Nature Vs. Nurture: Why Are Serial Killers?

2246 Words 9 Pages
Serial killers are as fascinating as they are horrifying. As much as we fear them, we are intrigued in learning about them and knowing their story. Today our society is filled with shows like “Dexter” and “Criminal Minds” that gives a glimpse of serial killers. We enjoy watching it on television or reading about it in books or on the internet. Scholars take hours out of their day to studying these murders and crimes. When we watch these shows we are filled with these fantasies of killings and torture, and once the show is over those fantasies stop. Serial killer’s fantasies continue. This leaves us with the questions, “How can we stop these fantasies and not kill?”, and “Why do they kill?”
Murder has been dated back since the early 1400s. Ancient
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One of the greatest debates in psychology is the debate of nature versus nurture. This debate is concerned with behavior being inherited (i.e genetic) or acquired (i.e. learned) characteristics. Many scientists believe that damage to the areas of the brain, like the frontal lobes or the limbic system, may be the cause of killing sprees. While others consider a profile of their past physical and mental abuse while growing up. The nature vs. nurture debate can be so difficult to determine because one’s environment can impact one’s behavior.
The answer is still unknown because an individual can live in a happy home with no past psychopathic history and become hungry to kill. This is where scientists usually point to the perspective of nature vs. nurture, or genes vs. environment. Nature and nurture come into play strongly in a person’s childhood experiences. At this point in childhood, an individual endures many behavioral and personality behaviors. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines nature as "the genetically controlled qualities of an organism" ("Nature," def. 8). Some scientists showed there are genes that pinpoint violence and violent behavior, but there has yet been a finding of a gene that causes psychotic behavior. Monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) gene is the most common denominator in a criminal’s mind (Hernandez, Highsmith, Madrigal, & Mercado,

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