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CRIM 101
Barry Cartwright

st CRIM 101 – LEC 4 – JAN 31 BIOLOGICAL, PSYCHOLOGICAL AND SOCIOLOGICAL THEORIES OF CRIME THE POSITIVE SCHOOL  Used “scientific” methods to explain criminal behavior.  Involved notion of "determinism", as opposed to “free will” or “rational choice”.  Behavior of criminals was pre-determined by their genes or evolutionary condition. CESARE LOMBROSO  Founder and most prominent member of the Positive School.  Interest in science, medicine and evolutionary theory led Cesare Lombroso in search of atavistic criminal – a degenerate throw back on earlier forms of evolution.  Subsequent positive school efforts focused on feeblemindedness, poor genes, and criminal body type. o had to do with a problem with the brain, nor free will, there was a criminal gene. THE JUKES  Study by Richard Dugdale.  Dugdale had limited schooling, became assistant sculptor, tried running manufacturing business, had nervous breakdown, and became a sociologist.  Dugdale observed young man (apparently feebleminded) on trial in court. o Questions if there was a criminal gene in the juke family THE JUKES cont.  Dugdale went back through generations, found petty thieves (never convicted), a murderer (not convicted), another who broke deaf persons ear trumpet.  Argued that entire family had criminal tendencies due to feeble-mindedness.  Most “evidence” contrived or exaggerated. FOUR MAIN APPROACHES  General pedigree studies  Twin studies  Adoption studies  Karyotype studies o The last one is suppose to be an improvement over the previous one. GENERAL PEDIGREE STUDIES  Look at people who are related to each other, to see whether they behave in similar manner.  Assume that children of parents who engage in criminal behaviour are more likely to be criminals themselves because they inherited their parents genes.  If one brother is criminal, other brother should have chance of being criminal too, because of similar genetic make up. PROBLEMS WITH PEDIGREES  Difficult to say whether criminal behaviour caused by inherited tendencies, or by social environment.  Unless raised in different family, with different parents, it could be argued that parents taught children that criminal behaviour was acceptable.  Children may learn criminal behaviour by watching and imitation behaviour of their parents. TWIN STUDIES  Effort to avoid problems associated with general pedigree studies.  Researchers study differences between dizygotic (DZ) and monozygotic (MZ) twins.  DZ (fraternal) twins inherit share only 50% of their genes; MZ (identical) twins share 100% of their genes.  Concordance = the degree to which behaviour of the twins is similar or dissimilar. MZ AND DZ TWINS  Studies have suggested that if one MZ twin is a criminal, the other MZ twin is more likely to be a criminal.  DZ twin less likely to display the same criminal tendencies. TWINS CAN BE DOUBLE TROUBLE  Fail to take into consideration that most monozygotic twins are raised in the same environments, have similar social experiences.  Because monozygotic twins look so much alike, they are also more likely to provoke similar responses from other people than dizygotic twins, who may not look as much alike. ADOPTION STUDIES  Study identical (MZ) twins raised by different sets of parents, in different environments.  Control for social class, child-rearing practises, and diet. MUDDY WATERS  Most adoption studies have found relatively low rates of concordance.  Sacco & Kennedy conclude there is “no real scientific basis for…existence of a crime gene”.  Others claim there is measurable degree of association between criminal behaviour of biological parents and their children put up for adoption at birth. KARYOTYPE STUDIES  Examine number, shape, and size of chromosomes.  Focus on existence of extra Y chromosome, or XYY gene.  XX chromosome determines gender in women; XY chromosome determines gender in males. THE XYY SUPER MALE  Relatively rare in the general population (1 in 1000).  More common in prison population (1 in 100).  Little evidence to suggest that they commit more violent crimes than other males, or that they are necessarily more aggressive. SHELDON’S SOMATOTYPES  Did a study of body types, bigger/ fat people less to be criminals (endomorph), skinny/lanky people less likely to be criminal (ectomorph), muscular strong people more likely to be a criminals. (mesomporph) THE MESOMORPH  Sheldon’s 1949 work argued that mesomorph was most likely to become a criminal, or to engage in violent behavior.  The Gleucks’ 1950 study of 500 delinquent and 500 non-delinquent boys concluded that delinquent boys were in fact monomorphic than non- delinquent boys. CRIME AND HUMAN NATURE  Wilson and Herrnstein claimed in 1985 book Crime and Human Nature that offenders tend to be shorter and more muscular than people in the general population.  Herrnstein (2000, p. 21) has continued to argue that offender populations “are more likely to be mespmorphic (i.e., muscular, large boned) SOME CRITICAL PERSPECTIVE  Ignores the fact that many prisoners lift weights while in prison, thus explaining why they might be more muscular than average.  Stronger, more muscular individuals often come out on the winning side of fights, and end up being categorized as the aggressors.  Less muscular individuals often come out on losing end of fights, and come to be viewed as victims. THE MESOMORPH SCALE  Define mesoporph, endomorph, ectomorph. INTELLIGENCE AND CRIME  Intelligence and Delinquency: A Revisionist Review, published by Hindelang and Hirschi in 1977.  Say that sociologists (and by default criminologists) have always rejected individualistic explanations of delinquency.  Sociologists tend to emphasize factors such as race, class, and gender. HIRSCHI AND HINDELANG  Hirschi and Hindelang (1977) reported on six (then recent) studies of relationship between IQ and delinquency.  Concluded that IQ was as least as important as race and social class in predicting delinquency.  Also concluded that differences between race and class did not account for differences in IQ. CRIME AND THE BELL CURVE  Herrnstein & Murray (1994). The BELL CURVE: INTELLEGENCE AND CLASS STRUCTURE IN AMERICAN LIFE.  Talk about society’s increasing emphasis on higher education, knowledge and technical expertise.  Argue that people with low IQ are unable to cope with demands of post-industrial society. IQ AND SOCIAL CLASS  Most criminals “come from the wrong side of the tracks”.  Most people with low IQ “come from the wrong side of the tracks”. o Wrong side of tracks = low IQ = criminal INTELLIGENCE AND CRIME cont.  Lower IQ could have negative effect on school performance.  Could lead to increased risk of dropping out.  Dropping out could lead to increased risk of not acquiring marketable work skills. FIVE DIFFERENT HYPOTHESES  The school failure hypothesis  The susceptibility hypothesis  The differential arrest hypothesis  The differential adjudication hypothesis  The differential disposition hypothesis THE SCHOOL FAILURE HYPOTHESIS  Learning disabilities may contribute to school failure.  Becomes frustrating and self-perpetuating.  Student may become angry and aggressive as a consequence.  Ends up being identified by teachers as “troublemakers”. THE SUSCEPTIBILITY HYPOTHESIS
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