• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Is crime purely genetic?

Extracts from this document...


Crime Evidently speaking, where biology is concerned we only need to go as far as our textbooks from school to see how genes provide the make up of all life. Genes come from our parents and are the cause and blueprint for every (mal)function within us. But when it comes to the function of emotions, reactions and even the rational thinking within people, how much of this influence is purely genetic? Can family shape us in anyway or is something else entirely responsible for us being different. Either way no one person is completely identical (twins included). Sarnof Mednick from Denmark argues that a link exists between children and parents not only biologically but also criminally. The behaviour of adopted children was compared with their adoptive and biological parents and a much stronger biological relationship was found. ...read more.


This too is transmitted generation to generation, but the syndrome discussed is more one of a 'collection of anti-social dispositions and patterns of behaviour' than that found in the genes. David Farrington, social-psychological researcher, argues that criminal offending stems from an antisocial personality syndrome that emerges within the family. Although its origins are unclear it appears to be transmitted down the generations - "...problem children tend to grow up into problem adults and ... problem adults tend to produce more problem children". The syndrome is transmitted via poor or inappropriate parenting to their children usually in the form of a troubled family background including alcohol and drug abuse, family violence, truancy and school failure, unemployment, and marital disharmony. Although both these claims provide evidence to suggest why crime occurs, it does not even start to cover the ground of crimes committed by groups. ...read more.


However, biologically you can only go so far as to explain criminality. Since the definition of crime is a social factor that relies on social messages around us, (its OK to steal office stationery but not to kill people) it is almost impossible to place criminality genes on people. Personality traits may be in the genes but socially it depends on where you stand in the crowd IF it's a crime. The findings of a family study can be considered very reliable since it follows an individual's life over a long period of time. This idea itself must be followed with caution since it does not consider the criminals that come from a background without family problems. Nor does it consider something so simplistic as the definition of poor parenting. As mentioned before, these rely heavily on social factors. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Crime & Deviance section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work