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Crimes in Biological, Psychological, Sociological Theories Research Paper


Criminology is believed to be one of the fields of science that appeared recently. However, its elements can be traced back to the First Babylonian Dynasty that is known to have a law code-named Hammurabi. With the course of time, people also started paying attention not to the very commitment of crimes but to the triggers that made a person act in a particular way. As the normal way of thinking for the whole society was outlined, it became easier to distinguish improper behaviors.

For instance, witches were discussed in the Middle Ages, and serial killers are in focus today. With the development of the Classical school of thought, the first theories that discuss a crime as an action conducted due to the rational choice were presented. This aspect of crime remained on the front burner because it could be used to catch an offender. Thus, it is not surprising that criminologists continue thinking of the reasons people commit crimes (Siegel, 2015). In their investigation, they often resort to biological, psychological, and sociological causes, the essence of which is discussed further.

Biological Theories

In the framework of biological theories of crime, it is presupposed that some individuals conduct them because of some deviance, the influences of which cannot be controlled by an individual. For instance, genetic and physical defects may make a person more aggressive than the representatives of the general population. In this way, he/she commits crimes when being angry. Biochemical and neurological factors can also be discussed in this perspective.

In the majority of cases, this type of criminal is not simply incarcerated, as their behavior will not alter in this way. They need to receive treatment that minimalizes the effects of their defect. Among these theories, one can find atavism, behavioral genetics, and biosocial arousal theory, etc. In the framework of these theories, the case of the Night Stalker, Richard Ramirez, can be discussed. The man had a blow to his head in his childhood.

A dresser fell on him and hurt him badly so that he lost consciousness. He received 30 stitches at that time and was hit with a swing to the head several years later, which led to seizures. He was diagnosed with temporal lobe epilepsy but received no treatment. With the course of time, he murdered thirteen people and was sentenced to death (Biography.com Editors, 2016).

Psychological Theories

Psychological theories are focused on the personality defects that make people commit crimes. In the majority of cases, they develop during the formative years when the human psyche is rather vulnerable and unstable. There are several points of view regarding these theories. For instance, some professionals are focused on developmental issues, while others believe that criminal behavior is caused by an imbalance of one of the elements of the human psyche.

In addition to that, people’s social environment is considered. In one perspective, family influences are discussed. It can deal with poor parenting methods or criminal parents. In another one, individual influences are discussed. They include personality, cognitive processes, and intelligence. Broken homes and attachment theories, intergenerational transmission theories, the Eysenck personality theory, impulsiveness theories, etc. belong to this type.

They all presuppose that a person is not responsible directly for improper actions. The murders committed by Dennis Rader, the BTK killer, can be explained by psychological theories. He was rather aggressive and impulsive even in his childhood, when he killed animals and developed fantasies about torturing women. Rader murdered ten people while representing the church as a deacon (Crawford, 2017).

Sociological Theories

People are under a great influence of their social environment. Strain, social learning, and control theories support this idea. They describe crimes as people’s behavior caused by social, environmental factors. In particular, they focus on the influences provided by families, schools, workplaces, etc., as they are claimed to affect individual traits. In this framework, people’s intelligence, impulsivity, and irritability can be altered because of the lack of equal opportunities or neighborhood disarray. Cultural deviance theory and labeling theories belong to this type. Teflon Don, John Gotti, for instance, became a criminal as he was born in a poor family that had five children who belonged to street gangs and had school problems (National Crime Syndicate, n.d.).

Conclusion

Criminologists study crimes from different perspectives. They pay a lot of attention to the causations of crimes, focusing on biological, psychological, and sociological reasons. In this way, professionals receive an opportunity to streamline the process of finding an offender, prevent more people from becoming victims, and ensure that innocent individuals are not incarcerated. Three main theories of crime causation are also divided into numerous sub-theories, which makes criminologists’ decision-making more accurate because the majority of criminals can be aligned with one of these categories.

However, it is significant to remember that society is not a stable notion. It advances with the course of time, which affects crime causation as well. Thus, those aspects that are considered to be reasons today may not be treated in this way later. The constant development of criminology can ensure the reduction of recidivism, which is critical for this field.

References

Biography.com Editors. (2016). . Web.

Crawford, M. (2017). Profile of a serial killer: Dennis Rader, the BTK Strangler. Web.

National Crime Syndicate. (n.d.). . Web.

Siegel, L. (2015). Criminology: Theories, patterns, and typologies. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.

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IvyPanda. "Crimes in Biological, Psychological, Sociological Theories." November 11, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/crimes-in-biological-psychological-sociological-theories/.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "Crimes in Biological, Psychological, Sociological Theories." November 11, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/crimes-in-biological-psychological-sociological-theories/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'Crimes in Biological, Psychological, Sociological Theories'. 11 November.

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