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Identify the Biological and Psychological explanations on crime (9)

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Identify the Biological and Psychological explanations on crime (9) Biological explanations for crime see deviance in terms of the biological make-up of individuals whereas Psychological explanations maintain that the causes of deviance lie within a faulty mind. This essay will examine both theories. Causes of criminal behaviour are most prominently explained in Freud's psychoanalytic theory, which suggests that an individual's well-being is dependent on a healthy interaction amongst the Id, (Innate) Ego (Reality) and the Superego (Society). The psychoanalytic theory is the search for causes of crime within the make up of an individual. It explains that delinquency is caused by disturbances or abnormalities in an individual's emotional development from early childhood. ...read more.


Eysenck suggested that extroverts were more likely to commit crime. He believed that this was because they take more risks and take longer to learn society's norms. His theory also suggests that Extroverts are harder to condition than introverts and that introverts think more carefully about their crime, where extroverts would commit a crime spontaneously. Eysenck's theory has been criticised for being too subjective, and there is little evidence to support unstableness or emotionality and crime. Lombroso in 1876 argued that the criminal is a separate species, a species that is between modern and primitive humans. He argued that the physical shape of the head and face determined the "born criminal". These people were primitive and were unable to adapt to modern morality. ...read more.


William Sheldon believed that people could be classified into three body shapes, which correspond with three different personality types. 1. Endomorphic (fat and soft) tend to be sociable and relaxed. 2. Ectomorphic (thin and fragile) are introverted and restrained 3. Mesomorphic (muscular and hard) tend to be aggressive and adventurous. His theory suggested that Mesomorphs were more predisposed to crime, compared to ectomorphs or endomorphs. However, the working class tend to be stockier in build due to their manual labour jobs and he rated his subjects' body types himself, which account for weaknesses in his theory. In conclusion sociologists reject biological and psychological explanations of Crime. They have been criticised on a theoretical level. This is because they do not take into account social factors (such as poverty) and only offer a partial view on crime and deviance. ...read more.

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