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Nurture Assumption [Judith Rich Harris]

"The Nurture Assumption", a book by Judith Rich Harris devastatingly shows that:

All of social science research is wrong, because the researchers tacitly assume that only nurture counts. Social sciences presume there is no genetic inborn hereditary behavior component.

We are not just a product of our parents' education, but largely a product of our parents' genes.

 See also Universalism

Equality dogma: all races are equal.


Government policies about education, laws about spanking, are based on faulty PC Junk Science!

See also Correlation is not causation



Judith Harris concludes

  1. Genes determine personality and IQ, to a large percentage (30% to 80% ??). Studies of identical twins reared apart (albeit very similar) are very strong scientific proof of this fact. Adoption studies( that show that children are like their genetic parents and unlike their adoptive parents) add more proof to this.
  2. Parenting doesn’t matter much when it comes to shaping a child’s personality, abilities, and behavior over the long run, claims the book "The nurture assumption".
  3. Children are, though, very sensitive to peer group influence. 


Author Judith Harris was an author for introductory psychology textbooks.  Thus she had to survey adjacent fields like behavioral genetics. These fields prove that large parts of psychology research is wrong because of the ideological denial of genetics and heredity.

See also Interracial Adoption - transracial adoption

Twin studies: identical twins reared apart


The Long Shadow of the Nurture Assumption  [Amren]

Robert VerBruggen, Family Studies, September 14, 2016
Parenting doesn’t matter much when it comes to shaping a child’s personality, abilities, and behavior over the long run. That was the startling conclusion embraced by Judith Rich Harris nearly 20 years ago in The Nurture Assumption. And it was one I reflected on frequently while reading two new works, Jonah Lehrer’s A Book About Love and Alison Gopnik’s The Gardener and the Carpenter.
Harris relied largely on findings from the field of behavioral genetics. The traditional studies in this field compare various types of siblings–identical and fraternal twins, adoptive and biological brothers and sisters–to sort the causes of children’s traits into three bins: genes, the shared environment, and the non-shared environment. If identical twins are more similar than fraternal twins, for example, that’s assumed to be genes at work; if adoptive siblings are more similar than random strangers, that’s the shared environment. And if siblings are different even though they’re identical twins reared together, that’s the non-shared environment.
The conscious decisions we make as parents–how strict or supportive we are, whether we send our kids to daycare–should show up as the effect of the shared environment. But Harris reported there was little there. Not much has changed: A massive 2015 research review analyzed “7,804 traits from 2,748 publications,” including millions of twin pairs. For about 70 percent of traits, shared environment didn’t seem to do much at all. By contrast, genes were consistently powerful, typically explaining about half the variation in the traits.
Certainly, there are some nuances here. Parents do affect some important things, including social values and religion, which are, respectively, 27 percent and 35 percent explained by the shared environment. (Educational attainment also has an influence from the shared environment, but it’s not clear whether parenting, parents’ money, or something else is what’s making the difference.) No one denies that severe deprivation hurts kids. And genes and the environment work together in various ways, making the classic three-discrete-bins approach somewhat reductive.
But as a general matter, if parents have a big impact, they must have a different impact on each child, because merely sharing the same house doesn’t seem to make kids much more similar to each other than strangers are. Of those two new books, only one seriously addresses this fact.
After A Book About Love, psychology professor Alison Gopnik’s The Gardener and the Carpenter is a breath of fresh air. By page 23, there can be no doubt that Gopnik knows the score and won’t try to explain it away:
[I]t is very difficult to find any reliable, empirical relation between the small variations in what parents do–the variations that are the focus of parenting–and the resulting adult traits of their children. . . . From an empirical perspective, parenting is a mug’s game.
Indeed, the central argument of Gopnik’s book is that we should reject the concept of “parenting” entirely. She notes that even the word is a recent invention, having become popular only in the 1970s (though I would add that the concept of “rearing” children, and anxiety about how best to do so, goes back much further). Her title refers to the idea that parents should see themselves not as “carpenters” aiming to craft something specific, but rather as “gardeners,” aiming to help those under their care flourish, knowing full well that nature will determine the finer details.
If we can’t deliberately mold our children into astronauts or star athletes or even lawyers, then, what we can do is provide an environment ripe for learning and experimentation. Gopnik notes, for instance, that we can provide “scaffolding” for kids’ activities–setting the conditions for “guided play,” such as asking them to sort shapes according to certain rules–and let them explore.

End of summary

Supporting texts and links follow below

You can search on your own on PIGS: Politically Incorrect Google Search [?]

Judith Rich Harris RIP

Here’s my review of Judith Rich Harris’s influential book The Nurture Assumption in National Review in 1998:

The Nurture Assumption: Why Children Turn Out the Way They Do.
National Review, Oct 12, 1998 by Steve Sailer

OCCASIONALLY, the Great American Intellectual Hype Machine trumpets a book well worth reading. Even before The Nurture Assumption’s publication, major magazines were ballyhooing Judith Rich Harris’s epiphany. A New Jersey grandmother without academic connections, she had written conventional child- development textbooks that presupposed kids were shaped solely by their parents’ child-rearing style. Suddenly, on January 20, 1994, the scales fell from her eyes, revealing the secret of why children turn out the way they do: “Genes matter and peers matter, but parents don’t matter” (as MIT’s Steven Pinker admiringly summarizes her book in his foreword).

 I’m pleased to welcome Mrs. Harris and her impressive rationality, serious scholarship, sardonic humor, and vivid prose to the ranks of realists. Although she tends to tiptoe around the political implications, her analysis of how young people naturally form peer groups that define themselves by excluding others explains why multicultural education, bilingualism, college-admission quotas, busing, and co-ed boot camps perversely worsen race and sex conflicts. Still, her almost Camille Paglia-like ambitiousness drives her to overstate the both the novelty of her true ideas (that genes and peers matter) and the truth of her novel idea (that parents don’t matter).

[Comment at Unz.com]



The Nurture Assumption - The New York Times


I call this the nurture assumption. Only after rearing two children of my own and coauthoring three editions of a college textbook on child development did I begin ...


The Nurture Assumption: Why Children Turn Out the Way They Do ...


The Nurture Assumption: Why Children Turn Out the Way They Do, Revised and Updated [Judith Rich Harris] on Amazon.com. *FREE* shipping on qualifying ...


The Nurture Assumption website (Judith Rich Harris)


website for The Nurture Assumption, by Judith Rich Harris, 7/27/16.


[PDF]The nurture assumption : why children turn out ... - Emil OW Kirkegaard


Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data. Harris, Judith Rich. The nurture assumption : why children turn out the way they do, by Judith Rich Harris,.


The NURTURE ASSUMPTION: Why Children Turn Out the Way They ...

 Rating: 4.1 - ‎957 votes The NURTURE ASSUMPTION has 957 ratings and 107 reviews. Skylar said: This is a very long (and at times personal) review. If you would prefer to read a mo.


Full text of "The nurture assumption : why children turn out the way ...


™t Nurture Assumption Why Children Turn Out the Way They Do "A graceful, lucid, and utterly persuasive assault on virtually every tenet of child development.


Do Parents Matter? - Scientific American


In 1998 Judith Rich Harris, an independent researcher and textbook author, published The Nurture Assumption: Why Children Turn Out The Way They Do.


The Nurture Hypothesis - Washington City Paper


The Nurture Hypothesis. L.A. Swann. Mar 19, 2004 12 AM. 0. Tweet. Share. When will we as a society understand the effects of bullying and taunting? My heart ...

 Pigs Search

Revisiting the critique of the Nurture Assumption - The Unz Review

Jan 17, 2016 ... Judith Rich Harris famously wrote a book length critique, The Nurture Assumption : Why Children Turn Out the Way They Do, which was ...


Gene Expression: 10 questions for Judith Rich Harris

  Jan 25, 2006 ... 1) One criticism some of my readers made about 'The Nurture Assumption' is that it did not take evolution into account enough, will we see ...


It's time to move beyond the nature/nurture divide | spiked review of ...

Apr 24, 2009 ... In advising parents to ignore hectoring experts, Judith Rich Harris's book ... 'The nurture assumption has turned children into objects of anxiety.


A Conversation With Judy Harris, Bryan Caplan | EconLog | Library ...

A Conversation With Judy Harris, Bryan Caplan | EconLog | Library ...

Apr 1, 2009 ... Since there was some disagreement about whether I was correctly interpreting Judy Harris' The Nurture Assumption, I decided to go straight to ...



Apples, Oranges, and Lesbians: The Nurture Assumption Just Will ...

Apples, Oranges, and Lesbians: The Nurture Assumption Just Will ...

Oct 19, 2013 ... Apples, Oranges, and Lesbians: The Nurture Assumption Just Will Not Die .... Judith Rich Harris and Steven Pinker both long since dispatched ...


https://jaymans.wordpress.com/.../apples-oranges-and-lesbians-the-nurture- assumption-just-will-not-die/



judith harris | JayMan's Blog

judith harris | JayMan's Blog

Posts about judith harris written by JayMan. ... Behavioral Genetic Facts · 6110.19 .13Apples, Oranges, and Lesbians: The Nurture Assumption Just Will Not Die ...




'There is no “right way” to rear a child' | spiked review of books

Mar 27, 2009 ... On the tenth anniversary of the publication of her provocative book The Nurture Assumption, Judith Rich Harris talks to the spiked review of ...


Harris: The Postcard Version, Bryan Caplan | EconLog | Library of ...

Apr 1, 2009 ... For clarification, I sent Judy Harris one last email: Me: ... I reviewed Judith Rich Harris's "The Nurture Assumption" for National Review in 1997, ...


Beware Armchair Psychoanalysis | JayMan's Blog

May 30, 2014 ... Thanks to certain recent events, I wanted to have you guys look at an excerpt from Judith Rich Harris's The Nurture Assumption. This is here to ...


Parents don't matter that much - Gene Expression
blogs.discovermagazine.com/.../parents-dont-matter-that-much-2... Diese Seite übersetzen 16.06.2011 - ~10 years ago Judith Rich Harris came out with The Nurture .... More seriously, I was wondering if there was some stupid confound somewhere.

No Racism, no mention of Racial differences

Judith Harris wisely avoids que quagmire of racial differences. But our anti-racist Universalism and the Equality dogma: (all races are equal) also have to do with the issue Judith Harris debunks. Not "all people" are a product of their upbringing, rather genetics play an important role in behavior.



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