There has always been the ongoing debate as to whether nature or nurture plays a role in criminality. Some individuals may be predisposed and have a higher risk of developing criminal behavior due to some biological factors. Psychologists have been able to identify patterns using twin or adoption studies finding links with genetic testing which shows aggressiveness or the lack of self-control of one’s behavior. A meta-analysis preformed on 12 twins and 3 adoptions showed anti-social behavior that linked to genetics of criminality. This reveled that forty-eight percent could possibly be linked to genetically controlled criminal tendencies. (Mason, 1994)
With the possible links to aggressiveness and genetics there have also been studies done into levels of hormones and their effects. Generally speaking, men tend to be more aggressive than women, this fact ...view middle of the document...
Also that the lack of tolerance for frustration was related to testosterone level. Based on this study it would seem that aggression can be linked to rises in testosterone levels. (Booth, 1993)
Next, there are environmental factors that can also lead to one’s criminality. For instance, children who have poor parental supervision or are rejected by their parents have a higher likelihood of conduct problems, substance abuse, depression and violent crimes as they enter adulthood. (Ministy of Justice, 2009) There is also evidence showing links to violent crimes through disparity, as well as property and non-violent crimes from poverty and unemployment. Lack of education can be a risk factor for delinquency and future criminal activity. Drugs and alcohol can also be contributing factors in crime.
When looking at all the factors of nature vs nurture in determining the effects on criminality it would seem that nature plays a more defining role. A person has the ability to make choices to overcome environmental circumstances, whereas biological factors are hereditary and ingrained and possibly something one might not even be aware that they possess. In regards to law enforcement dealings with those who commit crimes, they must accordingly do their job based on fact. If they were to take all surrounding factors into account who would be the one to draw the line on what is right or wrong? The judicial system is set up to deal with these factors in further proceedings accordingly.
Booth, A. &. (1993). THE INFLUENCE OF TESTOSTERONE ON DEVIANCE IN ADULTHOOD: ASSESSING AND EXPLAINING THE RELATIONSHIP. Criminology, 31(1), 93-117.
Mason, D. A. (1994). The heritability of antisocial behavior: A meta-analysis of twin abd adoption studies. Journal of Psychpathology and Behavioral Assessment, 16(4), 301-323. doi:10.1007/BF02239409
Ministy of Justice. (2009, March). Retrieved from Ministy of Justice: http://www.justice.govt.nz/justice-sector/drivers-of-crime/publications-and-background-information/documents/spb-social-risk-factors