Sociology A Powerful Attack On Biological Determinism Sociology Essay Essay

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Biological determinism is a theory that tries to explicate a individual ‘s behavior and other facets of life in relation to his or her familial make-up. This theory was encompasses the work of assorted outstanding scientists such as Mendel, Charles Darwin and Francis Galton. Biological determinism abnegates the thought of the environing act uponing the features and behavioral facets of an person. For decennaries, this theory has been expounded in order to explicate human behavior comprehensively. Charles Darwin proposed heritable features are determined through natural choice. Darwin was of the sentiment that an person would inherit the optimum features that would guarantee his endurance or have a generative advantage. However, sociologists have strongly criticized the biological determinism theory because it does non take into history the environmental factors that affect behavior ( Banyard and Grayson, 2000 ) . This article aims to discourse the construct of biological determinism and the sentiment of sociologists on this construct.


Biologists, when mentioning to different behaviors and functions of single in the society, agree that a set of preset biological procedure determine these behaviors. Therefore, people think and act in different mode because they have different development in their encephalons ( Velden, 2010 ) . Biological theoreticians are of the sentiment that the chromosomes and endocrines in his organic structure control encephalon cell formation. For illustration, the male in the society are equipped with both the Y and X chromosomes whereas the adult females merely have the X chromosome. The Y chromosome in work forces leads to production of testosterone and other male endocrines. Therefore, the male encephalon develops otherwise from that of a adult female due to the difference in familial stuff in the sexes. Biologists have gone farther to utilize the differences in male and female encephalon to explicate the difference in behavior between the sexes ( Kronfeldner, 2009 ) .

Biological determinism operates on the premise that all behaviors have peculiar causes, which are chiefly familial or related to biological maps and procedures. Experiments done by Raine et Al ( 1997 ) focused in the abnormalcies found in the encephalon of liquidators. Raine et Al ( 1997 ) tried to happen find the common factor in liquidators who had put a supplication of non guilty by virtuousness of insanity. In the experiments, Raine et Al ( 1997 ) looked at the PET scans of liquidators and observed their cortical and sub-cortical encephalons. This experiment aimed to find whether holding encephalon disfunction and abnormalcies like schizophrenic disorder are linked to the violent behavior exhibited by the liquidators. Raine ‘s experiment merely focused on the unconditioned factors while it ignored the external factors such as the environments that may command the behavior of an person.

Biological determinism besides focuses on reductionism. Reductionism views persons as divided into hierarchal groups. Therefore, the biological fatalists view the inequalities between sexes, states, categories as intrinsic instead than extrinsic ( Carolan, 2005 ) . Therefore, this theory portrays the image that if one individual is less successful than the other is, it is s non because of the lending factors in the environment, but because the other individual is per se incapable of being successful. Biological fatalists hence believe that work forces in the society are dominant because they are per se more aggressive and rational than adult females. Harmonizing to this theory, biologically inheritable stuff and non the environing environment determine division in the society ( Carolan, 2005 ) .

It is the sentiment of most sociologist that it is irrational to see societal categorization as a familial factor. This is because human from different divides and societal backgrounds have been known to interact and populate in similar categories. It is besides logical to presume that the environment and the surrounding enforces some traits and leads success or failure of an person in a society. It is from this manner of believing that sociologists have formulated their theories on human behavior and social interaction. The external environment contributes greatly to the behavior of a individual in the society. In fact, harmonizing to sociologist the environing environment entirely regulates behaviors.

Although life scientists believe that merely biological procedures influence behavior, there are assorted defects in this position. Biologists tend to disregard cognitive behaviors exhibited by persons in their theory of biological determinism. This is where sociologist criticizes the biological determinism theory. Sociologists believe that people exhibit different behaviors depending on the environing environment. For decennaries, the sociologists view on biological determinism has been that of disapproval. Most sociologists are uneasy with the biological determinism theory because it does non to the full explicate behavioral exhibition in people ( Carolan, 2005 ) . Sociologists ‘ disapproval of determinism is justifiable to a given extend particularly when such disapproval is guided by ideologists that seek to formalize, and rectify, the position quo of the biological determinism. The statement advanced by sociologist is based on the fact biological fatalists have a fright that there is a chance of losing the genetic capacity. Therefore, sociologists believe that looking really deep into the kingdom bio physiology to explicate societal phenomenon is irrational and instead irresponsible.

Social scientists such Skinner believe that all behavioral facets of a individual are determined by the external stimulation ( Boeree, 2006 ) . Skinner in his theory concluded that the construct of free will is merely an semblance and a individual ‘s behavior will normally conform to his environing instead than be genetically determined. Skinner ‘s theory on behavior was majorly based on operant conditioning. Skinner believed that an being or a individual operated in a specific environment with assorted stimulations that contributed towards specific behaviors. Therefore, Skinner believed that when a individual or being is exposed to certain environment a stimulation known as the reinforcing stimulus contributed towards his perennial behavioral exhibition ( Boeree, 2006 ) .

From Skinner ‘s theory, we can infer that a behavior followed by a reinforcing stimulation has a higher likeliness of being repeated or non. Skinner used the illustration of a rat in a coop with a saloon or pedal. In instance the rat presses the pedal or the saloon, it leads to let go of of nutrient pellet. Assume the rat is resiling in the coop and by chance presses the saloon so the nutrient pellet is released. Therefore, this rat will be given to reiterate this behavior non because it inherited such traits but because it there is a reenforcing stimulation in the environment ( Boeree, 2006 ) .

Watson John supports Skinner ‘s sentiment by besides demoing that the environing environment governs an person ‘s behavior. Watson assumes that behavior exhibited by an person can be correlated to other discernible happenings in the environment. In Watson ‘s sentiment, there are normally definite happenings that precede and follow exhibition of certain behaviors. Watson ‘s behaviorism theory efforts to explicate the relation between stimulations in the environment and an person ‘s response ( behavior ) . Watson like Skinner borrowed his thought on behavior from Pavlov ‘s conditioning experiments. Watson believed that single learned through stimuli permutation and similarly behaviors in single are exhibited harmonizing to alteration in stimulation instead than familial sensitivities ( Winfred, 2010 ) .

Watson became one of the many sociologists to oppose the mentalist construct. He believed that the early neuroscientists were really nescient on how the nervous system and the encephalon functioned. At that clip, biological determinism was widely accepted as an account to behavioral exhibitions. However, Watson changed this sentiment by utilizing adjacency to explicate how organisms learned. Watson ‘s theory assumed that emotions were complex look of classical conditioning and hence complex behaviors merely came approximately due to combination of recognizable physiological reactions ( Winfred, 2010 ) . Like Skinner, Watson believed that repeated activity strengthened the acquisition procedure and the acquisition procedure is what creates the difference between human behavior. Despite the fact that Watson ‘s place did non explicate the construct of human acquisition, his theory is presently considered as one of the innovators to larning scientific disciplines.


In the society, the most obvious characteristic is inequality. It is obvious that some persons have great wealth while others are hapless Different groups explain these inequalities harmonizing t their preferable theory. Biological fatalists believe that inequality in the society is as a consequence of the intrinsic factors. Sociologists on the other manus believe that societal differences are as a consequence of extrinsic factors. Both these statements are passionate and supply interesting position into the human behavior and societal organization.Sociologists try explicating the relation between human existences and their surrounding while pretermiting the construct of biological determinism. However, socialism entirely can non explicate some behavioral forms neither can biological determinism. It is necessary for both the sociologist and life scientists to travel towards a comparatively dynamic theory, which is unfastened to interrelatedness of theories from both sides of the divide. No affair how much the sociologist may wish to lodge to their theory, they can non hedge the complex nature of biological beings. Equally much as the environment influences the behavior, it is necessary to observe that chemical reactions and hormonal alterations besides act upon how organisms and human behave. Presently, it would be absurd to back up merely one theory due to the grounds available. Social theories provide their statements, which are every bit compelling as the statements provided by the biological fatalists. It is hence irrelevant for sociologist to pay war against life scientists since booth theories have failings, which can be augmented if the theories are combined to organize a expansive theory that explains human behavior.

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