The Nurture Assumption: Why Children Turn Out the Way They Do, Revised and Updated

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Simon and Schuster, Feb 24, 2009 - Family & Relationships - 448 pages
6 Reviews
A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK

How much credit do parents deserve when their children turn out welt? How much blame when they turn out badly? Judith Rich Harris has a message that will change parents' lives: The "nurture assumption" -- the belief that what makes children turn out the way they do, aside from their genes, is the way their parents bring them up -- is nothing more than a cultural myth. This electrifying book explodes some of our unquestioned beliefs about children and parents and gives us a radically new view of childhood.

Harris looks with a fresh eye at the real lives of real children to show that it is what they experience outside the home, in the company of their peers, that matters most, Parents don't socialize children; children socialize children. With eloquence and humor, Judith Harris explains why parents have little power to determine the sort of people their children will become.

The Nurture Assumption is an important and entertaining work that brings together insights from psychology, sociology, anthropology, primatology, and evolutionary biology to offer a startling new view of who we are and how we got that way.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - setnahkt - LibraryThing

I was moved to pick up this book because Steven Pinker mentioned it with fulsome praise in The Blank Slate. Author Judith Rich Harris describes herself as “an unemployed writer of college textbooks ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Daniel.Estes - LibraryThing

Oh boy. Judith Rich Harris is poking the bear with this one. I can hear the helicopter parents descending now. Here come the emotional counterattacks. The aggravating part is that I believe her, I ... Read full review

Contents

Nurture Is Not the Same as Environment
1
Nature Nurture and None of the Above
31
Separate Worlds
51
Other Times Other Places
73
Human Nature
91
Us and Them
115
In the Company of Children
136
The Transmission of Culture
171
Dysfunctional Families and Problem Kids
272
What Parents Can Do
309
The Nurture Assumption on Trial
330
Personality and Birth Order
343
Testing Theories of Child Development
357
Notes
371
References
397
Acknowledgments
430

Gender Rules
204
Schools of Children
225
Growing Up
248
About the Author
447
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

Judith Rich Harris is the author of No Two Alike: Human Nature and Human Individuality . A former writer of college textbooks, Harris is a recipient of a George A. Miller award, given to the author of an outstanding article in psychology. She is an independent investigator and theoretician whose interests include evolutionary psychology, social psychology, developmental psychology, and behavioral genetics.

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