Identical Twins Reared Apart: A Reanalysis

Identical Twins Reared Apart: A Reanalysis

Identical Twins Reared Apart: A Reanalysis

Identical Twins Reared Apart: A Reanalysis

Excerpt

Many times while writing this book I felt a kinship with the ancient supplicant to Delphi who, seeking guidance, asked the oracle to which gods to make sacrifice. Supposedly, after a silence, the oracle answered only, "To the appropriate ones."

This book offers a survey and reanalysis of all published cases of identical twins separated and reared apart. My dilemma in analyzing the material was that there are many disciplines with widely varying methodologies to be propitiated. My dilemma in writing the manuscript was that there is no single, homogeneous audience to assume as readers. My solution was to write descriptively and assume an audience who had curiosity but no specialized training in behavior genetics. Thus, though I present a reanalysis, sometimes resting on statistical procedures, sometimes drawing on clinical judgment, I have come to the conclusion that the book is more a chronicle than anything else. As such, it will serve its purpose if it introduces readers to territory they had not previously considered and if it gives easy access to appropriate cases for anyone who wishes to explore them further.

The study began when I naively attempted to find one similar to it. I am a clinical psychologist, trained, by choice, in a psychodynamic developmental tradition. The child development literature, psychoanalytic and nonanalytic alike, is imbued with the assumption of innate styles, predispositions, and developmental patterns. Child clinical work, which I do, is unwaveringly persuasive that each child is uniquely his own individual, influencing his family as much as it influences him. I went to the twin literature, thinking it could give me more specific information on inherent developmental styles, and ended in the literature on twins reared apart, the best experiment of nature to explicate the nature-nurture question. What I discovered was a provocative series of case reports and a voluminous literature on IQ, but no comprehensive and detailed summary of all facets of all cases. First and foremost I offer the housecleaning and organization I so sorely missed. The "sense" I make of what I found is influenced strongly by my orientation, but I also found my training immeasurably enriched, for frequently I was taken far afield from my own discipline. Because of this experience, I decided to aim for a diverse audience. The questions are important enough and the data so provocative that they should be viewed from many angles.

Though I know of no other overall summary, there are a few extraor-

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