of the examples would be a throwing game, which players can throw any items towards a chicken that is tied to a wooden rod. The winner would be the one who is able to kill the chicken with one throw. The chicken would have a painful and slow death, which, on the other hand, entertained the players. Later on, sociologist explained this severe act as ‘feeling secure and gain higher self-esteem' by torturing and causing suffering to the ones who are unable to fight back.

Although there are evidences of more violent and brutal human behavior in the past which caused destructions and millions of deaths, this ‘entertaining' game was shocking towards many, including me. These types of articles and facts made many to think what the origin of violence was and they came to two options: nature or nurture. Many studies want to prove that violence is heritable and are genetically passed on; however other studies say that the environment we live in influence us to behave violent. They have not found an answer to this question yet, and I believe that it would cause great conflict between individuals if they had found one. No matter what the answer of this question would be, it would change the perspective of people on how criminals and violent individuals should be treated. However, knowing where violence comes from, we can reduce the potential risks of crimes everywhere and the chance of someone acting violent, which is harmful for others, can be limited as well.

First of all, the word violence is defined as the physical and verbal force applied on others with intention of hurting and causing pain towards them, both physically and mentally. Violence is used to protect ones property, oneself, but as well as honor and dignity. For example, in Turkey a girl was buried alive by her family, because it was stated that she dishonored the family's name by talking to a boy.

In my opinion, I think that violence is passed along the genes, but as well the environment we live in influences us, because our biological functions nowadays still have the reactions of these from our ancestors millions of years ago. However, when we started living in groups and created a society, limitation to our aggressiveness was required in order to stay within the group. There were many benefits of living together, and it would have been irrational to leave the group, therefore limitations to the level of violence were essential. According to Darwin's law, we need to adapt to the environment in order to survive.

We have been living on earth for millions of years, and even today, we still possess the instincts and functions that our ancestors had had. For example, if direct danger is approaching us, our body reacts automatically to it and


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