Thomas Hobbes: Humans are born badly, and the only way to keep them from
doing bad is to have rules and a social contract.
Cesare Lombroso: humans are born criminals – we have original sin
“Origional Sin” Example
1. Park hurt Prison, Britain, C-Wing
Patrick ( inmate) says that both is parents served time, and that it is just naturally
in him to be in jail, its in his heritance.
Danny – robbed and murdered people, through personal things they said- Dr. asks
if he thinks its in his blood ? – he replies, well my father has always been a
violent person, I knew that I have in my personality that would kill- he wanted to
know how it felt to have the power over another human being – as he got older it
was stuck more and more. I thought that im born evil – he just gets pleasure in
hurting people for no reason
Andre Guerry and Adolphe Quetlelet argue that crime happens from those who
are brought up in low economy families who want more
John Locke and Tabula Rosa – People are born with a blank slate – their
experiences are what shape them
Karl Marx- the conflict struggle between social classes. – depends on where you
Strain theory: people are unable to support themselves and have to resort to
“Origional Sin” Example
John McVicar was a criminal and from his perspective, he chose to be one – the
circumstances he found himself in made him commit crime – he grew up in a sub
culture – in crime for most od his teens.
It became an issue when his son was following the same path - he says that yes
he has the same genes as his father but hes also growing up in the same area,
having to deal with the same circumstances
o Could there ever be a gene for behavior used as an excuses?
NO, unless this gene so determined behavior that it over road free
many researchers believe that crime is a part of human nature
Cesare Lombroso “theory of a criminal man”
o Crime is part of who we are
o How we look and what gender we are shows what crime we will commit.
o People are born criminal
o Lombroso’s theory is assuming a man or woman is criminal because they
have a tattoo The idea that we are born criminal also ties into the evolutionary theory and
“survival of the fittest”
o As a race we do what e need to do to survive
Facial features born criminal theory was developed by John Lataver.
o He proposed that certain facial features such as beard or pointy nose make
people look criminal
o If they have certain feature they are assumed to be bad people
Biological Theories of Crime
The earliest biological theories in criminology emphasized physical appearance as
the distinguishing mark of a criminal
This even dates back to the ancient Greek times with Socrates, and travels several
Johan Lavater and Physiognomy – the relationship between facial features and
Joseph Gall and Phrenology- the relationship between the exterior brain and the
different inner parts of the brain.
Gustave Le Bon and Craniology- the relationship between the skull size and
shape in relation to being a criminal.
William Sheldon – The study of different body types.
o People start off as embryos, and as we grow we develop into one of three
Ceasare Lombroso and the “ Born Criminal”
o Expanded on these thoughts to the whole body in one
o Relied on Darwin’s theory of Evolution being that some people are
biological throwbacks to an earlier evolutionary stage.
o Lombroso called these people Atavistic criminals – criminals that are less
evolved then other people
Children tend to resemble their parents in appearance, mannerisms, and
Goring did several studies and found that there was a high correlation between the
length of imprisonment of parents and their children
o The only problem with this is they tried to eliminate the environment
Twin and Adoption studies
To include the effects of the environment, these types of studies were created.
The difference in identical twins cannot be explained through heredity because
they are genetically identical.
Controls your nerve impluses
Example on Hereditary from “ Original Sin” Dr. Han Brunner – women has family past of crime and rape - has a son that
raped his sister then killed a guard
o found out that the crime was in males but passed down through mothers.
For this, they checked the X chromozone to see if there was an area that
had this gene
o Found that the crime gene is linked with MAOA – nerve impulses in the
o If this gene is damaged, you have uncontrolabe nerve impluses – this
changes the chemistry in the brain, which changes the way we
communicate with one another and pushes someone to rage
Psychological theories of Crime
A low intelligence is most commonly used when discussing criminal behavior
Eugenics – Francis Galton ( are people well-born)
Alfred Binet and mental age
o Each child who took the test receives a mental