Heredity And Hormones On Human Behavior

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Heredity and Hormones
BEH/225 Introduction to Behavioral Science
June 29, 2012
Nancy Russell

Heredity and Hormones When comparing and contrasting the influence of heredity and hormones on human behavior it is important that all mechanisms, that allow our body to function in the proper way, are carefully examined. In this paper the endocrine system will be discussed and the several different hormones and their contribution to the human behavior. It is important that one understands reasons behind their behaviors and why their behavior is an important part of their lives. In every human being there is a reason behind their behavior whether it is sanity or insanity. So, being knowledgeable about behavior will give us the power to change it. The endocrine system consists of several endocrine glands that release chemical substances called hormones. These hormones travel throughout our bodies by way of the bloodstream. There are two main functions that the hormones are responsible for and have found to be important at certain stages of development. They are the organization of the nervous system and body tissues and how they activate behaviors in human beings. These are the reasons psychologists have been interested in hormones. “Hormones can also have dramatic effects on mood, emotion reactivity, ability to learn, and ability to resist disease.” (Charles G. Morris & Albert A. Maisto, 2010) Here are some examples hormones, glands and their functions: * Pituitary Gland – Also called the master gland is on the underside of the brain and is connected to the hypothalamus. “The pituitary influences blood pressure, thirst, sexual behavior, body growth, as well as other functions.” (Charles G. Morris & Albert A. Maisto, 2010) * Thyroid Gland – Located right underneath the larynx or voice box. “It produces one primary hormone, thyroxin, which regulates the body’s rate of metabolism.” (Charles G. Morris & Albert A. Maisto, 2010) * The Pancreas – Can be found between the small intestine and stomach. “The pancreas controls the level of sugar in the blood by secreting two regulating hormones: insulin and glucagon.” (Charles G. Morris & Albert A. Maisto, 2010) * The Gonads – In males; testes and in females their ovaries. “Secrete hormones that have traditionally been classified as masculine (the androgens) and feminine (the estrogens).” (Charles G. Morris & Albert A. Maisto, 2010) I just named a few glands and their secretions and how they have an effect on us as human beings. Behavior genetics is a process where they examine the relationship that heredity and behavior have between them. Behavior geneticists have the pleasure of studying the learning and memory, perception, personality, motivation and emotions, and psychological disorders. These topics have been in the interest of psychologists. There are two methods of studying these genetics: 1. Animal Behavior Genetics – The study of non-human animals, in which, it has resulted in the knowledge of behavior genetics in many ways. 2. Human Behavior Genetics – There are several ways to study human behavior. * Family Studies – “Studies of heritability in humans based on the assumptions that if genes influence a certain trait, close relatives should be more similar on those