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Is it the responsibility of an individual's genetic makeup that makes them a criminal or is it the environment in which they are raised that determines their outcome?
Research has been conducted regarding this debate which has resulted in a conclusion that both genes and environment do play a role in the criminality of an individual.
This evidence has been generated from a number of twin, family, and adoption studies as well as laboratory experiments. Furthermore, the research has stated that it is more often an interaction between genes and the environment that predicts criminal behavior.
Having a genetic predisposition for criminal behavior does not determine the actions of an individual, but if they are exposed to the right environment, then their chances are greater for engaging in criminal or anti-social behavior.
Therefore, this paper will examine the different functions that genetics and the environment play in the criminal behavior of individuals. There is a vast amount of evidence that shows our criminal justice system is the new home for individuals with psychological problems.
Although this may seem like a solution to some, it is creating a dilemma for our society. Once we label these individuals as criminals it creates a stigma for those who may suffer from psychological problems.
Certain psychological problems have been shown to be heritable and if given the right circumstances, individuals with those genes could find themselves engaging in criminal activity.
Therefore, should society look towards limiting the reproductive capabilities of individuals who suffer from certain psychological problems to better society?
That same question was asked back in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries when the role of genetics in crime was widely accepted Joseph, Prominent researchers believed that genes were fully responsible for criminal activity and that criminals could be identified by their physiological features.
This period was therefore marked with inhumane treatment and the belief that genes were the sole reason behind criminal behavior. Not long after the practices of controlled breeding, there was evidence to support the idea that the environment also played an important role in crime.
Early family studies were conducted that showed a predisposition for criminal behavior as a result of inherited characteristics, but that an individual's characteristics and personality could still be modified by the environment Joseph, Although these studies were void of high validity and reliability, it still raised the question of whether the environment can also influence individuals to act in a criminal manner.
The debate between genetics and environment continues today with much more reliable research and data. Consequently, this paper will examine the various roles in which both genes and environmental factors influence criminal behavior. Definition and Measurement of Criminal Behavior To fully understand the nature of how genes and the environment influence criminal behavior, one must first know how criminal behavior is defined.
Therefore determining what constitutes criminal behavior can envelope a wide variety of activities and for that reason, researchers tend to focus on the wider context of antisocial behavior.
Authors Morley and Hallwho have investigated the genetic influences on criminal behavior, point out three different ways to define antisocial behavior. First is equating it with criminality and delinquency, which both involve engaging in criminal acts.
Information can be collected using court and criminal records, as well as self report surveys to analyze the influences that were present. Secondly, they advise individuals to define antisocial behavior is through criteria used to diagnose certain personality disorders.
More specifically, they mean those personality disorders, such as Antisocial Personality Disorder, which is associated with an increased risk in criminal activity.Conclusion. Psychologists have been debating the influence of nature versus nurture over human characteristics for a very long time. After the scientific world came to recognize that biology and environment both play a role, the emphasis shifted to determining which was more important.4/5(5).
Nurture It is a matter of concern whether human behaviors and characteristics are determined by nature or nurture. If a person’s behavior is inherited directly from the genes of his/her parents or other biological factors, then it .
Criminal behavior has always been a focus for psychologists due to the age old debate between nature and nurture. Is it the responsibility of an individual's genetic makeup that makes them a criminal or is it the environment in which they are raised that determines their outcome?
Nature And Nurture On Childhood Development - Majority of the research done has been aimed at identifying certain sources of the nurture or environmental side, has focused on family environments, instead of including school environment, and on personality and behaviour problems instead of .
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yes it really hurts. As an Ethiopian who lives and work here in USA I am ashamed of some bad apples for their contribution to the already sour Ethiopian and African American relationship.