In 1960, a New York adoption agency, Louise Wise Services split a set of twins into separate families as an experiment to prove that twins can develop their individual identities if they grew up apart.
Kathy and her twin, Lori were deliberately separated at birth as part of the research study. The adoptive parents were never told that the children had siblings. The twins only met each other during their teenage years.
According to Dr. Bernard, one of the scientists who conducted the experiment, twins are often raised as the same person. The parents will dress the twins alike and treat them as the same person. This more often than not results in competition and shared ego.
The scientist didn’t think it was healthy to raise two individuals as the same person. They wanted the twins to discover and horn their uniqueness. The study revealed the differences in our biological genetics and environmental influence on our behavior.
During the experiment, the scientist will visit the twins in their separate adopted homes and collect data on the changes in the genetics vs environmental behavior. They want to know how their environment affects their personality, intelligence, and emotions.
When Kathy was in fifth grade, her then boyfriend and his brother met Lori. “We met your twin sister,” they said. But Kathy didn’t believe them. One day after speaking with Lori over the phone, the twins agreed to meet.
When Kathy saw Lori crossing the road, she was shocked by their resemblance. They were so happy and hugged each other. From that day their bond grew. The twins had similar interests in music and dancing.
“It was so real. I felt like I was staring at myself in the mirror,” Lori said.
They live 16 miles away from each other and had family friends in common. They would sneak out from home to meet without their parents knowledge.
When the agency found out that the twins had met each other, they pulled them out of the study because that would affect the data.
Alison and her twin sister Michele were also split by the agency. They met by chance when they were 54 years old. As the adoption agency continued to split up twins, social workers within the organization objected to the unethical practice.
For decades twins have been a fascinating topic among scientists. Identical twins share the same genes having been split up from one single fertilized egg while fraternal twins share half of their genes having fertilized by two separate eggs and two separate sperms.
The results from the study proved that the similarities between twins raised apart were tied to their common genes and not their environment. Components like height and weight including intelligence were linked to genes than emotional behavior like job satisfaction.
The findings also show that how much they invest in religious activities and interests, political attitudes and social involvement have some genetic influence attached to them.
Comments / 14