This is where genetic effects and trends attract environmental influences on an organism. The clearest occurrence of this in humans is associated with gender. Gender is determined purely by genetics, but gender determines how a person is treated in society. Boys are raised differently to girls, they will be given different toys and they will wear different clothes and so forth. Although there are differences in the psyche of the male and female, these are exacerbated by their roles in society.

Other less obvious examples of gene-environment covariance include people with a genetic intolerance for alcohol. Such people will decline offers of drinks to avoid becoming ill. Also, children with a genetic tendency which promotes studiousness, will enjoy school and excel in an academic environment.

Such effects help to resolve the nature or nurture debate in developmental psychology. The evidence, as with so many things, points to some sort of middle-ground, with genetics and environment interacting closely rather than one predominating over the other.

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