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Babies: Nature Versus Nurture

Do Babies Arrive 80 Percent Baked?

Long live the nature versus nurture debate. Beautiful Brit Kate Beckinsale recently gave her take on the situation based on experience with her daughter, Lily, 9.

The 34-year-old actress told Mean magazine:

Babies show up as themselves. I really do believe you can f--k a person up terribly by being a bad parent, but they arrive kind of 80 percent baked, and that 20 percent is crucial, but they do show up with personality.

Do you agree with the actress's take?


Join The Conversation
ohjeeze ohjeeze 9 years
I agree to a point. I think it might be 50/50 or at least 75/25. Environment and heredity play off each other so much, sometimes its hard to tell which affects which.
JessNess JessNess 9 years
I totally agree with her. I think an important point she is making without saying is that if you believe and recognize that your kid is born with a personality already parents will probably back off a bit and let the kid be their own person which is important
megania megania 9 years
I agree. I mean, I'm sure she pulled 80-20 out of her hat, but I think babies are born with a lot of their personality already intact. "Nurture" is obviously important--incredibly important--but I think "nature" affects how we respond to the "nurture" side of things.
milosmommy milosmommy 9 years
I totally agree with her. My son has had his own unique personality that we've seen since day one. I think there are things that can be learned, but you are born with most personality traits.
sarathacoombs sarathacoombs 9 years
I agree with Kate b/c I am living prof. My mom died when I was 1 year old and my Dad is the biggest fuck-up you'll ever see!! He did drugs, was never around, you name it he did it. I turned out to be a wonderful wife and mother (not to tot my own horn...but) and I don't do drugs and I was always a really really good kid. I never got into any trouble. So, it had NOTHING to do with they way I was raised. My aunt said I was sweet from day one and I personally think I'm still the same. There were so many ingredients for me to be worthless but I'm a really good person. Thanks God!!
rgrl rgrl 9 years
After I met my son I knew certain personality traits right away. He still has those today, and I think he always will. But I believe the environment in which they're raised is very important and affects children in the long run.
Gabriela14815884 Gabriela14815884 9 years
I agree with Greggie. I definitely think babies come with their personalities in tack and its up to the parents to help that baby grow into a productive and happy person.
kiwitwist kiwitwist 9 years
I agree with Kate Beckinsale!
aanyanka aanyanka 9 years
I believe that a great deal of behaviour is inherited as opposed to learned. My son has many bahavioural characteristics that I displayed as a child. These are characteristics that he couldn't possibly have learned from me as I haven't behaved in that way since I was a small child. It actually makes it very easy to parent him because I can usually determine what is going on inside of his head by comparing his behaviour and reactions to those I had at his age. He says I'm a mind reader because I always know what he's thinking!
Greggie Greggie 9 years
She also says that 20% is crucial, which is where she wins my agreement. You can take a kid with a solid personality and screw him up or keep him stable, but his personality is still there.
Greggie Greggie 9 years
I think they're born with a huge portion of their personality, and we shape the rest. I think 80/20 is a good ratio, just that the 20% can sometimes be the most visible. I think twins are a great example. Plus I look at my boys who were raised and treated the same and yet are complete opposites of each other. One has his father's exact personality and one has mine.
alethia037 alethia037 9 years
I agree with Neural in that it is probably more like 50/50, but I definitely believe that a baby is born with some personality! I have twin nephews who are now 2 years old. Each boy is so different and handle situations very differently. They are both shown the same amount of love and attention, and are both disciplined the same way... yet they each react in terms of the personality they were born with. It is very interesting to watch!
Neural Neural 9 years
I have to strongly disagree. As a therapist, I work with mainly adolescents and I see a direct link, day in and day out (for going on 9 years now!) between the way the parents act and the problems the kids have. I might be willing to go 50/50 nature/nurture but it's certainly not 80/20.
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