Heredity and Hormones

Checkpoint: Heredity and Hormones

Bonnie Giese


October 21, 2010
Kathy Dorch

Checkpoint: Heredity and Hormones

      What role does heredity and hormones play when attempting to explain human behavior?   One may be surprised to know that heredity and hormones are the main triggers for the way we act.   “We are shaped by life experiences and how we react to those experiences can be traced back to hormones and our family histories. Both nature and how we were nurtured affect human behavior” (Hernandez, C., 2010).
      “Genetics is the study of how living matter passes down traits from one generation to the next” (Morris & Maisto, 2002, p. 79).   Offspring are not an exact replica of their parents, but, there is scientific proof that certain material will pass down from parent to offspring for continuous generations (Morris & Maisto, 2002).   This material that is passed down is called genes.   Genes consist of genetic makeup called DNA.   “Genes are carried by chromosomes which are tiny threadlike bodies found in the nucleus of all cells. Chromosomes vary in size and shape and usually come in pairs. Each species has a constant number: Mice have 20 pairs, monkeys have 27, and peas have 7. Human beings have 23 pairs of chromosomes in every normal cell. The exceptions are sex cells, which have only half a set of chromosomes. At fertilization, the chromosomes from the father’s sperm link to the chromosomes from the mother’s egg, creating a new cell called a zygote. That single cell and all of the billions of body cells that develop from it (except sperm and ova), contain 46 chromosomes, arranged as 23 pairs” (Morris & Maisto, 2002, p. 79).   The DNA molecule is the only molecule in living matter that can copy and replicate itself (Morris & Maisto, 2002).   DNA contains information such as eye color, hair color, and even height.   With DNA come both recessive and dominant genes that will determine what traits will be passed down to offspring and...