The Causes of Crime Essay

The Causes of Crime Essay

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The causes of crime seem to be indefinite and ever changing. In the 19th century, slum poverty was blamed; in the 20th century, a childhood without love was blamed (Adams 152). In the era going into the new millennium, most experts and theorists have given up all hope in trying to pinpoint one single aspect that causes crime. Many experts believe some people are natural born criminals who are born with criminal mindsets, and this is unchangeable. However, criminals are not a product of heredity. They are a product of their environment and how they react to it. This may seem like a bogus assumption, but is undoubtedly true.
There is a study devoted to finding the causes of crime and what makes people criminals. This study is appropriately called criminology. There are two main theories which criminologists categorize causes of crime, and sometimes an individual would be subject to both their influences. Theories in the first group locate the causes of crime inside the individual, which focus on stress and other psychological factors. Conversely, theories categorized in the second group focus the causes of crime on factors that are out of the control of the certain individual. These influences are sociological.
Some psychologists theorize that criminals are born with a predisposition towards mental illness. Even though this is a widely accepted idea, for a mental illness to come out, it has to be catalyzed by the person's environment. In other words, even if a person were born with the biological makings of a criminal, depending on how he was raised and how he lived life would determine if this inherent attribute would manifest. There needs to be an external cause to trigger the characteristic.
Many criminologists are stuck on developing biological explanations to the make-up of criminals. These theories are often called "bad seed" theories. They hold that criminals are born and not developed. The most recently discovered "bad seed" theory is that some men are born with an extra Y chromesone that makes them more aggressive (Adams 157). The problem with this theory is if one of these men with the extra chromosome was raised in a way that would inhibit the individual's trait, you would never see the characteristics of this extra chromosome and it would just devalue this theory. Another problem with this theory is that there are criminals who just happen to ...


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...ves them the confidence they need to continue their criminal behavior without fear of getting caught. And there are enough people in a city that no matter how you act; you could find people just like you. If you have a tendency to get in trouble a lot, you could easily find someone to encourage your actions.
A social status, whether you like it or not, can drag you into or out of a life of crime. A dead-broke bum with no house is forced to steal food in order to stay alive, and steal clothing in order to stay warm. Of course, you could suffer and not break any laws, but the immediate need would usually outweigh the consequences. You may not be literally forced into a life of crime, but it just might be the best choice you have. Being in such need makes stealing seem much more attractive than it would if you had no need to steal.
As stated in the preceding paragraphs, criminals are influenced and not born. You can easily infer this on your own, but with the help of this report it seems much more obvious. The most obvious and consistent influence in the development of a person seems to be the environment in which they live in and the influence, or lack thereof, of their parents.

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