Theories of Crime


Lombroso suggested that homo-deliquents were a seperate, more primitive form of human, who tended to have physical features such as the narrow-sloping brows and psychological features like how they couldn't distinguish right from wrong. This is a biological theory by Lombroso who suggested that these inidividuals were predisposed to animal behaviour. Lombroso's studies were criticised for ethical issues as his theories could lead to prejudice as he created stereotypes that led to discrimination. There is also no evidence to support his theories as there are no correlations between physical features and criminals.

Another biological theory has been brought forward by many researchers that may suggest that there is a genetic component to criminality. Furthermore, family studies have found that criminal behaviour tends to run in families. This supports the idea that there is a genetic component linking criminal behaviour. Further research has been carried out by NOS1 that states the NOS1 gene has been linked to criminality as a connection has been made between the gene and aggressiveness in animal cases. This suggests that the gene could also be linked to aggressiveness in humans. Although, this study is difficult to generalise to humans. Some studies have found an association between one part of the gene and high levels of aggression in humans supporting the theory of the NOS1 gene, particularly in crimes that involve aggression.

These two biological theories are both deterministic because they both suggest that individuals are born criminals i.e. they either already have the NOS1 gene or they look like a criminal (Lombroso’s theory) and this is a deterministic view as it suggests that criminals do not have free will in determining if they’re going to become a criminal or not.



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