Parenting Experts Debate If Parenting Is Simply Overrated

21 December 2019
Jeneba Jalloh Ghatt

The age-old nature v. nurture debate took a different turn a couple of months ago during a live debate held at New York City’s Kaye Playhouse and live streamed before becoming part of a syndicated public radio show and podcast called “Open to Debate formerly known as Intelligence Squared U.S.“.


The side arguing against the motion “Parenting Is Overrated” won.


Arguing in favor of the motion are behavioral geneticist Robert Plomin and psychology professor and twin researcher Nancy Segal. Arguing against the motion are psychology professor Paige Harden also a twin researcher, who had reached very different conclusions and parenting counselor and journalist Ann Pleshette Murphy.


“Research over 40 years has convinced most scientists that inherited DNA differences account for about 50 percent of the differences between children on all psychological traits: their personalities, their mental health and illness, and their cognitive abilities and disabilities,” moderator John Donvan says. “What amazes me is that if you look at all the parenting books that are out there, and there are very popular books, not one mentions genetics, and that discrepancy is enough to say parenting is overrated because it discounts the importance of genetics.”


It’s about an hour and a half long but so worth the watch: