Psy 410 Abnormal Behavior

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Case Study in Abnormal Behavior
Research supports both arguments in nature vs. nurture. Biological factors are considered while the child is still in the womb, such as stressors and hormone levels. Genetic factors also play a role in determining if an individual will commit a criminal act, and diagnosing the person with Anti Social Personality Disorder (ASPD) (Meyers, 2006). Another factor that is considered is the environment in which a person grows up in (nurture). For example, a child experiencing abuse, punishment, depression and anxiety all combined with social and biological factors are explanations developing serial killers. In Jeffrey Dahmer’s case there seems to be a number of influences that motivated his actions, such as; socially, nurture and biological explanations. Jeffrey Dahmer

Jeffrey Dahmer, a serial killer, murdered seventeen men from 1978 to 1991, the murders he committed involved, necrophilia, dismemberment, rape, cannibalism (Meyer, 2006). As a child Dahmer had low self-esteem and an introverted personality, he also demonstrated unusual behavior, for example, he would collect dead animals and pour acid on them. As a teenager he began abusing alcohol, and by age eighteen his parents had divorced. Soon after, Dahmer killed his first victim, a hitchhiker, Stephen Hicks-by blunt trauma to the head (Bardsley, 2008). Over the years, Dahmer made an attempt to be a part of society, by attending the Ohio State University, but dropped out after a few semesters, because of his drinking problem. He then enlisted in the military, he served as a medic for about eighteen months, and he was discharged for his alcoholism problem (Wattermann, n.d.). He moved in with his grandmother for about six years. He would frequent gay bars, his behavior was becoming stranger. In 1987 Steven Toumi became his second victim (Bardsley, 2008). In 1988 Dahmer was arrested and charged sexually molesting a thirteen year old boy. He was given a ten months sentence in prison, which he served; he was also registered as a sex offender. Dahmer’s father rejected him as an alcoholic and child molester, which worsened Dahmer’s sense of isolation (Bardsley, 2008). Over the next few years Dahmer murdered fifteen more men, specifically African Americans, most of them he picked up at gay bars. Dahmer would usually drug his victims, kill them, and then engage in necrophilia before he mutilated their bodies. Dahmer would keep his victims heads and genitals for trophies, he would eat the muscles later on. His other victims were subjected to lobotomies, for example Dahmer would pour acid in the resultant holes, and leave them alive for a few more, gruesome days (Bardsley, 2008). In 1991 Dahmer’s crimes were uncovered by the police, they discovered many mutilated body parts and skulls. Dahmer was sentenced to sixteen consecutive life sentences, for the crimes he committed, but in 1994 he was murdered by an inmate in prison (Bardsley, 2008). Biology, Psychological, and Social Factors

Through a biological view, some injuries or diseases may result in violent tendencies, or have an effect on paraphilic behavior. Dahmer’s father suggested that Dahmer’s mother may have contributed to their son’s behavior, because of the medications she used during her pregnancy. Soon after giving birth to Dahmer, his mother went through post partum depression and emotional instabilities. However, biological factors do not always indicate the differences for individual characteristics. Psychologically, emotions play an import role in a person’s life through their presence as anxiety, sexual frustration, fear, guilt, and anger (Millner, 2005). Dahmer’s actions were an indication of how he personally coped with his homosexuality. His feelings of abandonment, manifest from an early age, coincide with research that suggests that those who engage in necrophilia have low self-esteem (“Necrophilia,” n.d.) Dahmer had no need to fear rejection, with dead...
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