Biological and psychological theories,
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, measurement.so 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