Essay about Is Criminal Behaviour Inherited or Learned?

Essay about Is Criminal Behaviour Inherited or Learned?

Length: 1438 words (4.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Term Papers

Open Document

Essay Preview

Criminologists and sociologist have long been in debate for century's to explain criminal behaviour. The two main paradigms of thought are between 'nature' and 'nurture'. Nature is in reference to a learnt behaviour where a multitude of characteristics, in society influence whether a person becomes deviant such as poverty, physical abuse or neglect. Nurture defines biological features which could inevitability lead to a individuals deviant or criminal behaviour, because criminality is believed by biological positivist to be inherited from a persons parents. However, I believe that criminal behaviour is a mixture of characteristics that lead to deviant acts such as psychological illness & Environmental factors. Therefore, this essay will aim to analyse both biological positivist and psychological positivist perspectives in hope of showing to what extent they play a role in criminal behaviour. Firstly, the essay will look at Cesare Lombroso's research on physical features and how these ideas have moved on to then develop scientific ideas such as genetics to explain criminal behaviour. Secondly, the essay will focus on external factors which may be able to explain criminal behaviour such as the social influences, life chances and Material deprivation.

Ceasare Lombroso is one of the first scholars that developed ideas to explain the reasons why some people behaved more deviant than others or committed crimes. Lombroso conducted research on several prisoners measuring facial features and skull size. He later published a book called “the criminal man in 1876” (Dwyer, 2001 p.15). Lombroso believed that there was two different types of human beings, those who had evolved properly and another which did not. They were more primitive an...

... middle of paper ...

... 86). Hence why I believe that criminal behaviour is influenced by mixture of a persons social background, life chances and pathology

Works Cited

Dwyer, D. (2001). Angels on Criminal Psychology. Cheltenham: Nelson Thornes

Newburn, T. (2013). Crminology. 2nd ed. Abingdon: Routledge.

Reviews, C.T and Siegel, L.J. (2012). Criminology. Belmont: WadsworthPublishing Co

Sacco, V.F and Kennedy, L.W (2011). The Criminal Event: An Introduction to Criminology in Canada. Toronto Cengage Learning.

Morgan, R., Maguire, M. And Reiner, R. (2012). The Oxford Handbook of Criminology. 5th ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Hollin, C. (2013). Psychology and Crime: An Introduction to Criminological Psychology. London: Routledge

Hallswort, S. And Young, T. (2004) Getting Real About Gang. Criminal Justice Matters [online]. 55. (1), pp 12-13 [Accessed 10 December 2013]

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Criminal Behavior Essay

- Many scholars have attempted to explain criminal behaviour by identifying a genetic trait or other biological causes or indicator for criminality (Cullen and Agnew, 2011). Ellis and Walsh (2011) argue that while there is not a single “criminal behaviour” genetic trait, there are genetic trait that are associated with crime. They further suggest that these traits might provide evolutionary advantages to their holders in some circumstances. For example, traits such as deception and cheating would likely be evolutionary advantageous to maximizing a male's reproductive capabilities....   [tags: Biology, Ellis and Walsh]

Term Papers
641 words (1.8 pages)

Psychological Approaches On Criminal Behavior Essay

- There are rules in place that are enforced through social institutions to control behaviour in a particular country or community, known as the law. Acts which intentionally go against the law such as assault, rape, drug possession and theft are all examples of universal crimes that result to punishment, from fines to imprisonment. Criminal behaviour is therefore failure to comply by the law. Psychologist have a particular interest in serious criminal offenders, they believe they have a different personality to ‘normal’ people....   [tags: Psychology, Sigmund Freud, Crime, Conviction]

Term Papers
1043 words (3 pages)

What Determines Criminal Behavior? Essay

- What determines criminal behavior. Are they born to be a natural born killer, is it in their genes, or is it a learned behavior. There are multiple factors resulting in criminal behavior, from genes to environmental factors. Although it is said and believed that criminal behavior is biologically determined there are even more learned or environmental factors that play a role in criminal behavior. There are four top social risk factors believed for the involvement of crime. Parental behavior plays a large role in a child’s risk of involvement of crime because of the parent’s influence on a child’s development (“Social Risk Factors for Involvement of Crime”)....   [tags: Natural Born Killers, Genes, Learned Behavior]

Term Papers
1399 words (4 pages)

Can Criminologists Provide an Adequate Explanation to Serial Killers Essay

- This essay aims to provide an answer to whether or not criminologists can provide an adequate explanation for serial killing. Academic experts and police believe that serial killing is the rarest form of homicide, however a serial killer is categorised as an individual who has killed three or more people, who were previously unknown to the killer, with a ‘cooling-off’ period between killings. Psychological explanations of crime provide a unique way of looking at criminals. They are more focused on the individual itself, rather than its surroundings and thus have huge input into trying to explain and categorise serial killing....   [tags: forensic profiling, criminal psychology]

Term Papers
1700 words (4.9 pages)

Criminal Behavior And The Learning Of Other Non Criminal Behaviour Essay

- In this sense of learned behavioural processes, Sutherland (1939) came to the conclusion that there is no difference between the learning of criminal behaviour and the learning of other non-criminal behaviour. Thus people are ‘a product of his environment’, (Landesco: 1929: 221) and their criminal behaviour is a product of a person’s general needs and values, though these needs and values do not explain the crime because those who choose to engage in non-criminal behaviour are a product of the same needs and values as those who commit crime....   [tags: Criminology, Crime, Theft, Gang]

Term Papers
1024 words (2.9 pages)

To What Extent is Criminal Behaviour Biologically Determined? Essay example

- Criminal acts (any behaviour which breaks the laws of the land) have, consistently, through history played a large role within society, with 8.5 million crimes committed in the UK alone in the year of 2013. Consequently, many explanations have been offered as to why they occur. Finding a definitive explanation would profit society greatly, since it could prevent anti-social behaviour and improve deterrent techniques. Determinism purports that all physical phenomena (events) have a physical cause governed by physical laws, and therefore since human actions are events, human action has a physical cause governed by physical laws also....   [tags: adoption, criminal acts, reductionism]

Term Papers
1276 words (3.6 pages)

How do Differential Association Theories best Demonstrate that Criminal Behaviour is a ‘Learned Behaviour’

- Differential association theory was Sutherland’s major sociological contribution to criminology, similar in importance to strain theory and social control theory. These theories all explain deviance in terms of the individual’s social relationship. Sutherland’s theory make tracks from the pathological perspective and biological perspective by features the cause of crime to the social context of individuals. “He rejected biological determinism and the extreme individualism of psychiatry, as well as economic explanation of crime....   [tags: crimes,differential association,social learning]

Term Papers
1008 words (2.9 pages)

Strain Theories of Criminal Behaviour Essay

- Strain theories of criminal behaviour have been amongst the most important and influential in the field of criminology. Taking a societal approach, strain theories have sought to explain deficiencies in social structure that lead individuals to commit crime (Williams and McShane 2010). Strain theories operate under the premise that there is a societal consensus of values, beliefs, and goals with legitimate methods for achieving success. When individuals are denied access to legitimate methods for achieving success, the result is anomie or social strain....   [tags: Strain Theories of Crime]

Term Papers
2001 words (5.7 pages)

Insight Into Criminal Behavior Essay

-   Juvenile exposure to criminal behavior increases the chances that those individuals will also engage in criminal behavior. Research gives us insight to prevent or reduce criminality and rehabilitate violators of the law that engage in criminal behavior. What causes people to commit crimes. Interdisciplinary criminology gives us a better understanding from several fields of study of a better understanding of crime. Influential factors that influence criminal behaviors are psychological, sociological, and biological....   [tags: juvenile, criminal justice]

Term Papers
1736 words (5 pages)

Essay Criminal Behavior

- Criminal law is essentially concerned with the regulation of behaviour. This may involve prohibitions on some kinds of behaviour such as stealing another person’s property or harming them deliberately. Some criminal laws may require a specific action, such as having insurance when driving a car, or complying with regulations. In some instances it is the combination of behaviour with a particular situation that defines a crime such as being drunk in a public place. In others it is the combination of status with behaviour such as the purchase of alcohol by someone under 16 years of age....   [tags: Criminal Law Essays]

Term Papers
580 words (1.7 pages)