Unit 2, Ind. Project ,
American Intercontinental University
Theories of Crime causation
Criminal justice 105
This paper discusses the merits of the idea that genetics are a source for criminal behavior. The author of this paper includes examples that she found through research studies. The author also includes the results and findings for twin, adoption and testosterone studies that were conducted by top professionals in the study of genetics and the biological environments that surround us. The author also has listed some of the dangers of suggesting that there is in fact a criminal gene in the field of Criminal justice that is in existence and what the ...view middle of the document...
Psychologists have the ability to identify patterns using twin or adoption studies, further, find associations between particular genetic testing which highlights aggressiveness or the lack of self control through their behavior. Mason & Frick (1994) performed meta-analysis on 12 twins and 3 adoptions studies investigating anti-social behavior that pertains to genetics of criminality. Their estimate totaled nearly half (48%) that verified that criminal tendencies are possibly genetically controlled.
According to the studies conducted by Lagerspetz (1979) she bred 25 generations of mice. She chose the least aggressive mice to breed and the most aggressive mice to breed together. The results yielded two very different strains. The first offspring’s were very aggressive, while the other offspring’s were very docile. Even the set of mice that were cross-fostered to non-aggressive mother, even these mice demonstrated more aggressive behavior. (Lagerspetz & Wuorinen, 1965). This study proved that, (in animals), there is a genetic link to aggressive behavior.
Generally, men are more aggressive than women, a fact that has led researchers to investigate possible links between levels of male hormones (particularly testosterone) and aggressive or criminal behavior.
Studies performed by Dabbs et al., revealed that the collected data from two groups of prisoners, measured high testosterone levels in the saliva, were found to have committed more violent and sex related crimes, than the other inmates that were in custody for property crimes or drug related crimes. Furthermore, Dabbs et al. states that the higher testosterone level inmates had more violations of prison rules than that of the other inmates. . Even in women, Dabbs found, high testosterone levels were related to crimes of unprovoked violence, increased numbers of prior charges, and decisions against parole.
There is no suggestion, however, that there is a single ‘gene for aggression’ in humans or animals. Nor is it that aggressiveness is the by- product bad genes; the environment in which surround you is important too.
Studies had results that focused on misbehavior and juvenile crime in thousands of twins. The monozygotic twins (identical twins that share 100% of their genes) were not that much more similar than the dizygotic twins (fraternal twins that share about 50%).
The findings suggest that their surrounding or environment rather is important in determining criminal behavior, however, the record states that the criminal and aggressive behavior in adult twins showed that the identical twins had more similarities. Which suggests that genetic factors become more important as adults? Which means as a child the individual has a controlled environment? For example, when a child is exposed to violent cartoons on the television. Where as adults, can make choices about how they behave.
So we talked about genetics and environment...