Biological And Genetics – Essay Example

What does the research evidence tell us about biological and genetic influences on criminality? Whether biological and genetic factors are responsible for the criminal behavior of an individual or it is the environmental influence that makes one perform criminality, has been a hot debate always. Research has shown that it is a mix of both. Evidence for the interaction of genes predicting criminality has come from twin, adoption, and family studies and laboratory experiments (Jones, 2005). Researchers like Tehrani & Mednick (2000) conducted their research on twin, adoption, and family studies and found that genetic factors are involved in criminality. Twin studies involve research on the behavior of monozygotic and dizygotic twins to see the concordance rate to anticipate to what extent genes influence criminality. If this rate is higher in monozygotic twins than in dizygotic twins, then this means that genes influence criminality (Tehrani & Mednick, 2000; Joseph, 2001). Researchers (Brunner et al., 1993) conducted research on family and adoption studies to extract the evidence because these studies show the influence biological or adoptive parents can have on their children. Eysenck (1990) and Denno (1988) also concluded that genes are fairly responsible in studying an adult personality trait like criminality. Walters (1992) conducted a research on existing researches to study the gene-crime relationship and concluded that there is great genetic influence on criminal behavior. Research evidence given by Arseneault et al. (2003) tells the genetic contribution toward the antisocial behavior and violence in young children. Thus, we see that researchers have been studying the genetic influence on criminality and have always supported the biological contribution in the development of criminal behavior in an individual.
Arseneault, L., Moffitt, E., Caspi, A., Taylor, A., Rijsdijk, FV, Jaffee, SR, Ablow, JC, & Measelle, JR. (2003). Strong genetic effects on cross-situational antisocial behaviour among 5-year-old children according to mothers, teachers, examiner-observers, and twins self-reports. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, and Allied Disciplines, 44(6), 832-848.
Brunner, HG., Nelen, M., Breakefield, XO., Ropers, HH., & Van Oost, BA. (1993). Abnormal behavior associated with a point mutation in the structural gene for monoamine oxidase A. Science, 262, 578-580.
Denno, DW. Human biology and criminal responsibility: free will or free ride? University of Pennyslvania Law Review 137, 651-671.
Eysenck, HJ. (1990). Genetic and environmental contributions to individual differences: The three major dimensions of personality. Journal of Personality, 58, 245-261.
Jones, CM. (2005). Genetic and Environmental Influences on Criminal Behavior. Retrieved August 7, 2010 from
Joseph, J. (2001). Is crime in the genes? A critical review of twin and adoption studies of criminality and antisocial behavior. The Journal of Mind and Behavior, 22, 179-218.
Tehrani, J., & Mednick, S. (2000). Genetic factors and criminal behavior. Federal Probation, 64, 24-28.
Walters, G. (1992). A meta-analysis of the gene-crime relationship. Criminology, 30(4), 595-613.