Nature versus nurture

Paula and Elyse are both 38, both edited their school newspapers and both studied film at university.

They are twins who were deliberately separated at birth in an experiment on nature versus nurture — a study into if what makes us who we are is predetermined by our genetic heritage or had more to do with the environment in which we grew up.

The two have published a book on their childhoods and coming to terms with what happened in 1968.

The study was run by child psychiatrist Peter Neubauer, and the forced separation done with the agreement of the Louise Wise adoption agency.

Viola Bernard, a child psychologist and consultant to the agency, had firmly believed that twins should be raised separately to improve their psychological development, and that dressing and treating them the same retarded their minds.

Neubauer’s study, which ended in 1981, has apparently been locked in a vault until 2066.

Ordinarily I would include some comment of my own at this point, but I really don’t see how I can add to the story, which plainly stands strong on its own merits. I would encourage you to read it here.

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