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Biological and theories

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CRIM 1650
James Williams

Biological and psychological theories, Historical context 1) Middle Ages (1400s-1600s) crime was viewed as sin. A product as a religious view of the world; possession, sin...punishment= burning at the stake. Salem witch trials; deaths of 19 people- the women targeted were unmarried. 2) Enlightenment and post-enlightenment (1700s-1900s); shift from a spiritual foundations and towards natural foundations in history. Trying to understand through science, imperial studies, how individuals may be exposed to crime: scientific method. In this age criminology emerged as a science.  Phrenologists (1800-1850) study the structure of the skull; certain structures would be associated with criminal activities. Started criminologists on this road.  Lombroso and the theory of Atavism (1876) he was an army doctor and prison physician. Developed a larger study in which he compared the facial and skull characteristics between criminals and non-criminals. Theory: criminals can be identified as atavistic characteristics criminals are evolutionary throwbacks; criminals were essentially less evolved. He identified 18 physical abnormalities. E.G: enormous jaws, k9 teeth, symmetry of face or head, monkey like ears, large lips, receiving chin, twisted nose, excessive cheek bones, skin wrinkles, extra fingers and toes…Argues: If you possess 5 out of 18 characteristics you were a criminal but an irresistible craving for evil to extinguish life.  Sheldon and the criminal physique (1949) crimi
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