Biological Key Question

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  • What are the implications for society if aggression is found to be caused by Nature not Nurture?
    • Describing the issue
      • It might be said that, if a behaviour is caused by environmental factors, then someone cannot choose how they behave
      • The implication is that if we should not be blamed if aggression comes from our nature, then using imprisonment to prevent aggression may not be eithical
      • Anxiety and depression get attention from society and are treated but anger and aggression are punished. This seems unfair when all are linked emoitions
      • If behaviour comes from nature, there is not such an element of choice. We cannot help our biology and perhaps shouldn't be blamed for behaviour that comes from our biology
    • Raine
      • This strongly supports the idea that aggression is caused by nature as brain scans are extremely valid and this shows that murderes pleading NGRI actually have different brains
      • Used brain scanning techniques to scan the brains of murderer pleading NGRI. He wound that they showed less activity in the frontal lobe, especially the prefrontal cortex and an imbalance in left and right hemishpere
    • Testosterone and Cortisol
      • Cortisol is seen to increase stress, which is often the first thing leading to aggression
        • These again show more of a biological factor to aggression and hormones are something that you cant control
          • Elevated levels of testosterone lead to aggression, especially in males
      • Elevated levels of testosterone lead to aggression, especially in males
    • Natural selection
      • In order to survive you had to be aggressive, to get the best food and to find the best mate in order to reproduce
        • Therefore naturally we are more likely to be aggressive as we still inherit characteristics from our primates
    • Conclusions: The implications are if a persons nature really is to blame for aggression can we find them criminally responsible for their actions?
      • Punishment would be unfair
      • Perhaps emphasis should be place on investigating whether violent individuals have a biological predisposition and then focus on helping them not punishing them


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