Are Criminals Born or Made?

1016 WordsJan 31, 20105 Pages
Are criminals born or made? A criminal is defined as someone who has committed a crime. Psychologists have come up with many theories and reasons about why people commit crimes. The two main explanations lie in genetic and environmental factors, which relates to the nature and nurture debate. Studies have been carried out to explain criminal behavior. Some suggest that criminals are born; these are twin and adoption studies. On the other hand there are also studies that have been conducted to prove that criminals are made by society; these include the social learning theory and labeling behavior. These are examples I will use to support both sides of the argument to determine whether criminals are born or made. Some biologists, medical…show more content…
This explains how a criminal can be made, by no particular person but by a society and a series of actions. This theory does not explain all criminal activity but it gives an insight into how criminals are formed, more specifically in the lower socio-economic groups of society who most likely have had the observational learning of criminal behaviour shown in the Social Learning Theory. After analysing both sides of the debate, the best possible answer could be a combination of the two variables in question. That is when is found the ‘Diathesis stress model’ that states that there are people born with a tendency for violence for various reasons but may or may not become violent depending upon environmental factors. Research studies (Raine, 1993) have provided evidence of brain abnormalities contributing to aggression and criminal behaviour, while other studies have been demonstrating a link between serotonin levels and aggression. Returning to the diathesis stress model, for an individual to evolve into a criminal, they would need to be biologically predisposed to violence and have negative environmental factors, which would cause the aggressive impulses to be expressed. Under this theory, two individuals biologically predisposed to aggression will develop differently

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