Biological Theories Of Crime

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Some criminological theories assert that individuals are born criminals while others maintain that individuals are made criminals as a consequence of the environment they are immersed in. In fact, biological theories of crime take on the perspective that crime is innate, genetic, or caused by brain abnormalities. Sociological theories of crime, on the other hand, contend that environmental factors such as poverty and who individuals associate with directly contribute to criminal behaviour. The view that crime is genetic, the nature theory, strongly opposes the view that crime occurs due to the environment individuals are exposed to, the nurture theory. Although biological theories of crime contend that individuals engage in criminality as…show more content…
Sociological theories of crime contend that no unlawful act is intrinsically criminal. These theories stress that social unification, cultural conflict, and social disparity are potential causes of crime (Engelen, Lander, & Essen, 2016). For several decades, sociological criminology has mainly concentrated on inner-city violence and the most illustrious explanations which assert that “within certain isolated and disadvantaged cities, subcultures, or distinct ways of thinking and behaving, arise in response to environmental conditions” (Rocque, Posick, & Felix, p. 95, 2015). Sociological theories essentially maintain that crime is a symptom of poverty, rather than the source of it. For instance, if youth grow up in impoverished families, they may be more likely to commit crime as they may be exposed to more crime and stress than individuals with a higher socio-economic status. An advantage of sociological theories of crime is that these theories take external factors into account, rather than placing the blame solely on individuals who commit crimes. The environment that an individual grows up in plays a critical role in one 's life path and growing up in poverty has a direct affect on the behaviour of individuals who grow up in these circumstances. Specifically, impoverished youth may feel stress which could cause them to commit crimes such as theft or robbery. Additionally, these youth typically have fewer opportunities in terms of careers and access to education, adding…show more content…
To elucidate, a disadvantage of both biological theories of crime and sociological theories of crime is that they both maintain that either biological or environmental factors are the direct cause of criminal behaviour. It appears that these theories argue that genetic factors and environmental factors directly cause criminality when, in fact, these factors simply make individuals more likely to commit crimes, rather than being the direct cause of criminality. If individuals would engage in criminality due to the influence of these factors, then everyone who is influenced by these factors should be committing in crimes; however, this is not the case. Neither the biological perspective nor the sociological perspective address this issue. Moreover, it is impossible to determine the extent to which these factors affect individuals. In particular, if an individual commits a crime, it is simply not possible to determine what impact brain abnormalities or poverty affected the individual and essentially lead that person to commit crime. This would be especially challenging for youth, as during adolescence individuals are in their major developmental years and may act impulsively or take part in criminal activity in response to the changes in their brain and body or in an attempt to adapt to those changes. Additionally, there is a significant difference between these theoretical perspectives in terms of the method each perspective views as most effective for deterring individuals
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