Nature VS Nurture – Are Criminals Born or Made? Essay

2735 Words Apr 10th, 2014 11 Pages
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Nature VS Nurture – Are Criminals Born or Made?

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Intro
The search for causes of crime forms the basis of most criminological studies. There are numerous explanations for crime: psychological, evolutionary, genetical,
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Adoption studies have also been conducted to test for the criminal behaviours of the adopted-away children, if their biological parents had also been involved with criminal activity. In Iowa, the first adoption study was conducted that looked at the genetics of criminal behaviour. The researchers found that as compared to the control group, the adopted individuals, which were born to incarcerated female offenders, had a higher rate of criminal convictions as adults. Another study in Sweden also showed that if a biological background existed for criminality, then there was an increased risk of criminal behaviours in the adopted children. These evidences support the existence of a heritable component to antisocial or criminal behavior (Tehrani & Mednick, 2000).
However, while the overstimulation of the Id and the failure to acquire and develop the the Ego and SuperEgo leads to criminal tendencies, while aggression may be out of adaptive values, and while genetic studies have pointed towards the influence of genes and criminal behaviour, these theories alone are insufficient to account for crime. Evolutionary theory does not explain or predict for the extreme degrees of aggression in individuals nor has the genetic theory proven for 100% heritability; which raises the need for us to examine the Nurture camp of crime theories as well.
Nurture
Behavioural psychology posits that a person's behaviour is learned and maintained by its consequences, or

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