The Attachment Theory And External Factors Of Criminal Behavior

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Jerome Crabb once said, “crime is to man as fleas are to dog, the likelihood of its presence increases as the quality of one 's personal circumstances decreases.” Oftentimes we attribute crime to an individual’s socio-economic situation. In more recent years however, theories surrounding hereditary factors in crime have emerged. Nativists believe that criminal predisposition can be passed down from parent to offspring whereas empiricists believe that all crime and criminal behavior is learned through society and environmental factors. A variety of factors ranging from societal influences, behaviorism, and even environmental conditioning help prove the probability of nurture opposed to nature (McLeod, 2007). It is a common fact …show more content…
This theory is backed by experts like John Bowlby who published his own theory in the 1960’s. According to Bowlby’s Attachment Theory, children are born into the world with a pre-programmed sense of attachment to their mother in order to ensure their survival (Higgens, 2012). The theory also suggests that children use their mother as a safe means to explore the world. If true, this means that all human interaction and behavior is first learned at childhood solidifying the perception that external factors influence criminal behavior. Furthermore, in cases where one or two parents in a household are abusive, a cycle of abuse is seen in the children as well. According to Child Abuse Statistics, 14% of all men in prison as well as 36% of women in prison were abused as children. Children who are abused are also likely to be a staggering 9 times more likely to be involved in criminal behavior (Child Abuse Statistics, 2015). These statistics are an unfortunate reality which not only shows the importance of positive early childhood influences but also how external factors play a key role in crime. People regardless of gender, age, or even intelligence are all subject to environmental conditioning. This could be through watching movies, television shows, or even playing video games. Children are especially prone to becoming influenced by the media as evident in the case of two twelve year old Wisconsin girls who attempted to brutally kill a third in an effort to meet “Slenderman,” a fictitious character bred on the internet. Other incidences include copy-cat killings by people influenced by Jack the Ripper. The media has undoubtedly played a significant and oftentimes ominous role in influencing individuals to engage in criminal

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