Nature vs. Nurture - Are Criminals Born Or Made?

Essay by torontoboyCollege, UndergraduateA+, April 2006

download word file, 8 pages 4.5 1 reviews

Downloaded 320 times

Do individuals become criminals as a result of heredity or genetics or is it their environment that is in fact at play? This question has left Criminologists in debate for the better part of our modern era. In order to help answer this question we must first take a closer look at the concept of Nature vs. Nurture, a popular psychological term initially created by Darwin and other positivists. "Nature vs. Nurture" refers to internal and external factors that play a role in behaviour, in this case in reference to criminals. "Nature" is paired up with the biological explanation known as internal factors. "Supporters of the biological perspective argue that we must identify the role of heredity and the importance of biophysical, as well as biosocial factors, in the environment." "Nurture", on the other hand, is always paired up with the psychological and environmental explanation known as external factors. Supporters of psychological or environmental perspective argue that we are influenced less by heredity than by social external influence.

(Winterdyk, 2006:117-118). For the purpose of this essay, each perspective will be written about individually to obtain a more objective view.

"Nature" - Biological Perspective

* "A study on the prevalence of mental health problems among male federal inmates revealed that a significant number of the offenders surveyed met the criteria for anti-social personality disorders (Motiuk & Porporino, 1992)."

* "Comparing 41 murderers to 41 matched control patients, Raine, Buschshaum, and La Casse (1997) found that murderers had significantly lower levels of glucose uptake in the prefrontal cortex of the brain."

* "In summarizing the observations of several keynote speakers at the June 1995 conference called Violence as a Public Health Issue, held in Midland, Ontario, Carter noted that 'young people are more violent than ever before' and that there appeared to...