The Nurture Assumption: Why Children Turn Out the Way They Do
Judith Rich Harris
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK
How much credit do parents deserve when their children turn out welt? How much blame when they turn out badly? Judith Rich Harris has a message that will change parents' lives: The "nurture assumption" -- the belief that what makes children turn out the way they do, aside from their genes, is the way their parents bring them up -- is nothing more than a cultural myth. This electrifying book explodes some of our unquestioned beliefs about children and parents and gives us a radically new view of childhood.
Harris looks with a fresh eye at the real lives of real children to show that it is what they experience outside the home, in the company of their peers, that matters most, Parents don't socialize children; children socialize children. With eloquence and humor, Judith Harris explains why parents have little power to determine the sort of people their children will become.
The Nurture Assumption is an important and entertaining work that brings together insights from psychology, sociology, anthropology, primatology, and evolutionary biology to offer a startling new view of who we are and how we got that way.
twins are surprisingly similar, even those who were reared in different homes. They come up with similar memories partly because they are likely to be similarly happy or unhappy as adults. Yes, there are genetic influences on happiness, too.76 Eighth is the fact that things that cause us distress or pleasure do not necessarily have the power to change our personalities or to make us mentally ill. Relationships mean a lot to us; parents are, without a doubt, important people in our lives. We care
given child was with his parents would not make it noticeably easier to predict how obnoxious he will be with his peers.3 It is unusual for a socialization study to have as many as 374 subjects. On the other hand, most socialization studies gather a good deal more data from their subjects than we did in our IQ-and-books study: there are usually several measurements of the home environment and several measurements of each child. It’s a bit more work but well worth the trouble. If we collect, say,
college campuses up and down the East Coast. The band earned enough to cover their educational expenses. Donald didn’t turn all his daughters into doctors but his fellow ditchdiggers stopped laughing long ago. Two daughters became physicians (one has a Ph.D. as well as an M.D.). The others are an oral surgeon, a lawyer, and a court stenographer. The foster daughter is a nurse. As Yvonne put it, she and her sisters are “women of accomplishment, independent women, women capable of taking care of
Ernst and Angst (1983:93–189),” what he evidently did in many cases was to go back to the original reports of the reviewed studies and make up his own mind about them. Often his opinion differed from E & A’s about whether a study had or had not included the proper controls and whether it had or had not produced significant effects. His reassessments almost always resulted in an increase in the number of outcomes favorable to his theory and/or a decrease in the number of no-difference outcomes.
on the surface, to be exactly the sort of sibling rivalry Sulloway described: a struggle for parental favor, for family resources. I believe, however, that what motivates these murders is not the younger brother’s desire to improve his status with his parents—killing their firstborn child would hardly accomplish that!—but to improve his status in the society in which he is destined to spend his adult life. Primogeniture makes older brothers dominant in their group, not just within their family.