The Role Of Nature And Nurture On Influencing Offender Characteristics

986 Words Oct 24th, 2016 4 Pages
Voluminous research regarding the role of nature and nurture in influencing offender characteristics exists today. Much of this research attempts to shed light on the influence of whether genetics or biological factors versus acquired/learned behaviors is what leads a person down the path of criminal behavior. Earliest studies on the subject are Jukes family study and Kallikak family study. The study findings indicate a positive correlation between criminal behavior and family background. However, still some proponents point out to the environment or learned characteristics (nurture) as the key determinant of criminal behavior on both studies. Nonetheless, this paper will examines the nature/nurture controversy with regard to characteristics of offenders.
The Jukes family is among one of the various studies that provides insights into the nature/nurture controversy. Elisha Harris conducted initial investigations into the Jukes family to establish the nature of offender characteristics. He noted that for six generations, the Jukes family had maintained a history of criminal behavior (Lombardo, 2012). A large number of family members turned out to become criminals, vagrants, and paupers. For example, one generation had fourteen children, nine of whom received incarceration for antisocial behavior. Picking up from where Harris left off, Richard Dugdale conducted further research into Jukes family, noting that the majority was poor, incarcerated for various crimes, or living in…

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