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LS 222 (19)
Chapter 3

chapter 3 biological and biosocial explanations

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University of Waterloo
Legal Studies
LS 222
Jennifer Schulenberg

Chapter 3: Biological and Biosocial Explanations Historical Overview  Biological approach is caused by some internal mechanism  There was very little distinction between biological and psychological characteristics General Assumptions  Delinquency is product of internal, physical properties  Predispositions said to interact with environmental factors that influences biology on behaviour o Reciprocal o Environmental factors may be shaped by and influence biological factors o Direct causation position bypasses environmental situations  Brain tumor or chemical imbalance lead to delinquency Somatotypes and Delinquency Specific Assumption  Somatotype is overall shape of the body  Numerous body characteristics are included in the analysis such as arm and leg length, head sie, muscle development and bone structure Discussion  Traced to very influential body of research by Cesare Lombroso o Viewed criminality as type of degeneracy  Atavists or throwbacks to earlier form of human life on evolutionary scale o Maintained large portion of criminal behaviour was inborn o Criminals had definite physical characteristics that distinguish them  Criminal was suppose to have large jaw, high cheekbones, handle shaped ears and tattoos  Hardly persuasive because control groups were not reliable or valid o Correlation was never made  William Sheldon o Attempt to relate body traits with delinquency o Endomorphic  Soft, round and fat  Viscerotonic temperament  Extroversion and love of comfort o Mesomorphic  Muscular and hard  Assertive, aggressive behaviour  Somatotonic temperament o Ectomorphic  Thin, frail and weak  Shy, timid, sensitive and introverted  Cerebrotonic temperament o Body types are inborn and explains personality connection with body type  Gluecks examined Sheldon’s research o 60% of delinquents were mesomorphic, 14% ectomorphic o mesomorphy is associated with high levels of inadequacy, not being able to take care of themselves and emotional instability  more delinquent than others because they are more equipped for a delinquent role under pressure of unfavorable sociocultural conditions o the physically larger, stronger child who is usually male can bully his way around  causal connection has not been established Evaluation Chapter 3: Biological and Biosocial Explanations  longitudinal study showed that males in early developers did not have more conflicts with parents although more likely to work outside the home o tend to be more academically proficient, arguing making delinquent friends  the study documented a connection between pubertal development and d
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