Genetic Determinism

Updated: JANUARY 12, 2017

Genetic determinism is the belief that the genetic composition of an individual, or the genes one inherits from their parents, determines their characteristics rather than outside environmental influences.

More About Genetic Determinism

Genetic determinism is a belief that sits at the extreme "nature" end of the nature versus nurture debate. Genetic determinism holds that an individual is shaped by genetics alone. The other end of the spectrum believes that one's environment influences the develpment of certain characteristics.

It is generally accepted that individuals are shaped by a combination of genetics and environment. Those who support the theory of genetic determinism argue that there are certain genes which determine the ability of individuals. For example, to support their beliefs, genetic determinists may use the idea that those who possess an "athlete gene" are better natural athletes than those who don't.


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