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Causes of Crime

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Causes of Crime For centuries, the one plague that human civilization faces is a disease that has no evident cure - crime. Before one can even try to find solutions for it, one must understand what a crime is and the nature of crime. Crime itself is defined as any offence harmful against society. The nature of crime however deals with the motives and causes of crime, which has no one clear cut explanation. There are several different theories on the cause of crime such as heredity, gender and mental defects, but each one is not substantial enough to explain crime and why it takes place. The theory on heredity as being the source of crime is based on the idea that criminal activity is predisposed by human genes. Gender being the root of crime suggests that testosterone, the male hormone that causes aggressive behaviour is encouraged in male-dominated societies, thus leading to criminal behaviour. Both heredity and gender are based on "nature", but in effect, lead to "nurture". Beginning mental defects can be caused during pregnancy (i.e. smoking and drinking while pregnant) or any disturbance to the central nervous system during childhood. In fact all these apparent causes can be linked in one way or another to childhood upbringing. While a child grows up, economical factors that interfere with his/her lifestyle such as poverty can lead to petty theft. ...read more.


Both these notorious gang leaders did not want to live that sort of life so they turned to organized crime. It is a simple fact that the lack of money needed to raise a child in such a socially conscious way is far more plausible. Secondly, society and its own standards play a great role in a child's development. "Society prepares the crime; the criminal commits it." The social standard in which modern western civilization lives in is far from perfect and public institutions, and the values and morals of society still need revamping. "...individuals who commit crimes can do so in large part because they lack the capacity to be affected by how their victims feel. ...The capacity to be affected by how others feel is developed in the earliest years - before the age of about three. What is more significant is that this capacity cannot be learned or taught or put into a person after that age with any known method of treatment. This capacity to be affected by how others feel is developed most strongly when infants and toddlers are empathically cared for by the same few people all the time - people who are willing and able to meet the child's emotional needs." During the early stages of childhood, the most important part of development takes place. ...read more.


Another example of childhood trauma that can lead to harmful behaviour is spousal abuse. Children, males in particular, who witness fathers beating mothers are at a much higher risk of becoming violent husbands in the future. Rapists too, who are usually just normal people, have had some sort of sexual abuse in their childhood from a trusted authority figure. The Correctional Service of Canada conducted a study in 1992, which showed that almost one-half of male inmates had been abused as children. However, this notion of gender is not really applicable since an independent study showed that eighty-two percent of women in provincial prisons have been physically or sexually abused as a child. Basically, child victims of abuse and neglect end up suffering throughout life. The inability to trust and learn social skills properly lead to violent outburst and criminal activity. Consequently, a childhood that includes economical, social and traumatic events is the foundations of a criminal. If it continues to go unaddressed, the community itself is just adding to the problem. Since the first few years of a child are so critical, it is important that not only does the parent get involved, but the government too. By creating better living opportunities, maybe all children will soon be able to benefit and become productive members of society, rather than the pests and vermin of crime. However, how long will this really take and how much will it cost? Determining the cause of crime is just baby steps compared to the journey ahead to try and eliminate crime. ...read more.

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