Are Serial Killers Born Or Made?

1885 WordsApr 5, 20178 Pages
Are Serial Killers Born or Made? Are serial killers determined by nature or nurture – are they born? Or are they made? It is hypothesized that serial killers are made by the environment that they grow up in but that they all have a predisposition to sociopathic tendencies. This research paper aims to provide support for previous studies about the extent to which nature and nurture influence and determine the likelihood of a person becoming a serial killer. The term serial killer, as defined by Robert Ressler (1974), refers to a person who commits a series of murders, often with no apparent motive and typically following a characteristic and predictable behaviour pattern. Commonly used terms like sociopath and psychopath are no longer…show more content…
In the 1980s the very first functional brain scanning study of killers was carried out by British neuroscientist, Professor Adrian Raine. The Professor and his team scanned the brain of many killers and found that all the scans were quite similar (Appendix D); they then compared them to the brain scans of people who weren’t convicted murderers (Appendix E). These scans support Dr Richard Davidsons findings related to the anterior cingulated cortex, orbital frontal cortex, and amygdale. The results showed that serial killers appear to have brains which make them more prone to anger and rage and unable to control themselves (Davidson. 2000). Raine suggested that childhood abuse may have caused physical damage to the brain, which caused the subjects to be predisposed to violent tendencies, however, only a small proportion of those who had a terrible childhood grew up to become murderers. In 1993, a family from the Netherlands found that all the men had a history of violence. After 15 years of research, it was discovered that all the men lacked the same gene which produces an enzyme called monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) which regulates the levels of neurotransmitters involved in impulse control (n/a. 2015). Jim Fallon, a professor of psychiatry in California, discovered that there were many murderers in his family tree and so decided to have himself genetically
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