Psychology: Differences Between Siblings Essay, Research Paper
Compare myself with my sister. What traits, abilities, and interests do we share? Speculate on the roles of genetics and environment in the development of our similarities and differences.
While each human being is a unique individual, there are several factors that contribute to the shaping of one’s physical traits, physical and intellectual abilities, and interests. I feel that the role that genetics and the environment play can be examined more closely when observing siblings.
Physical traits, those which we have no control, are the first that I will discuss. My sister, Rebecca, has straight brown hair, brown eyes, she is kind of chubby, and she has large feet and hands. I on the other hand am tall and skinny, I have brown eyes, brown hair and also have large feet and hands. You probably already think you have a good idea of what my parents look like, well, we will soon see how close you were as we talk about the part genotypes played in the development of these physical traits. Genotypes are the sets of traits that we inherit from our parents. We inherit these traits through genes, each of our parents’ genes carry traits, and which traits we get from our parents depends primarily on the genes dominant or recessive traits. Since my mother and father both have brown hair, and at least one of my parents probably carries genes for brown hair only, my sister and I both have brown hair. The exact same scenario holds true for the color of our eyes. Next let’s figure out why I am taller and skinnier than my chubby sister. Neither of my parents are as tall as I am, but both are about the same height as my sister. My father is slim much like I am and my mother and sister share in their constant fight to not gain another dress size. The physical characteristics of my sister are much different from mine and we had the same parents? How could this be? My theory is that when my sister was conceived she got the dominant “chubby” trait from my mother and the average height came from either mom’s or dad’s gene pool. As far as me being taller than either of my parents, I probably got a combination of recessive tall genes, one from each parent, and therefore am taller than either of them.
Personality, abilities, and interests are the other characteristics that we will discuss. The environment that you are in as you develop has at least as much, if not more, impact on these traits than does genetic make-up. My sister and I had very much the same personalities and interests up until we had different social environments. We were shy, and we liked to play house and school and all the other things that normal children do. Then when I started kindergarten our interests became different. After this point I began to like different things, instead of playing school and house, which was more acceptable for girls, I would rather play marbles or run around the school yard or the farm acting like a nut. Rebecca on the other hand, who is two years older than me, had already figured out what she was doing and what she was supposed to do. Then as time went on we had even less in common, she didn’t ever get very coordinated and she was often joked at. I enjoyed sports and became very well coordinated, and I had lots of friends, whereas my sister had very few. As our environments became even more different so did we. When I turned sixteen and got a car I was never home and my sister almost never left home. I was hanging out with a bad crowd, getting involved in drugs and alcohol, and always getting in trouble, Rebecca was then considered to be the “good kid”. She was always home on time and when she did go out and she never got into trouble. Now that I have left home and joined the Air Force I have become responsible and I am better at picking friends and at controlling my environment, therefore I have developed a better personality and my interests have changed again. I am not really sure what my sister has done in the past four years but I don’t think much has changed with her. She still lives about ten minutes from my parents and her environment is still probably the same.
My sister and I don’t have any choice what our natural hair color and eye color is, and we don’t have a whole lot to say about our physical abilities. There is one thing that we control and that is our environment. I know that I will someday be a success, since I was able to accept those traits I can’t change, develop a personality, and choose an environment that will allow me to become a success. I also think that my sister will allow for her environment to control her and she will probably go through life from week to week and paycheck to paycheck. To sum things up, we are all the products of our genetics and our environment.