Recently, an increasing amount of attention has been paid to pinpointing the gestational periods of highest risk for negative outcomes. Evidence for the role of genetic factors in the etiology of criminal behavior carries the assumption that biological factors mediate this relationship. ‘‘Linkage of Antisocial Alcoholism to the Serotonin 5-HT1B Receptor Gene in 2 Populations.’’, LYONS, MICHAEL ‘‘A Twin Study of SelfReported Criminal Behavior.’’ In, MACHON, RICARDO, and MEDNICK, SARNOFF A. On the basis of these findings, Virkkunen and colleagues propose that low serotonin may be a biological marker specific to impulsive violent offending accompanied by alcoholism. Epidemiological evidence that genetic factors contribute to criminal behavior come from three sources: family, twin, and adoption studies. Theories of Crime: Classical, Biological,… There are four basic theories of crime, and knowing and understanding each one is imperative for one to succeed in any legal profession. One such disorder that may elevate the risk of violent offending in children is the presence of alcoholism in the biological parents. RANTAKALLIO, P.; LAARA, E.; ISOHANNI, M.; and MOILANEN, I. Criminal behavior results from a complex interplay of social and biological factors. Browse other research paper examples for more inspiration. Adoption studies provide a natural experiment to test the existence and strength of inherited predispositions. Moreover, Dalgaard and Kringlen suggest that the greater similarity of MZ twins may be attributed to their shared environmental experiences. This is how your paper can get an A! The data thus far suggest that frontal lobe deficits may be marked among violent offenders. If neither the biological nor adoptive parents were convicted, 13.5 percent of the sons were convicted. These findings persisted after controlling for the effects of social variables such as socioeconomic status. The data have been replicated in numerous studies in various countries. In line with this hypothesis, Carey (1992) suggests that MZ twins may imitate one another more than DZ twins, and that this phenomenon could lead to an overestimation of heritability. It seems reasonable to hypothesize that violent criminal behavior, an outcome often marked by behavioral disinhibition, may be linked to some type of dysregulation of the serotonin system. Although the popularity of such earlier biological theories has waned, research has continued, yielding important findings. However, such theories also stress the complex link between a person's biology and the broad span of social or environmental factors that sociological theories examine” (Denno, 2009). Biological positivist theory reflects a very different approach to the classicist reasoning behind why individuals commit crime. Sex chromosomes are termed X and Y. This finding is supportive of the contention that females are faced with more social pressures to remain law-abiding than males and therefore females who violate these social norms may have an added genetic push toward these behaviors. Browse other research paper examples for more inspiration. New York: Wiley, 1996. Families with criminal backgrounds, are said to be more likely to produce children with criminal tendencies also, almost as though crime is a gene carried through generations. These theories are categorized within a paradigm called positivism (also known as determinism), which asserts that behaviors, including law-violating behaviors, are determined by factors largely beyond individual control. The twin design, however, does present some problems to this interpretation. In a separate series of adoption studies carried out by Cadoret and colleagues, evidence for the importance of gene-environment interactions in the development of antisocial problems in adoptees has been presented. Eleven (23.4 percent) of the adoptees had been incarcerated for violent offenses. ‘‘Social Class and Crime in an Adoption Cohort.’’, VIRKKUNEN, MATTI; DE JONG, JUDITH; BARTKO, F.; GOODWIN, FREDRICK; and LINNOILA, MARKKU. Charles Manson criminal offense marked a significant mark in the American’s law system. Relying on criminal arrest data, Cloninger and Gottesman reanalyzed the twin data collected by Christiansen and grouped subjects as either violent offenders or property offenders. Equally, recent criminal studies based on the biological theory of crime examine particular aspects of the central nervous system, hormones, and autonomic nervous system. Some of these children, either full or half-siblings, were placed in different adoptive homes. Biological Theories “Biological theories of crime focus on the physiological, biochemical, neurological, and genetic factors that influence criminal behavior. To test this hypothesis, the Finnish criminal register was searched for all of the Helsinki residents born in the nine months after the 1957 influenza epidemic. Criminals may be more likely to be involved in physical fights than noncriminals, and sustain head injuries as a result. Psychophysiological measures, including electroencephalogram (EEG) activity, heart rate (HR), event-related potentials (ERP), and skin conductance (SC), have been identified as potential biological markers that may help to distinguish criminals from noncriminals. The limitation of family studies is the inability to separate the genetic and environmental sources of variation. Criminal behavior results from a complex interplay of social and biological factors. Crowe (1975) found that adoptees who had a criminal biological mother and spent longer time in an orphanage or foster placement had the highest rates of criminal conviction. Christiansen has noted that several of the earlier twin studies had cases in which a set of monozygotic twins were raised in separate environments; these preliminary data suggest that studying MZ twins reared apart may be an important behavioral genetics tool to investigate the etiology of criminal behavior. Therefore, it is better to think of ‘biological factors’ rather than theories in explaining crime. Grove and others investigated the concordance of antisocial problems, as measured by the Diagnostic Interview Schedule (DIS), among a sample of thirty-two sets of monozygotic twins reared apart (MZA) who were adopted by nonrelatives shortly after birth. For example, studies have found general evidence for a connection between biology and criminality for both twins and adoptees. Establishing a heritable component to criminal behavior begs the question as to whether serious forms of criminal behavior, such as violent criminal offending in particular, may also be a heritable trait. ‘‘Maternal Smoking during Pregnancy and Adult Male Criminal Outcomes.’’, CADORET, REMI, and CAIN, COLLEEN. Recent molecular genetics studies report that a gene related to the serotonin system may be associated with increased risk for the cooccurrence of violence and alcoholism. The results indicated that property crime was not significantly associated with period of exposure to the influenza virus. Females carry a combination of XX, and males carry a combination of XY. Specifically, the risk of criminality among adoptees of criminal biological parents was significantly reduced if they were adopted into middle to high SES adoptive homes. The importance of gene-environment interactions are illustrated in several adoption studies. They reject the idea that individuals have a choice, advocating that criminal behaviour is the result of biological defects and abnormalities. First, the genetic factors of interest, namely the antisocial status of the biological parents, were ascertained from ‘‘poorly maintained adoption agency records’’ or incomplete prison and hospital records. ; Mednick et al.). Lombroso based his theory on the assumption that criminals have certain physiognomic features or abnormalities. Terrie Moffit’s Two-Path theory is one example. They found that adopted-away sons had an elevated risk of having a court conviction if their biological parent, rather than their adoptive parent, had one or more court convictions. That is why criminological theories role in explaining crimes is significant. Lombroso’s biological theory of crime: The most vivid example of the biological determinism is the theory of Cesare Lombroso. The twin design, as discussed earlier, is limited in that the assumption of equal environments is often violated. A number of theories have tried to explain why people take part in deviant behavior, which is defined as any behavior that goes against the dominant norms of society.Biological explanations, psychological reasons, and sociological factors have all been linked to such behavior, but three of the major biological explanations for deviancy have been discredited. Another concern relates to the issue of timing. Lower levels of serotonin have been found to distinguish criminals from noncriminals in both forensic and community samples. Several methodological flaws in earlier twin studies made it difficult to draw conclusions regarding genetic liability to criminal behavior. Moreover, the male adoptees’ risk of Type II alcoholism was not increased by an interaction between genetic and environmental factors. He did not differentiate between criminality alone in the biological fathers and criminality accompanied by alcohol abuse in the biological fathers. These efforts have been fueled by the robust finding that alcoholism and violence, in humans and nonhuman primates, may be related to serotonergic dysregulation (Virkkunen et al., 1989; Higley et al., 1992). Biological factors are more inclusive, consisting of physiological, biochemical, neurological, and genetic factors. Heston was primarily interested in determining if adoptedaway offspring were at increased risk of becoming schizophrenic themselves. ‘‘Genetic Influences in Criminal Convictions: Evidence From an Adoption Cohort.’’, MEDNICK, SARNOFF; MACHON, RICARDO A.; HUTTUNEN, MATTI O.; and BARR, CHRISTOPHER E. ‘‘Influenza and Schizophrenia: Helsinki vs. Edinburgh.’’, MEDNICK, SARNOFF; MACHON, RICARDO A.; HUTTUNEN, MATTI O.; and BONNET, D. ‘‘Adult Schizophrenia following Prenatal Exposure to an Influenza Epidemic.’’, MEDNICK, SARNOFF; MACHON, RICARDO A.; and HUTTENEN, MATTI. Taken together, these studies suggest that frontal and temporal dysfunction may be associated with violent behavior. To date, over 20 studies using these techniques have been published (see Raine, 1996). ‘‘Modeling Genetic and Environmental Influences in the Etiology of Conduct Disorder: A Study of 2,682 Adult Twin Pairs.’’, TEHRANI, JASMINE; and MEDNICK, SARNOFF A. Further statistical analysis reveals that when these two groups are separated, there are significantly more criminal-only sons (without alcohol abuse) of criminal-only biological fathers than there are criminal-only sons of other fathers (8.9 percent vs. 4.9 percent, p (significance level) < 0.05). The emphasis on the index offense as opposed to the qualitative nature of the cumulative criminal history, however, may be interpreted as a weakness of this study. Such requirements, however, have been met by adoption studies from two Scandinavian countries, Denmark and Sweden. Consequently, any review of twin studies must keep these limitations in mind. Heritability for property offenses was found to be .78 while heritability for violent offenses was .50. Several characteristics of the Iowa adoption studies carried out by Cadoret and colleagues should be noted. But why? Early Biological theories Many Biological theories are concerned with the concepts of Genetics. View sample criminology research paper on biological theories of crime. Other, more recent techniques, have been applied to uncover the structural and functional properties of the brain in relation to criminal behavior. Social factors are a reflection of environmental sources of influence, such as socioeconomic status. These negative outcomes include impulsivity and attention problems. This condition is difficult if not impossible to meet in the United States. For this theory of crime to be plausible, it must make a few simple assumptions about humanity. With these recent studies in mind, Brennan, Grekin, and Mednick investigated the association between maternal smoking and criminal violence using a Danish birth cohort of 4,129 males. Moreover, violent recidivists were more likely to have experienced paternal absence than nonrecidivists, suggesting the importance of both biological and environmental factors in the prediction of recidivistic violent offending. Cadoret and others (1983) reported in a Missouri adoption sample (n = 108) that adoptees with an alcoholic or antisocial biological parent who were placed in an adoptive home at a later age had the highest rate of adolescent antisocial problems. Another pathway that has been investigated as a potential determinant in the etiology of violence is prenatal factors. Accordingly, several adoption studies have noted significant interactive effects when environmental variables are also taken into account. Human cells normally have 22 pairs of chromosomes, plus a pair of chromosomes that determines sex, for a total of 46. Feel free to contact our writing service for professional assistance. An interesting finding is that an even greater number of the adopted-away offspring of schizophrenic biological mothers actually had been incarcerated for violent offenses. A potentially more serious methodological concern is that, with the exception of Dalgaard and Kringlen’s study and the twin study that follows, all other twin samples suffered from biased samples. Apart from the lack of specificity in information, efforts to investigate the role of serotonin in behavioral outcomes in humans have been challenging due to the fact that CSF levels of serotonin are collected via a lumbar puncture. ‘‘Twin Imitation for Antisocial Behavior: Implications for Genetic and Family Environment Research.’’, CAREY, GREGORY. Perhaps a genetic predisposition toward violence may exist in the presence of some other unidentified mediator. The present authors are currently investigating the possible genetic link between violence and alcoholism (Tehrani and Mednick, forthcoming). Subjects who had committed violent crimes during the 4.5-year follow-up period had lower CSF levels compared to nonrecidivists. Other adverse environmental influences, such as adoptive parental registrations for alcohol and crime, and later age of placement, were found to interact with the genetic risk for criminal behavior. These studies have primarily examined levels of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) 5-HT metabolite, 5-hydroxyindolacetic acid, CSF 5-HIAA. Variability in criteria for criminal behavior and sample composition does not appear to change the genetic effect, an outcome which suggests that criminal behavior and correlates of antisocial behavior (i.e., antisocial symptom counts, conduct disorder) may be genetically mediated. Social factors, on the other hand, cannot be inherited. When only the criminal behavior of the biological parents is considered, she found no increase in violent offending in the adoptees. Since these offspring were not raised by their schizophrenic mothers, this suggested the possibility that mental illness and criminal violence may share a common genetic basis. Moreover, violent offending, but not property offending, among the biological parents was associated with severe alcohol-related problems in the adopted-away males. The biological fathers of these Type II alcoholics had an early onset (i.e., before age twenty-five) of recurrent alcoholism and criminality (sample size, n = 36). If the sperm that fertilizes a female egg is carrying a Y chromosome, the resulting embryo will develop into a male fetus (XY… This relationship persists despite controlling for various potential confounds such as socioeconomic status, parental psychiatric hospitalization, and father’s criminal history. To our knowledge, no study has been conducted examining pre-morbid measures of brain structure and function among criminals. But could his biology also have anything to do with it? Third, in two of the Cadoret studies, antisocial status of the adoptees was determined from telephone interviews (1987. Taken together, these studies demonstrate the utility of the gene-environmental model to our understanding of the etiological correlates of criminal behavior. 4. To the extent that the similarity observed in MZ twins is greater than that in DZ twins, genetic influences may be implicated. The significant genetic effect was specific to violent offenders. For example, the effects of socioeconomic status (SES) on inhibiting or promoting the expression of the genetic vulnerability to criminality have been examined in two large-scale adoption studies, the Danish and Swedish adoption studies. ‘‘Alcoholism and Antisocial Personality: Interrelationships, Genetic and Environmental Factors.’’, CADORET, REMI; TROUGHTON, ED; and O’GORMAN, THOMAS. In a classic study, Heston followed up a sample of forty-seven offspring born to schizophrenic mothers and compared them to a group of matched controls from the same orphanage. These conclusions, however, are drawn from a subject pool of forensic patients, representing a sample of heavily violent individuals. For instance, individuals with low levels of particular types of neurotransmitters have an increased likelihood of engaging in … ‘‘Predisposition to Petty Criminality in Swedish Adoptees. II. Are structural and functional deficits present prior to the onset of criminal behavior, or are these changes in the brain triggered after the individual has begun their criminal career? Rational Choice Theory: Tough on Crime. Moreover, the adoption design allows for the assessment of interaction effects between environmental and genetic influences. Lombroso’s Biological Theory of Crime Essay 617 Words | 3 Pages. Now, this case I just said is probably the most dominant psychological and biological theory to date. Until recently, the majority of criminological research focused solely on social contributors, either minimizing or negating the importance of genetic and biological influences on criminal behavior. A marked increase of probandwise concordance for criminal behavior among monozygotic twins suggests that the MZ twins inherit some biological characteristic(s) that increases their joint risk for criminal involvement. Therefore, in this research paper, we will first discuss the role of genetics in the etiology of criminal behavior, followed by evidence outlining the importance of biological factors. ‘‘Relationship of Psychobiological Variables to Recidivism in Violent Offenders and Impulsive Fire Setters.’’, VIRKKUNEN, MATTI; EGGERT, MONIKA; RAWLINGS, ROBERT; and LINNOILA, MARKKU. Cross-fostering analyses revealed the emergence of two distinct subtypes of alcoholism that could be differentiated based upon genetic and environmental influences. For example, men have lots of sexual partners, but women are more selective due to the costs of pregnancy. Biological Theories of Crime. Biological theories tend to ignore such environmental and psychological factors though they may equally may play a role in explaining such behaviour. Lombroso wanted to be able to detect future criminals in order to isolate them from the society. If the adoptive parents were convicted and the biological parents were not, this figure only increased to 14.7 percent. The largest adoption study to date was carried out in Denmark by the present authors’ research group (n = 14,427). Whether one desires to become a lawyer, crime scene investigator, law enforcement officer, they will need to understand the different theories of crime. These methods have recently been applied to the study of criminal behavior, lending support to the theory that criminal behavior may be associated with brain dysfunction. ‘‘In Vivo Association between Alcohol Intoxication, Aggression and Serotonin Transporter Availability in Nonohuman Primates.’’, HESTON, LEE ‘‘Psychiatric Disorders in FosterHome Reared Children of Schizophrenics.’’, HIBBELN, J. R.; LINNOILA, M.; UMHAU, J. C.; RAWLINGS, R.; GEORGE, D. T.; and SALEM, N. ‘‘Essential Fatty Acids Predict Metabolites of Serotonin and Dopamine in Cerebrospinal Fluid among Healthy Control Subjects, and Early and Late-Onset Alcoholics.’’, HIGLEY, J. DEE; THOMPSON, W.; CHAMPOUX, M.: GOLDMAN, D.; HAERT, M. F.; KRAEMER, G. W.; SCANLAN, J. M.; SUOMU, S. J.; and LINNOILA, M. ‘‘Paternal and Maternal Genetic and Environmental Contributions to Cerebrospinal Fluid Monoamine Metabolites in Rhesus Monkeys.’’, LAPPALAINEN, JAAKKO; LONG, JEFFREY; EGGERT, MONICA; OZAKI, NORIO; ROBIN, ROBERT W.; BROWN, GERALD L.; NAUKKARINEN, HANNU; VIRKKUNEN, MATTI; LINNOILA, MARKKU; and GOLDMAN, DAVID. Within the context of a community sample, Hibbeln and others found that relative to the nonviolent control group, the violent group evidenced significantly lower concentration levels of CSF 5-HIAA. ‘‘A Prospective Follow-up Study of Alcoholic Violent Offenders and Fire Setters.’’, VIRKKUNEN, MATTI; RAWLINGS, ROBERT; TOKOLA, RIITA; POLAND, RUSSELL; GUIDOTTI, ALESSANDRO; NEMEROFF, CHARLES; BISSETTE, GARTH; KALOGERAS, KONSTANTINE; KARONEN, SIRKKALIISA; and LINNOILA, MARKKU. ‘‘Mental Illness and Criminal Violence.’’, MOFFIT, TEMI ‘‘Parental Mental Disorder and Offspring Criminal Behavior: An Adoption Study.’’. Continued efforts to pinpoint specific brain regions associated with an increased risk in violent offending will advance our understanding of the etiology of violent criminal behavior. Cross-fostering Analysis of Gene-Environment Interaction.’’, CROWE, RAYMOND ‘‘An Adoption Study of Antisocial Behavior.’’, DALGAARD, OLE, and KRINGLEN, EINAR A. There were 126 male-male halfsibling pairs placed in separate adoptive homes. RAINE, ADRIAN. Therefore, the main backbone elements of crime are personality traits of a potential criminal and the social conditions of life. There are several chapters that are particularly compelling for their historical accounts, and the thread of biological theories of crime weaves through them. Grove found substantial overlap between the genetic influences for both childhood conduct disorders (correlation of .41) and adult antisocial behaviors (correlation of .28). With the Heston study in mind, Moffit investigated the role of parental mental illness in the emergence of violent offending among the Danish adopted-away sons. Therefore, given the limited utility of family studies to separate issues of nature versus nurture, this section will focus on two other epidemiological research designs that are better equipped to test for genetic effects. Of the 126 male-male half-sibling pairs in the study 31 pairs had at least one member of the sibship convicted. The field of neuroscience, through the use of brain imaging techniques, has provided illuminating data on the etiology of severe mental disorders, including depression and schizophrenia. Thus, similarities between the adoptee and biological parents can be regarded as estimates of genetic influences, while similarities between the adoptee and the adoptive parents may be thought of as estimates of environmental influences. LEARNING OUTLINE: The • Defi The • Descr 3. In The Criminal Brain, well-known criminologist Nicole Rafter traces the sometimes violent history of these criminological theories and provides an introduction to current biological theories of crime, or biocriminology, with predictions of how these theories are likely to develop in the future. Perhaps impulsive violent acts may reflect a genetic predisposition toward this type of behavior while property offending may be driven more by economic or social factors. Genetics being one of them. Second, a high refusal rate of adoptee interviews introduces the possibility that adoptees who consented to be interviewed may be qualitatively different from those who declined. In an Iowan adoption study (n = 246 male and female adoptees), Cadoret and Cain found that the presence of alcohol or antisocial symptoms in the biological parents interacted with adverse environmental conditions, such as the presence of alcohol and antisocial problems in the adoptive parents, time spent in foster care, and divorced status of the adoptive parents, to produce a marked increase in the incidence of adolescent antisocial behavior. If you need a thorough research paper written according to all the academic standards, you can always turn to our experienced writers for help. One of the chief findings to emerge from the Swedish Adoption Study is evidence for a distinct, highly heritable form of alcoholism and criminality that may be transmitted from father to son (Cloninger et al., 1981). BAKER, LAURA; MACK, WENDY; MOFFITT, TEMI E.; and MEDNICK, SARNOFF A. Mednick, Machon, and Huttenen hypothesized that a common etiological link between schizophrenia and violence may be a disturbance in fetal neural development in the second trimester. 1995). These offspring were separated from their mothers shortly after birth and placed in foster care or orphanages. ‘‘Maternal Smoking during Pregnancy and Delinquency of the Offspring: An Association Without Causation?’’, SIGVARDSSON, SOREN; BOHMAN, MICHAEL; and CLONINGER, C. ROBERT. One such teratogen that has been extensively investigated is the timing of maternal influenza exposure in relation to negative outcomes in the exposed fetuses. Crime Causation: Biological Theories Genetic Epidemiological Studies, Gene-environment Interactions, Sex Differences In Genetic Liability To Criminality, Is There A Genetic Liability To Violence? ‘‘Genetic-Environmental Interaction in the Genesis of Aggressivity and Conduct Disorders.’’, CAREY, GREGORY. A significant increase in the rate of violent offending is noted only among offspring whose biological parents were severely criminal (typically the biological father) and had been hospitalized one or more times for a psychiatric condition (typically the biological mother). It may also be difficult if not impossible to identify a specific month or trimester associated with the highest risk of negative outcome in cases where the teratogen is present throughout development, or when the long-term effects of the teratogen may linger and have residual effects throughout the period of gestation. Of these 31 pairs, 4 pairs were concordant for convictions (concordance rate = 12.9 percent for half-siblings). ‘‘Replication of the Stockholm Adoption Study of Alcoholism.’’, SIGVARDSSON, SOREN; CLONINGER, C. ROBERT; BOHMAN, MICHAEL; and VON KNORRING, ANNE LIS. Adoptees are separated at birth from their biological parents. Recently, an impressive body of evidence, primarily obtained from biochemical studies, has accumulated regarding the role of the serotonin system in criminal behavior. Humans are part of the natural world, just like any other plant or animal, which means humanity is subject to the same biological, genetic, and evolutionary processes as everything else. For example, chapter 3 deals with the field of phrenology, the popular 19th century notion of being able to understand character and conduct by examining the contours of the skull. Introduction of some types of teratogens, such as illegal drugs, alcohol, and nicotine, may represent substances that, regardless of when they are introduced, could potentially be harmful to the exposed fetus. Taken together, twin and adoption studies provide convincing evidence that criminal behavior, in both males and females, may have genetic influences. 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