Can Genetics Cause Crime?

Topics: Crime, Violence, Genetics Pages: 3 (928 words) Published: October 8, 1999
Can Genetics Cause Crime?

Introduction to Criminal Justice System
Dr. Mike Carlie

Are genetic factors more likely to make one person perform violent acts? Many doctors and researchers in the field of genetics have searched for a answer to this question.
During 1989-93 one such researcher named Dr. Sullivan found some interesting points about genetics and crime.
Sullivan while working for the Bush administration's secretary of health and human services during 1989-1993 was appalled by the epidemic of violent crimes he saw taking place in American cities. According to Dr. Sullivan, "more than 26,000 Americans were murdered,

and six million violent crimes were committed
with young men and minorities falling victim
most frequently". Sullivan also reported that about one in every 27 black men, compared to one in every 205 white men, died violently also 1 in 117 black women met a untimely end as compared to white women which only 1 in 496 were killed due to violent crimes. This is not surprising that young males commit most of the serious crimes. According to an article in Scientific American, only 12.5 percent of violent crime in the U.S. in 1992 was committed by females. What is also surprising according to W.W. Gibbs the author of "Seeking the Criminal Element," in Scientific American,(1995 March) pp 100-107, is that a very small number of criminals are responsible for the majority of the violent crime.

Sullivan who is now the president of the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta wanted to try and address the violence as a public health issue. In an interview after he left office in 1993, Dr. Sullivan explains that his rational for this was that the higher increases in violent crimes and specifically homicide in the young male population in large cities. Which was higher than any other social group in America at this time.

Dr. Sullivan then began to organize his department's research resources under the banner...

Cited: Gidds W.W. (1995,March) "Seeking the Criminal Element,"
Scientic American, pp 100-108.
Hallinan J. (1995, March 19th) "Prisons Becoming Major
Industry," the Huntsville Times, pp A19-20.
Internet Address Text:, Genetics and
Crime, By Wilson R.J. (1994),
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