Genetic Theories of Crime

Topics: Psychology, Crime, Sociology Pages: 3 (968 words) Published: February 28, 2011
Kaplan university|
Genetic Theories of Crime|
Renee Mikelonis Flores|


There are many theories as to why people commit crimes. Three theories that have been studied are biological, sociological, and psychological. Cesare Lambroso (1836-1909) believed that some people were born predisposed to antisocial behavior.Lambroso also believed that physical characteristics such as big ears, fat lips, and other physical characteristics were connected to the criminal (Greene, 2007). Biological theories of crime look for biochemical or psychological problems that people have to link them to criminal behavior. This theory believes that people are born with “criminal genes”. It is thought that criminals can be identified through their physical characteristics and their DNA. Some researchers think that genes we inherit from parents play a role in our development. Others think the environment has a stronger role in which we become. English scientist Sir Francis Galton began to study how genetics influence intelligence. Galton believed that children inherit their intelligence from their parents, and genes were responsible for this. Galton began to do twin studies to test his theory. Identical twins have identical genetic compositions. By studying identical twins, rose in two different environments. Scientists can see the impact of genes on their developments. Scientists also study fraternal twins. These twins share 50 percent of their genes. Modern twin studies have shown that physical characteristics of twins are genetic, but characteristics of intelligence or personality are affected by society or family surroundings (Wallon). There have been studies that have sorted out the differences between crimes against property, and violent crimes against people. In these studies they have found heredity plays more of a role in violent crimes such as assaults, burglary, armed robbery and sexual offenses. Environment plays more of a role in non...
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