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1->'''Jeff:''' Ah, so you and your mom are both wacked?\²'''Hayley:''' I dunno. That's that whole nature versus nurture question, isn't it? Was I born a cute, vindictive, little bitch or... did society make me that way? I go back and forth on that...²-->-- ''Film/HardCandy''²²Everyone knows about some of the fundamental questions to life - [[Series/BabylonFive who are you, what do you want]], [[Anime/FullmetalAlchemist where did you come from, and where will you go]]?[[labelnote:*]][[WaxingLyrical Where did you come from, Cotton-Eyed Joe?]][[/labelnote]] Those are the "what" questions, but this is the "why". Why did you say that? Why did you do this? Why were you there?²²Innate qualities and personal experiences both play an important part in determining or causing individual differences in physical and behavioral traits, but this raises the question - which was more 'responsible' for such traits? Were these AbusiveParents abused themselves, and take that out on their own kids, or were they always malicious to begin with? Is the concept of free will (i.e. truly independent thought and truly independent decision-making) valid, or are your decisions brain-made "echoes"? Are your personalities [[InTheBlood determined more by genes]], are they influenced by your own experiences, or are they made so that your personality truly is unique? Currently, scientists tend to think they both have about equal influences.²²At any rate, fiction can have a field day with this, and depending on the writer, it can skew to either side of the argument.²²!!Tropes that tend to skew towards "Nature":²* BornLucky²* BornUnlucky²* BornWinner²* GenerationXerox²* GeneticMemory²* HeroicLineage²* HumansAreBastards²* InTheBlood²* LamarckWasRight²* SuperpowerfulGenetics²²!!Tropes that tend to skew towards "Nurture":²* BlankSlate²* ConditionedToAcceptHorror²* FreudianExcuse²* MoreThanMindControl²* NurtureOverNature (obviously)²* OrcRaisedByElves²* RaisedByDudes²* RaisedByHumans²* RaisedByNatives²* RaisedByOrcs²* RaisedByWolves²* RaiseHimRightThisTime²* RousseauWasRight²* StockholmSyndrome²* ThenLetMeBeEvil²* UpbringingMakesTheHero²²²------²!!Examples:²²[[foldercontrol]]²²[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]²²* In ''Manga/ElfenLied'', a point is made about whether or not the diclonii really are malicious, or if their cruelty is a byproduct of how they were raised. Lucy appears to be the latter; Mariko appears to be the former. Note that neither side is plausible in the manga. The manga implies that all diclonii are some degree of aggressive toward humans no matter how they're raised.²* ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'' has Sasuke, Gaara and Naruto; their personalities and mindsets were influenced by their upbringing, but whereas the former two dealt with it badly, the latter was able to pull through because he was luckier than the others, though he convinced Gaara to change his view on life, and he's trying to do the same to Sasuke.²** There's a lot of InTheBlood going around, in that Sasuke's family has a long habit of choosing 'power' over 'strength' that supposedly goes back to the ancient founder of their clan, the elder son of the Sage of the Six Paths. Doujutsu and sociopathy apparently have a causal link, though not an inescapable one.²** On the other hand, Gaara apparently had [[spoiler: a very loving mother]] and a cold bastard of a father, and to complicate matters was ''raised'' by an uncle who was very kind and looked just like his mother. And was also ANBU and accepted the mission of [[ProfessionalKiller making a hit]] on the six-year-old boy he'd raised, [[spoiler: in order to test his emotional resilience. The zombie of Gaara's father acknowledges this as a flawed methodology]].²** And despite never knowing them, Naruto is just like both his parents.²* The ''Manga/{{Akumetsu}}'' are several dozen clones made from an extremely evil guy as part of a project to assure his immortality, all separated as infants and raised in may households across Japan, all under the first name Shou and all but one unaware of the others. They are nothing like their original DNA donor, apart from a possibly-related mad indifference to normality. They are, however, so much like ''one another'' they very nearly have a HiveMind within a weeks or even days of banding together.²** I.e., both sides of this trope are being used and abused with reckless abandon.²** Note that they did start swapping important memories around pretty early, though not many. To a certain extent they all imprinted on the Shou who inspired the whole Akumetsu project, but even before that they were so alike it's creepy, and honestly that Shou is less like the others than any of them.²* ''Anime/FullmetalAlchemist'' is vague on whether homunculi are naturally malicious or if they're simply not raised well.²* This is one of the fundamental themes of ''Manga/OnePiece'', primarily in the case of the protagonist Luffy and his brother Ace. The question of whether or not the blood in your veins determines who you are -- somewhat played with in that Luffy and Ace ''did'' end up as criminals like their parents, but in their case it was their only hope of survival, seeing as the World Government is firmly on the "nature" side, deeming them to be evil just because of their parents' crimes and would've killed them immediately had they been aware of their existences earlier. Also played with in that despite taking after his father, Ace more or less disavowed him and considered Whitebeard his real father. Luffy himself was not influenced by his parents seeing as he never knew he ''had'' them. The issue is even further muddled by the fact that the World Government is blatantly evil, making Luffy and Ace downright heroic in comparison.²** This is arguable in the case of Donquixote Doflamingo once we see more of his past. Was he born evil like Rosinante suggested and incapable of veering off of his dark path? Or was it a combination of the mistakes of their father, Homing, whose actions caused the death of their mother, mixed with the influence of the executives, who provided him with his Devil Fruit and his signature flintlock? The latter created a conflicting message between Homing wanting Doflamingo to be humble and the executives who would burn down a city if Doflamingo tripped on its sidewalk, suggesting that while Doflamingo always had some darkness in him, it was the executives (particularly an 18-year old Trebol) who egged him on and pushed him over the edge.²** A prominent theme in the [[Recap/OnePieceWholeCakeIslandArc Whole Cake Island]] arc. Both [[spoiler:Sanji]] and [[spoiler:Big Mom]] were shown to have some very troubling pasts, yet the people they are today was the result of different circumstances. [[spoiler:Sanji]] was bullied horrifically as a kid by his brother and father and locked away to rot. But thanks to the actions of his mother, Reiju and later [[spoiler:Zeff]], he became a kind hearted person who became strong enough to be one of the toughest pirates around and defend those he cares about. In contrast, [[spoiler:Big Mom]] was abandoned by her parents due to her abnormal strenght, the inital person who did raise here was nothing more then a BitchInSheepsClothing using her for her own ends and the person after her seeing her as a meal ticket, with both encouraging her destructive behavior and turning [[spoiler:Big Mom]] into a literal monster. What's more, these are traits [[spoiler:Big Mom]] showcases to her own family who would sooner stab each other in the back then help one another unless [[spoiler:Big Mom]] commands it. [[spoiler:Pudding]] is more or less the middle ground with this, like [[spoiler:Sanji]], she was bullied as a kid and Big Mom didn't do anything to deter it, so she became evil as a result. However when actually shown true kindness, this causes a breakdown because ''no one'' showed real compassion to her before. Leaving her in a state of confusion at a critical moment.²* It is all but stated in ''Franchise/DragonBall'' that Saiyans are naturally ruthless {{Blood Knight}}s who care about little except for fighting. When Goku hit his head and forgot his Saiyan memories, he was raised to be the good person we know by the kind senior Gohan. However, with supplemental material we have seen that they were good Saiyans and Goku's mother was one of them, bring into question if Goku's goodness is genetic as well as nurture.²²[[/folder]]²²[[folder: Comics ]]²²* Brought up in most depictions of ''Franchise/{{Superman}}'': Superman is [[HumanAliens Kryptonian]], but was raised by kindly old adoptive parents. In older stories, it was usually implied that his superior Kryptonian heritage and abilities were the cause of his strict moral compass, but in latter stories (especially after other, villainous Kryptonians, were introduced), it's outright stated that Superman's upbringing is responsible for creating who he is.²** During his DarkerAndEdgier interpretation, ''ComicBook/{{Superboy}}'' was all about this trope. Superboy is a clone created by human DNA that was altered and/or combined with Superman's DNA (DependingOnTheWriter). In the earliest years, his "daddy" was Paul Westfield and later, it was {{retcon}}ned to be ComicBook/LexLuthor instead. Neither of them are very nice people. So, Superboy constantly questioned whether he was destined to become good or evil based on the genes provided by Superman or his human father.²** In his ''ComicBook/{{New 52}}'' incarnation, Superboy starts flat out amoral. The group that cloned him outright questions whether his lack of human empathy is due to [[CloningBlues being a clone]], being half alien, or lacking Superman's overall upbringing. He slowly starts to learn empathy and compassion.²** The entire plot of ''Comicbook/JusticeLeague3000'' (which sees the [[Franchise/JusticeLeagueOfAmerica JLA]] "resurrected" in the 31st century) hinges on this. Superman lacks the guiding hand of the Kents and is thus a JerkJock with a massive ego, Batman never suffered the loss of his parents and ''[[IJustWantToBeNormal doesn't even wanna be Batman]]'', Wonder Woman is a violent BloodKnight constantly looking for someone to kill, and so on.²* Some ''Franchise/XMen'' fans have considered this debate when comparing the characters of Cable and Nate Grey, as each are essentially the same character in terms of their genetic heritage- being the 'child' of Scott Summers and Jean Grey, even if Nate was created in a lab using DNA samples stolen from his 'parents' while Cable was the naturally-conceived child of Scott Summers with Jean's clone- but experienced vastly different upbringings, with Cable a soldier dedicated to his chosen mission while Nate was intended as a weapon and resent others' attempts to use him. ²²[[/folder]]²²[[folder: Fan Fic ]]²²* In ''[[ Do Not Meddle In The Affairs Of Wizards]]'', [[Franchise/HarryPotter Harry]]'s lawyer argues that the reason Dumbledore forced Harry to stay with the Dursleys was because he wanted to prove that it was nature, and not nurture, that drove an individual, and thus prove to himself that Tom Riddle would have gone bad, no matter what he did.²* [[ The Power He Knows Not]] specifically states this as Dumbledore’s motive for sticking Harry with the Dursleys, trying to find out if it was his fault that the future Voldemort went bad or that Tom was bad to begin with. The experiment goes out the windows, however, when the spirit of Harry’s mother reveals herself to him on his fifth birthday, not that Dumbledore is aware of this, of course...²* One of the major plot points in the ''Fanfic/AftermathOfTheGames'' universe is that Twilight ends up in charge of raising a filly version of Starlight Glimmer because [[spoiler: unlike her canon counterpart, Starlight [[RedemptionRejection refused to surrender and atone for her actions]] during "The Cutie Re-Mark", so Twilight [[ShootTheDog was left with no choice]] but to [[{{Retgone}} wipe her out of existence]] by convincing the nine-year-old Starlight to run away from her OrphanageOfFear and become her apprentice]]. Twilight and everybody in the know about the filly's origins agrees that part of the reason why the original Starlight became a major psychopath was because spending her entire foal hood in an abusive orphanage prevented her from learning how to connect properly with other ponies, so they take extra care to raise her in a loving enviroment and build her a large support network of ponies that she's able to trust so she gets on the right path. However, because mental illnesses are a mix of both genetics and upbringing, [[RealityEnsues Starlight demonstrates early warning signs of her older self's fanatical behavior]] during ''Integration'', and Twilight fears the possibility that nothing she can do will make a difference.²* A subject in Godzilla Junior's character arc in ''Fanfic/TheBridge''. Junior is the third [[LegacyCharacter "Godzilla"]] behaves ''very'' different from his predecessors, being a heroic soul who's saved millions of human lives by acting as their protector from malign kaiju. However there is a fear the things that are similar between him and his father and grandfather, such as a sense of revenge and a temper, which could cause him to TurnOutLikeHisFather. Junior himself is aware of this and is scared by the prospect he might be destined to go down that path. [[spoiler: Ultimately though, nurture wins because of Junior's close tie to his [[RaisedByHumans mother]], Dr. Azusa Gojo; who points out that some similarities doesn't put him on a predetermined path and he has plenty of differences that make him who he is. It's clear when Junior learns to forgive a former enemy rather than seek revenge, he takes more after Azusa than Godzilla Senior.]]²* ''Fanfic/CodeGeassPaladinsOfVoltron'': Lelouch is a unique case where both elements have roughly equal influence on his character. [[spoiler: Lelouch is Krolia's grandson, yet had a ridiculously abusive childhood, which would imply his heroism is in his Nature. However, there's also the fact that he's a member of the Britannian Royal Family yet actively works against them due to witnessing how their actions harm others, indicating his heroism is a product of Nurture. These two assumptions open up the possibility that Lelouch's character is a product of both Nature AND Nurture - he had innate inclinations toward being a hero that was solidified by his upbringing.]] ²* In ''Fanfic/TheNewRetcons'' all [[spoiler:three]] of [[ComicStrip/ForBetterOrForWorse Elly Patterson's]] daughters wonder if they will eventually go mad like she had, or if their different upbringings and choices in life will help avoid that, as part of the reason she snapped was from her DarkAndTroubledPast [[spoiler:like giving Claire up for adoption after having a TeenPregnancy, or lying about Michael's biological father, or that the hell she suffered being a mom may be a SelfInflictedHell instead.]] What's worse, a letter from Aunt Phyllis hints [[spoiler:the madness is genetic, as there were other women with mental issues in Elly's mother's side of the family.]]²[[/folder]]²²[[folder: Film ]]²²* The entire plot of ''Film/TradingPlaces'' begins when the Duke brothers place a bet on whether success in life is InTheBlood or a product of a good environment. The movie makes a case for ''circumstances'' being more important than ''genes''. Despite his upper-class background, hitting RockBottom turns Winthorpe into a gun-toting maniac and WrongSideOfTheTracks Valentine becomes a charming commodities broker who provides his own street smarts. ²* [[OlderThanTheyThink Long before]] ''Trading Places'', two businessmen tested this on Film/TheThreeStooges in "Hoi Polloi".²* In ''Film/ManOfSteel'', Zod is a destructive KnightTemplar but he was bred and raised to be a soldier through [[InTheBlood bloodline]] and [[DesignerBabies genetic]] manipulation and the workings of Kryptonian society. Clark is descended from Kryptonian scientists, but he had a natural conception and birth and was raised by Kansas farmers. Though the film hints at Clark being geeky as a child, he chooses a different career in life which would have been impossible on Krypton.²* This exchange from ''Film/HardCandy'':²-->'''Jeff Kohlver''': Ah, so you and your mom are both wacked?\²'''Hayley Stark''': I dunno. There's that whole nature versus nurture question, isn't it? Was I born a cute, vindictive, little bitch or... did society make me that way? I go back and forth on that...²* ''{{Film/Twins}}'': Discussed. The scientists responsible for Julius and Vincent's creation were firmly on the side of Nature, to the point that they were willing to go through with some extremely unethical experiments to prove their point. Julius, on the other hand, [[CallingTheOldManOut calls the whole idea bullshit]], pointing out that Vincent (the "reject batch") was left to his own devices but still managed to survive and thrive in an environment that would have killed any of them, and could probably, given the opportunity to learn something other than con artistry, theft and cheating, have been the greatest of them all. ²²[[/folder]]²²[[folder: Literature ]]²²* ''Literature/WeNeedToTalkAboutKevin'' is based around the nature/nurture debate -- did Kevin grow into a murderer because mummy didn't love him enough, or was he a psychopath from the word "go"? Basically, it weighs up blaming the mother when her child grows into someone diabolical, against the disturbing idea of being ''born'' evil.²* ''Literature/{{Worldwar}}'' features aliens raising humans, and humans raising aliens, in order to see how close they can make each species to their own.²* Roose Bolton in talking with Theon during ''Literature/ADanceWithDragons'' openly wonders this about the relationship between his bastard son Ramsay and the first Reek, as Roose doesn't know if Ramsay's depravities were present before he sent Reek to serve him.²-->'''Roose:''' Did Reek make Ramsay, or did Ramsay make Reek?²* A recurring theme in Creator/JackLondon's ''Literature/WhiteFang'' is whether the clay one is shaped from or the way in which they are shaped is a more significant part of what makes a man or dog.²* ''Literature/TheMysteriousBenedictSociety'' books practically compel the reader to consider the question, with the case of Nicholas Benedict and Ledroptha Curtain, who are identical twins, but turned out very differently. How much of Mr. Curtain's wicked behavior is simply his nature, and how much can be put down to the circumstances of his life? And ''The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict'' shows how very different things might have turned out for Benedict had he not found the help of some kind-hearted adults in his youth.²* A more mundane of this and the InTheBlood trope happens in a poem titled, ''In the Blood'', where the subject wonders if she was born cruel and aggressive or if she learned to be those things. ²* One of the themes in ''Literature/SurvivorDogs'' is whether Fierce Dogs are [[AngryGuardDog naturally violent]] or whether this is learned behavior. There are arguments on both sides. It's mentioned that the Fierce Dogs were [[BadPeopleAbuseAnimals beaten]] into being so cruel, but at the same time TokenHeroicOrc Storm is still a BloodKnight despite being HappilyAdopted at a few weeks old (mentally the equivalent of a 4-7 year old).²[[/folder]]²²[[folder: Live Action Television ]]²²* Frequently debated in ''Series/LawAndOrder'', to the point where [[TheShrink Dr. Olivet]] said in one episode that she didn't want to rehash the "nature versus nurture wars", saying that both sides were equally right and wrong.²* On ''Series/{{CSI}}'', when Catherine Willows argued that people were shaped by their experiences as much as by their genetics, Gil Grissom agreed, saying, "Your DNA is what you are, not who you are."²* The entire point of the experiment with the clones in ''Series/OrphanBlack'' seems to be to explore this. The clones were placed into different environments and were observed by "monitors" who reported their every move.²* Discussed in ''Series/{{Smallville}}'' episode "Scion". [[spoiler: Clark is worried that Conner (who is a hybrid clone of him and Lex), will embrace the dark side, and he seems to do under the influence of red kryptonite courtesy of Lionel. Once he's free from it, he chooses to side with Clark. At the end of the episode, Clark tells Conner that everyone has a shadow inside, but it doesn't mean you have to embrace it. Lois then comments "Seems to me that Clark Kent's nature ''and'' nurture won out in the end."]]²²[[/folder]]²²[[folder: Tabletop Games ]]²²* Basically the main conflict (besides the iconic "nature versus technology") between the colours Green and Blue in ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering''. Green, [[{{Pun}} naturally]], favors Nature, believing in genetic fatalism and predestination. Blue's entire philosophy relies on the concept of ''[[BlankSlate tabula rasa]]'', and therefore it sides with nurture.²²[[/folder]]²²[[folder: Video Games ]]²²* ''Franchise/MassEffect'': Exactly how much [[HalfHumanHybrid asari with a non-asari parent]] get from genetics, and how much from upbringing, gets a lot of flip-flopping. The asari claim that mating with non-asari just scrambles the daughter's genes a bit, but the daughter frequently develops traits of the non-asari parent. Matriarch Aethyta had a [[ProudWarriorRaceGuy krogan]] father and is kind of a [[GrumpyOldMan Grumpy Old Lady]], but she ''was'' raised by both parents. Another minor asari in the second game had a batarian[[labelnote:*]]The batarians are kind of the TokenEvilTeammate of the local races, a totalitarian state that still practices slavery.[[/labelnote]] father and acts rather amoral and mercenary. Then there's Mordin's off-hand remark [[TheCastShowoff in his patter song]] that asari-vorcha offspring have dairy allergies.²* ''VideoGame/MetalGear'': A recurring theme in the series, Specifically in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2SonsOfLiberty'', Raiden is contrasted with Solid Snake and his clone brothers. Whereas the Snakes are genetically altered clones of Big Boss, Raiden is a child soldier who was raised by Solidus (one of the Snakes) and then subjected into the [=S3=] Plan, a simulation program meant to train a soldier in Solid Snake's image.²* The idea is present in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIX''. Zidane decides to try to rescue Kuja at the end of the game, stating that had things turned out differently, he could have ended up like him. Both of them were created and manipulated by Garland, but Zidane was abandoned on Gaia unaware of his true heritage, while Kuja learned the truth of things and went on a mad rampage. Players of the game are left to wonder if Zidane, who lives by the motto "you don't need a reason to help people," could have ever been like Kuja, given his apparent nature.²-->'''Eiko''': Come on, Zidane! Why are you doing this!?²-->'''Zidane''': Because... Because I might've done the same thing if I were in his shoes. I probably would've fought against you guys and wreaked havoc in Gaia like he did... I know it sounds crazy... ...but I know, deep down inside, I have to do this.²²[[/folder]]²²[[folder: Web Animation ]]²²* ''WebAnimation/{{RWBY}}'' plays with this with the characters of Qrow and Raven Brawnwen, with them representing Nature and Nurture respectively. Both were raised by a tribe of bandits, and later joined regular society to study at Beacon Academy. They had been pretty obviously separated from society at large, as evidenced by the fact that Taiyang was able to trick Qrow into wearing a skirt by telling him it was a kilt.²** Qrow, representing Nature, eventually turned his back on the bandit tribe, and is presented as having a deeply-ingrained sense of morality, and has become a loving, if somewhat gruff and extremely blunt, uncle to Ruby and Yang. Treating them with affection, and rescuing them whenever they got out of their depth, such as when Yang put Ruby in a wagon and went looking for her mother, Raven, and nearly got herself and Ruby killed as a result, before Qrow pulled a BigDamnHeroes saved them.²** Raven, representing Nurture, fully embraced the tribe's [[TheSocialDarwinist Social Darwinist]] ways. She rejoined them as soon as she could and is implied to even be their leader. She has had basically no contact with her Daughter, Yang, and has explicitly told Qrow that she will not save Yang's life again after saving her once.²²[[/folder]]²²[[folder: Web Comics ]]²²* In ''Webcomic/{{Sinfest}}'', [[ Slick blames his upbringing, and then concludes that doesn't change his character.]]²* A slightly more literal example than usual shows up in [[ this strip]] of ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'', where Susan receives advice from a GoodAngelBadAngel pair representing her Nature and Nurture. The darker, and more distant Nurture so strongly objects to the bubbly Nature's suggestion that Susan hug Tedd, that she gags Nature to make her shut up. This was one of the clearest illustrations of how much Susan's [[DarkAndTroubledPast difficult past]] affected her.²²[[/folder]]²²[[folder: Western Animation ]]²²* This was the title of the season one finale of ''WesternAnimation/TheSpectacularSpiderMan''. It concerns the different upbringings between Peter Parker and Eddie Brock.²-->'''Brock''': Our parents may have died together, but you had your precious aunt and uncle. We had no one, we've always been alone... until now.²* Crops up in the episode "Dragon Quest" of ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'', where Spike tries to learn more about being a dragon, but he learns that by nature, dragons are [[AlwaysChaoticEvil destructive and greedy]]. He then learns to embrace being raised by ponies as he has not become like them.²²[[/folder]]²²[[folder: Universal Media ]]²²* Inevitably brought up in stories involving:²** CloningBlues and {{Evil Twin}}s.²** TimeTravel stories invoking ForWantOfANail and ButterflyOfDoom.²²[[/folder]]²----


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