Rational Choice Theory: Why Do People Do Crime?

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Many Scholars have asked ‘Why do people do crime?’ Many theories have been discussed through history and though they may seem to work with most crimes, no one theory works with every crime. Rational Choice Theory generally is not compared with violent crimes. In the case of rape I feel that Rational Choice Theory is the best theory to explain why people do it. The UCLA Women’s Law Journal says that “The United States has the world’s second highest rate of reported rape. About sixteen to eighteen percent of American women and one to three percent of American men have experienced an attempted or completed rape” (Rhode). It is hard to believe that someone who thinks rationally could do such a heinous crime but the fact of the matter is that rationally thinking people do rape and in fact it happens a lot more than most people think.
Rational choice theory says criminals look at the cost and benefits of doing a crime and will make the rational decision to do so or not. Cesare Beccaria, also known as father of criminology, wrote the piece “On Crime And Punishment”. He applied the principals of enlightenment and said that crime is a choice, like any other action and that crime can be understood as a rational choice based on a weighing of pros and cons. McCarthy states “Costs and Benefits are typically described in terms of individual assessments of how much
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One of the biggest reasons many do not agree with Rational Choice Theory is that if there is a lack of information, it could lead to poor decisions that otherwise would deter them from doing such an act. In the case of Vargas, it is simply not the circumstance. Vargas being a 30-year-old man working toward a degree should be well aware of the punishments that come with rape. Majority of people in this day and age all know rape is wrong and know what the outcome will be if they choose to do

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