Biological, Sociological, and Psychological Effects
On the Causation of Crime
CJ499-01: Bachelors Capstone in Criminal Justice
Causation of crime as defined by Merriam-Webster is the relationship between an event or situation and a possible reason or cause (causation, n.d.). There is a reason for everything, no matter if it is good or bad. Every crime, from the smallest petty crime to the most severe, is linked to one of three theories; behavioral, sociological, and psychological. Human behavior is always influenced by mitigating factors.
Biological theory is based on actual physical characteristics being the most influential factor in someone committing a crime. This school of thought was greatly influenced by the Italian scientist Cesare Lombroso (1836-1909) who argued that criminals were born and could be identified by their physical features (Miller, 2012). In the late nineteenth century, Lombroso conducted a study of prison inmates and came to the conclusion that their behavior was directly linked to specific body characteristics, namely the cranial region (Biological theories, n.d.).
Gender has been a much stronger link, over race and class, to deviant behavior (Deflem, 2006). Men have traditionally been more likely to offend than women. Many scientists went on to further the biological theory, like Enrico Ferri (1856-1929) & Raffaele Garofalo (1852-1934) who created four criminal categories: insane, born, occasional, and passion-driven (Miller). These still hold true to this very day, often times criminals will try to use the “temporary insanity” defense.
Throughout history biological flaws were often treated medically instead of with stricter penalties (Raine, 2002). The harshest of these treatments was to perform a lobotomy, which essentially separated the prefrontal cortex from the rest of the brain by using a sharp object inserted in the eye socket (Raine). These were done to...