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1. Biological explanations This unit uses the PHYSIOLOGICAL approach to explain why individuals commit crime. But first we need to ask the question “ What IS crime?”…
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  • 1. Biological explanations This unit uses the PHYSIOLOGICAL approach to explain why individuals commit crime. But first we need to ask the question “ What IS crime?”
  • 2. <ul><li>Evidence of criminal behaviour? </li></ul><ul><li>Or art? </li></ul>
  • 3. <ul><li>Aggression or violence? </li></ul><ul><li>A rugby player carrying out a legitimate tackle? </li></ul><ul><li>A rugby player carrying out an illegal tackle? </li></ul><ul><li>A four year old girl snatching a toy out of her bother’s hands </li></ul><ul><li>A home owner slamming the door in a salesman face? </li></ul><ul><li>A person staring at someone else in order to intimidate them? </li></ul><ul><li>Examples of antisocial behaviour? </li></ul>
  • 4. Biological Explanations of “criminal” behaviour <ul><li>Cesare Lombroso: </li></ul><ul><li>Published his book </li></ul><ul><li>“ L’Uomo Delinquente” </li></ul><ul><li>in which he claimed there were physical differences between criminals – Homo delinquens – and non-criminals – Homo sapiens . </li></ul>
  • 5. Biological Explanations of “criminal” behaviour <ul><li>William Sheldon believed that people could be classified into three body shapes, which correspond with three different personality types. </li></ul><ul><li>endomorphic (fat and soft) tend to be sociable and relaxed. </li></ul><ul><li>ectomorphic (thin and fragile) are introverted and restrained </li></ul><ul><li>mesomorphic (muscular and hard) tend to be aggressive and adventurous. </li></ul><ul><li>Sheldon found that many convicts were mesomorphic, and they were least likely to be ectomorphic </li></ul>
  • 6. Biological Explanations of “criminal” behaviour <ul><li>Although now no longer credible the early work looking at physical differences between “homo deliquens” and “homo sapiens” has led to a huge amount of research into biological explanations of crime. </li></ul><ul><li>In this unit we will be looking at 3 studies: </li></ul><ul><li>Raine ; 2002 “Development of antisocial and aggressive behaviour in children” </li></ul><ul><li>Brunner; 1993 “The role of genetics in aggressive behaviour” </li></ul><ul><li>And </li></ul><ul><li>Daly; 2001 “Gender related life expectancy” </li></ul>
  • 7. Biological Explanations of “criminal” behaviour <ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>“ Theories of antisocial and violent behaviour need to </li></ul><ul><li>explain why criminal offending peaks in the late teens” </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>The development of antisocial and aggressive behaviour in children </li></ul><ul><li>Raine, 2002 </li></ul><ul><li>Method: </li></ul><ul><li>A review of literature concerning the role of prefrontal deficits, low arousal and early health factors in the development of antisocial behaviour in children </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>
  • 8. <ul><li>Findings: </li></ul><ul><li>AROUSAL: </li></ul><ul><li>There is a significant correlation between arousal and antisocial behaviour in children and adolescents. </li></ul>Arousal (heart rate) Aggression
  • 9. <ul><li>Findings: </li></ul><ul><li>AROUSAL: </li></ul><ul><li>Children of criminal parents have lower heart rates and are more likely to commit crime. </li></ul><ul><li>Is heart rate heritable? </li></ul><ul><li>Three year old boys are more likely to have a lower heart rate than three year old girls and boys are more likely to engage in aggressive and anti-social behaviour </li></ul><ul><li>so arousal rates can be used to indicate the likelihood that a three / four year old is to commit crime in adolescence! </li></ul>
  • 10. <ul><li>Findings: </li></ul><ul><li>**DEFICITS IN THE FRONTAL LOBE:** </li></ul><ul><li>Many studies show that antisocial and violent offenders have damage to the pre-frontal lobe. </li></ul><ul><li>Raine studied 41 violent offenders (NGRIs) </li></ul><ul><li>and compared the activity in their </li></ul><ul><li>prefrontal lobes to 41 non-criminals </li></ul><ul><li>(including 6 schizophrenics) using </li></ul><ul><li>PET scans. </li></ul><ul><li>The NGRIs showed significantly less activity in prefrontal lobe than the other participants suggesting less control over impulsive behaviour. </li></ul>
  • 11. <ul><li>Findings: </li></ul><ul><li>** DEVELOPMENT AND FRONTAL LOBE DEFICIT ** </li></ul><ul><li>Prefrontal lobe develops relatively late, sometimes not full developed until early 20s. This may explain peak in antisocial behaviour by male teenagers! </li></ul><ul><li>There is a correlation between teenagers with anti social tendencies and either slow maturation of frontal lobe or damage to prefrontal lobe. </li></ul>
  • 12. Issues? <ul><li>Free will or deterministic? </li></ul>Reductionist? Ethnocentric? Scientific?
  • 13. Biological Explanations of “criminal” behaviour Pic link to firestarter! The role of genetics and neurotransmitters in aggressive behaviour Brunner et al, 1993. Method: Clinical examination of male family members and comparison with normal family members BEHAVIOUR: Repeated episodes of aggressive and sometimes violent behaviour (often out of proportion to provocation) Sleep disturbances and night terrors Inappropriate sexual behaviour toward sisters and female relatives Arson
  • 14. <ul><li>CLINICAL EXAMINATION: </li></ul><ul><li>All 9 affected males mentally retarded (Average IQ 85). Only 1 completed primary education. </li></ul><ul><li>(All unaffected males attended school and were employed) </li></ul><ul><li>No specific DYSMORPHIC signs. </li></ul><ul><li>All females, including carriers, appear normal </li></ul><ul><li>DNA ANALYSIS: </li></ul><ul><li>All affected males showed genetic mutations in the genes producing MONOAMINE OXIDASE (MAO) </li></ul>
  • 15. BIOCHEMICAL STUDIES PATIENTS CARRIERS NORMAL MALES MAO Nmol / mmol 1,329 4,554 1,484 745 879 297 502
  • 16. <ul><li>EXPLANATION.... </li></ul><ul><li>MAO breakdown and removes 3 neurotransmitters, </li></ul><ul><li>NORADRENALINE , DOPAMINE, SEROTONIN </li></ul><ul><li>(controls arousal) (emotional arousal) (sleep) </li></ul><ul><li>So levels of MAO will lead to </li></ul><ul><li>levels of these neurotransmitters. </li></ul><ul><li>Consequences? </li></ul><ul><li>Low levels of dopamine and noradrenalin has been known to cause spontaneous and irritable aggression in animals so increased MAO lowers levels of neurotransmitters in affected males leading to increased aggressive behaviour. </li></ul><ul><li>Disturbed behaviour may be due to arousal seeking behaviour </li></ul>
  • 17. GENDER DIFFERENCES IN CRIMINAL BEHAVIOUR <ul><li>The Home office 1998 survey of youth </li></ul><ul><li>lifestyles shows interesting gender </li></ul><ul><li>differences in crime. </li></ul><ul><li>(see page 28 / 61 of survey) </li></ul><ul><li>The question is why? </li></ul><ul><li>Daly and Wilson suggest that these gender differences can be explained using the theory of evolutionary psychology </li></ul>
  • 18. <ul><li>Martin Daly & Margo Wilson (1997). </li></ul><ul><li>Crime and Conflict: Homicide in Evolutionary Psychological Perspective . </li></ul><ul><li>Crime & Justice, 22, 51-100. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Interpersonal conflicts are engendered by interactions among individuals whose psyches were designed by natural and sexual selection to make them effective competitors and effective nepotists </li></ul><ul><li>(kin-benefactors).” </li></ul><ul><li>i.e. Males are more likely to be involved in violent crime because of evolutionary pressures to secure a mate and protect that mate from other males. </li></ul>GENDER DIFFERENCES IN CRIMINAL BEHAVIOUR
  • 19. “ A sensible man will be quicker on the trigger in what he perceives to be a relatively violent setting than in an apparently peaceful one, for example, not because he has become acculturated or has internalized local norms about the legitimacy of violence but because of a shift in the perceived risk of life threatening action by antagonists.” Martin Daly & Margo Wilson (1997). Crime and Conflict: Homicide in Evolutionary Psychological Perspective . Crime & Justice, 22, 51-100.
  • 20. <ul><li>“ Sex-differential violence against same-sex antagonists appears to be one of many manifestations of the fact that the human male psyche has evolved to be more risk-accepting in competitive situations than the female psyche” </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>i.e Because of the pressure to secure a mate males are MORE LIKELY to be involved in risky activity, e.g. Criminal and aggressive behaviour. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>“ Our sex difference in intra-sexual violence is one we share with other species in which the difference in fitness is greater among males than among females, and this sex difference in fitness persists across all human societies “ </li></ul>Martin Daly & Margo Wilson (1997). Crime and Conflict: Homicide in Evolutionary Psychological Perspective . Crime & Justice, 22, 51-100.
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    Jul 23, 2017
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