IELTS Writing Task 2 – Some scientists believe that studying the behaviour of 3-year-old children


Some scientists believe that studying the behaviour of 3-year-old children can tell which children would grow up to be criminals.

To what extent in your opinion is crime a product of human nature or is it possible to stop children from growing up to be criminals?


You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

You should write at least 250 words.


IELTS Writing Task 2/ IELTS Essay Sample

Sample Answer 1:

Some scientists are of the opinion that hereditary characteristics are responsible for the
person’s temperament and hence future career. I disagree with this notion. I believe that
genes do play a role but the primary determinant is nurture – education and bringing up. It
is definitely possible to mould a child into any direction by proper bringing-up.

If we adopt the mindset that if parents are criminals so will the children be then we are
limiting or even damaging the individual’s basic right to achieve his very best. Children can
rise above the gene pool and rise to great heights. Even if a child is born to criminal parents
but brought up away from that environment and provided quality education, he will not be
a criminal.

The debate on nature versus nurture has been raging for ages and no clear cut answer has
come forward. A child prodigy can be born to ordinary parents and many intelligent parents
can have ordinary children. A talented person can go unnoticed in the absence of right
environment and upbringing and an ordinary person can reach great heights with proper
training. So, interplay between hereditary and environmental factors must be there.

It has been seen that children born to intelligent parents also are intelligent and successful.
But it is also possible that such parents provide an environment which nurtures the
development of their children. When we see some programmes such as ‘India’s Got Talent’
and ‘Little Champs’, we notice some extremely gifted children who are born with talent and
also some who have achieved great heights with great perseverance and proper coaching.

To put it in a nutshell, I pen down saying that both nature and nurture play a part in
determining the character of a person. It can also be concluded that both are inextricably
linked with each other. But nurture weighs over nature and it is definitely possible to
prevent children from growing up to be criminals.


Model Answer 2:

There is a multitude of people who subscribe to the notion that by observing the behaviours of young children, we can predict their likelihood of becoming criminals in the future. However, it is believed that other external factors can also heavily influence children’s development and their mannerisms in adulthood.

Through various researches, scientists found that delinquents, in fact, share some personal traits in their childhood that can help foretell their criminality. Generally, these individuals were more aggressive and impulsive then their peers when they were kids. For this reasons, it is understandable why some people contend that learning about how one behaves as a child can help foresee their chance of committing crimes as an adult.

Nevertheless, compared to other extrinsic elements, such as upbringing and schooling, genetic characteristics appear to be less influential on children’s behaviours. It is no surprise that children who are raised in a healthy and educational environment often grow to be ethical citizens. On the contrary, most convicts have some extent of tragedy in their childhoods, such as parental divorce and family breakdown. Without their parents’ guidance and sufficient attention, kids lack the ability to judge right and wrong, a skill that is vital in a moral society. For that reason, it is necessary that adults need to monitor and control youngsters’ behaviours and undertake/take/implement any corrective measure when it is needed.

In the light of the aforementioned discussion, there is no point arguing whether there is a nexus between one’s genes and their behavioral patterns. However, it is strongly supported that when children receive good care and ethical education, it is unlikely that they will take any unlawful action in the future.


Model Answer 3:

Today, the rising crime rate raises citizen’s concern and scientists begin to explore the reasons of criminal acts. The opinion that children in the age of three have the characteristic of becoming a criminal in the future has been put forward by some scientists. From my own perspective, criminal behavior is a product of nurture rather than nature. Parents and the media should be responsible for the crime.

Parental upbringing background is one of essential parts for the breed of crime. Some parents take extremely method to combat problems no matter what problem it is. Young as the child is, their parents tend to scorn them loudly or beat them strictly if they make little mistakes, such as go back home lately, which hurts the vulnerable heart and mind of their child. As far as child’s concerned, they don’t have the capability to distinguish right from wrong, easily following the violent behavior their parents did. Apparently, the parental environment will lay groundwork for the behavioral tendency of a child in the future.

Additionally, the media is the second to be blamed for criminal acts. Journalists are inclined to report something new to attract the reader’s attention, regardless of violence. Teenagers who are exposed in the media coverage which is full of bloody death incidents easily go astray because of imitation of the violent behavior. Also, individuals are curious about the new things and commit crimes unconsciously as their curiosities may easily be taken advantage of.

In order to prevent the crime, parents, the media and the government should joint efforts together. Parents should afford a good environment for the growth of youngster. Proper guidance should be provided through daily activities. Further, Media press should pay more attention to the quality of their report and avoid excessive report the bloody news. When it comes to the government, the authority should advocate a harmony society with sharing and understanding among the citizens.

To conclude, the willingness of parents, the media and the government to address the crime problem will put it on the right track in finding solutions. I am sure that the increasing crime rate could be curbed through people’s efforts.


Model Answer 4:

The age-old nature vs nurture debate is concerned mainly with reaching a conclusion over genetic and environmental influences on criminal behaviour, which has long been a subject of interest to psychologists and criminologists. Some scientists subscribe to a view that studying the behaviour of 3-year-old children can help foretell their criminality. To the best of my knowledge, both genes and environment have a bearing over the development of one’s behaviour patterns, including criminal or violent behaviour.

The notion that some individuals have a genetic predisposition for criminal behaviour can seek support from a large number of facts. For example, aggression and impulsivity, two personality traits commonly found among adult criminals, are in fact evident from as early as those people’s preschool years. Criminals are also diagnosed to share a similar set of psychological problems, indicating their heritable nature. If given the right circumstances, individuals with those genes would eventually engage in criminal activity. For example, the children raised in an environment where violence and illegitimacy are norms are more likely to commit similar crimes in adulthood. It is therefore fair to say that the effect of heredity is worsened by the environment.

While the impact of genetic predisposition is recognised, genetics is not solely responsible for unlawful acts. Criminal tendencies are admittedly clear among those children whose parents have a long criminal history. However, the chances for their engagement in criminal activities would not become bigger until they are exposed to an environment that breeds such activities. Environment can modify, weaken or reinforce one’s characteristics. It is the reason why a child can act in a different manner from his or her parents. It is neither practicable nor rational to make a moral judgement on a child simply by their genetic makeup and label him or her as a criminal while ignoring the influence of factors like education.

A proper understanding of the impact of environment on individual behaviour also enables people to recognise the influence of some other elements, such as schooling and upbringing. Children, whose biological parents have criminal records, have the potential for personal success, if adopted and reared by well-educated and upper class families. Likewise, children who experience family problems like family breakdown and child abuse are more likely to commit violent crimes later in life. These elements, working either in isolation or in groups, lead to a child’s criminal behaviour.

In the light of the facts outlined above, one can conclude that the interaction between genes and the environment is a predictor of criminal behaviour. Certain genes, when combined with certain environmental factors, lead to criminal behaviour. To prevent individuals with criminal disposition from committing crimes, schooling, parenting and some other factors are of critical importance.


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