A twin is a child from a single pregnancy, which is more risky for the mother and child than normal delivery. A twin may be identical or un identical. Statistics prove that birth of a twin is an uncommon phenomenon in Latin –America, South Asia and South East Asia. Twin babies are more common in Africa, North and South America . The studies on twins focus on the question of Nature or Nurture, i.e. genes or environmental effects on the individual . We will see the advantages and disadvantages of being a twin under different perspectives.
The advantages of being a child are more in the early years and childhood. In the early years the twin children develops a trust a between themselves. The chances of sibling rivalry are less because the children have seen themselves together from the time of their birth and they feel incomplete without each other. In the preschool age the child has partner to give him/her the sense of security. These elementary years are critical to develop the self confidence of a child when his/her twin brother or sister is present for support and enjoy mutual victories and blunders . In the youth the children can become study partners for higher studies .
The disadvantages of a twin become more profound when the twins reach the teenage and sexual emotions become part of life. Twin teenagers feel the sacrificing of their privacy and sibling rivalry in sharing the love of their parents and friends. If you find the other twin brother or sister different from you, he/she will be constantly poking into your personal life and reporting to parents against you. Dead Ringers was a movie made in 1988, displays the fatal sibling rivalry between two identical twins and successful gynecologists, who fell for a single women . Bailey and Pillard (1991 & 1993) have reported of higher cases of homosexuality amongst brothers and sisters in their studies .
Some interesting incidents have happened when the referee gave the other brother yellow card in the football match ; in another incident a prisoner came out of a Swedish jail by changing clothes with his brother; the jail authorities were bluffed by the fake identification mark by the brother in prison .
In view of the above we can say that nature plays a role in creating twin children however, nurture or the environment creates the feeling of rivalry, competition, guilt, envy and jealousy in the children just like brothers and sisters having difference in age. The advantages of twins are profound in early years but turns into disadvantage in the teenage and later years. However, this is a general study; each individual should be assessed on case to case basis.