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Biological Theories of Crime - Research Paper Example

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According to Johan Caspar, the facial features, as well as the shape of the skull, have an impact on the human conduct. Cesare Lombroso echoed this opinion. He theorized that other aspects of body organs, such as the size of hair and ears, were related to the conduct of individuals. This was so in that those individuals who had longer hair had higher chances of being criminals as they behaved to match the primitive nature of other primitive animals (Velden, 2010). The earlier theories of criminality tried to relate the physical features of an individual’s body, such as deformity, disability and ugliness with crime (Brewer, 2000). Fundamentally, the biological theories of crime put the biological traits of an individual as the main factor that affects their behavior and the way they act. However, the modern biological theories of crime have related their observations and arguments to the works of Charles Darwin (Wilson, 1980). These theories postulate that crime is a factor of the process of man trying to adapt to the environment. There are various theories that have been put across to establish the relationship between the biological make up of an individual and their behaviors and actions. Such theories include the constitutional theories and the psychological theories. Psychoanalytic Theory is one of the psychological theories postulating that all human beings have some aspects of natural urges that are suppressed in their subconscious (Velden, 2010). According to this theory, all individuals have criminal urges and tendencies. However, through the process of behavioral development, socialization and the build of self-control such urges and tendencies are restrained (Brewer, 2000). If there is that lack of control learnt by individuals during their childhood, and if there happens to be a faulty identification by a child with his parents, a criminal behavior develops. The aspect of lack of proper development in a child may develop personality disturbance, which is a responsible for developing antisocial tendency either inwardly or outwardly. According to this theory, a child who directs the antisocial impulses inwardly becomes restless, while the one who directs them outwardly becomes a criminal (Wilson, 1980). Cognitive development theory is another psychological theory that postulates that criminal behavior emanates from the way individuals organize their thoughts on morality and law (Brewer, 2000). According to this theory, individuals undergo three levels of morality development, where each stage can shape the tendencies for individuals to become criminals, based on their moral character development at each stage. At the first level of moral development, which is the preconventional level, individual’s moral reasoning is based on obedience and the fear of punishment (Velden, 2010). This is mostly found at the early stages of childhood. When individuals get to the middle stages of childhood, they enter the conventional level of moral development. At this level, individuals develop moral reasoning and behaviors based on what their families and others expect of them. After this stage, an individual proceeds to early adulthood stage. This is the post-conventional level of moral behavior development. At this stage, individuals do value the social conventions and laws, but are at a freedom to adapt changes that will eventually change such social convention ...Show more
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Summary

Biological Theories Date Biological Theories Biological theories assert that there is a relationship between the physiology of an individual and criminality. The assumptions of these theories are that the physical attributes of an individual can lead to an individual committing a crime (Brewer, 2000)…
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