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Judith Rich Harris argues that the sole influence of parents on the personalities of their children is genetic. The evidence is against her

Judith Rich Harris’s article (Prospect, May 2007) on nature, nurture and the BBC’s Child of Our Time project—which follows a cohort of 25 children every year from their birth in 2000 to adulthood in 2020—argues that the series doesn’t acknowledge the power of peers. This is odd, since the series starts with several examples of peer influence. The first comes from six-year-old Parys, who declares his intention to stop eating brown bread because all his friends prefer white. At six, our children, like their peers, want to fit in.

The fact that children are influenced by their peers is not…

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