His Father’s Son

One of the depressing facts that you pick up from the book “Blank Slate” is that current research tells us that the influence of parental upbringing on a child’s nature is approximately zero. Your genes have some effect on your son or daughter.  The overall environment that he has been brought up in matters. But your own influence is negligible. Another way of stating this is that if you have a biological child and an adopted child, the difference between the two will be almost as great as the difference between your biological child and your neighbour’s child.

Of course, there are many studies that have established this effect, but to me, the simplest verification came from the fact that I have inherited my social shyness from my father, even though he died when I was five.  Another example seems to be Varun Gandhi.  He must have been 2 years old  was 3 months old  when Sanjay Gandhi died in a plane crash, but he still seems to have managed to inherit his father’s psychopathic  personality.  The combined effect of his father’s genes and his current environment seems to have rendered irrelevant any effect of his mother’s upbringing.