Biological Theories Of Criminal Behavior

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Crime has plagued society from the beginning of time. Crime is the act of going against a formal criminal law without justification. Crime often directly harms a community or society as a whole. With crime being so harmful to our society, a big question asked in criminology is why do people continue to commit crimes? There have been several studies done in attempt of finding an answer, but since the motivation for crime is so diverse, several theories have been devised to answer the question. The major theories of criminal behavior are biological theories which consist of psychological, genetic, and biological reasons people commit crimes and sociological theories which have to do with a person 's upbringing, their family and their peer influences. …show more content…
Kevin Beaver and Anthony Walsh found what they call the gender ratio problem. This theory is based off of the fact that in almost all studies, men are far more likely to be involved in crime than women. This is because men and women have psychological differences, specifically men have a much higher testosterone level than women, which has been shown to increase their aggressive and violent tendencies. As the study of DNA has advanced, there have been some studies which propose chromosomal patterns correlate to crime. In 1965, Patricia Jacobs found “supermales”, who have the chromosome make up of XYY, were found more often in prisons than the general public. These findings have been largely disputed, and is generally disregarded in modern criminology. Today, criminologists tend to look at gene deficits, enzymes, and hormones as possible causes for criminal behavior. An overproduction of the enzyme monoamine ocidaseA, which can be triggered by a stressful environment, has been shown to cause overstimulation of the nervous system by producing too much serotonin (Cohen) . Defects in some allele genes can lead to uncontrollable urges, or cause a person to look for dangerous behavior. Some connections were found with dietary imbalances. Hypoglycemia, allergic reactions, vitamin deficits, and coffee and sugar consumption are all linked to antisocial or violent behavior. Many theories behind criminal behavior rely on the psychological health of a person. Sigmund Freud is most famously associated with psychoanalysis. He found three sources of criminal behavior: a criminal’s inability to control the urge to commit a crime, a criminal’s hatred for something could be symbolically shown through crime, and Thanatos, the death instinct which causes criminals to commit crimes dangerous to themselves. Psychopathy, a diseased or disordered personality, is also often seen as a cause of crime.

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