Adults are responsible for their actions. Today, that is what society says. A person does not do wrong things just because of his biological make up. That is a very old-fashioned thinking. Behavioral scientists have studied this topic since the 1800s. But they found out later on that there is no biological link to being a criminal (Crossman, 2000). Today, these studies look judgmental and discriminating, same as why people burned women on the stake when they thought they were witches. But science continues to advance. The knowledge about the human body increases. Some scientists still think there might be a connection between one’s genes and one’s behavior.
The old theories about this subject are the Y Chromosome Theory, Sheldon’s Theory of Body Types, and Lombroso’s Theory. Lombroso tried to prove that some people are “born criminals.” He says that some people’s brains are less developed. They are more immature. Because of this, they are more likely to do violent acts (Crossman, 2000). This theory is very judgmental. This does not consider the way the criminals were brought up, or what their environment looks like. The Y chromosome theory says that some people have two Y chromosomes, and this excess “male-ness” is what gives them the urge to commit crimes (Crossman, 2000). This theory is obviously very gender-biased and only one study supported this. The rest do not show that this is true. Sheldon’s Theory of Body Types says that muscular people are more likely to commit crimes than thin or stout people (Crossman, 2000). Imagine if this theory has become popular. People would not go to the gym and work out, and athletes would not be a respectable group of people just because of their figure. That is the problem with these previous theories. They have not thought the environment of the criminals, and the people that influenced them. A person has free will and chooses his actions. And people’s sense of right and wrong came from his environment, not his genes.
However, because of the advances in science, some criminologists, like Adriane Raine (2002) gathered more data to prove that biological make up and tendency to do crimes are related. He said that this is not to judge, but to search for the truth (Criminologist, 2013). If a biological link found to being criminal, and a person may have no control over it, should it not be sought for so that real prevention can be done? Raine (2002, p.46) looked into the study of twins, and saw that identical twins (with exactly the same DNA) are likely to be both criminals, than fraternal ones. A study of adopted children shows that children with criminal biological parents are more likely to be criminals than those with adoptive parents that are criminals (the environment they lived in is not considered) (Raine, 2002, p.48). Even if the conclusion is not solid yet, Raine’s study gives credit to continue the study.
In conclusion, until proven otherwise by science, it is not an excuse to do crimes then blame the genes for it. People must be raised therefore with a good moral and compassion for people to prevent crimes. There are more social issues to solve that could prevent crimes, like poverty and good governance. This is has more direct impact in lowering crime rates for now.
Crossman, Ashley. (2000) Biological Explanations Of Deviant Behavior. Retrieved from http://sociology.about.com/od/Deviance/a/Biological-Explanations-Of-Deviant-Behavior.htm
Criminologist Believes Violent Behavior Is Biological. (2013, April 30). Retrieved from http://www.npr.org/2013/05/01/180096559/criminologist-believes-violent-behavior-is-biological
Raine, Adrian. The Biological Basis of Crime. (2002). Retrieved from http://cooley.libarts.wsu.edu/soc3611/soc%20361%20summer%202008/biologicalbasiscrime.pdf