Biochemical Conditions and Crime
Many factors can contribute to the activities linked to crime, some criminologists turned to the biological basis of criminology. Research efforts have been made to better understand the areas of biochemical and neurophysiologic factors that have been associated to crime.
There are several areas of interest in biochemical factors such as diet, sugar, hormonal imbalances, and environmental contaminations. What people eat and take into their bodies may control their behaviors. In some instances, excessive amounts of harmful substances such as food dyes and artificial colors and flavors seem to provoke hostile, impulsive, and otherwise antisocial behaviors (Siegel 137). Vitamin deficiency and dependency can also have an effect on behavior, studies show that a major problem proportion of all schizophrenics and children with learning and behavioral disorders are dependent on vitamins B3 and B6 (Siegel 138). Another suspected nutritional influence on behavior is a diet high in sugar and carbohydrates. Diets high in sugar and carbohydrate have been linked to violence, high aggression, and associated with attention span deficiencies. Research shows that among adolescent males, iron deficiency is directly associated with aggressive behavior. Furthermore, one study found that iron deficiency was nearly twice as prevalent in a group of incarcerated adolescents as among their non- incarcerated peers ( ). Research has also linked hypoglycemia to outbursts of antisocial behavior and violence (Siegel 140). These biocriminologists, who believe that food and crime are associated, think that if diet can be improved then the frequency or violent behavior would be reduced. Biosocial theorists also have been looking at the link between hormonal levels and violent behavior. Hormones exert a strong influence on behavior testosterone, and other androgens, are probably the most important hormones in criminology. Testosterone has been...
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