Working Title: Nature VS Nurture – A Study of Criminal Behaviour
Subject and Background:
In this research paper, the researcher will analyze the ongoing and historical debate on whether human behaviour is reliant on one’s environment, as opposed to it being pre-determined by one’s heritable biological genes. The nature vs nurture debate dates back to the 19th century. Sigmund Frued – the father of psychoanalysis – stated in his psychodynamic theory that human behaviour is propelled by thoughts and feelings that lie in our subconscious mind (Daritty, 210), favouring nature. Empiricists such as Sigmund Freud argue that human behaviour is a result of one’s life experiences and upbringing; and that the human mind, at the time of birth, is “tabula rusa” – a blank slate (Dewald, 527). Contrarily, naturalists such as Charles Darwin argued that the factor of genetic influences in criminal behaviours is undeniable and that traits are passed on biologically from one individual to another (Darity, 230), favouring nature.
Conflict and Central Scholarly Views:
Scholars of criminal behaviour and biologists such as Baschetti Riccardo and Lagoa A. Santos have argued that the role of genetics is the most influential in the behavioural outcomes of an individual. These scholars agree that the role of genetics in criminology would also explain the behaviour of individuals who, despite a normal background, behave in odious ways. Moreover, researchers such as Pamela R. Perez suggested that in addition to genetics, a neuroanatomical approach towards criminology should be considered. Compromised functioning of the prefrontal or orbital frontal cortex can be correlated with violent psychopathology. These scholars agree that human behaviour is independent of nature and is associated with genetic or anatomical factors.
However, other scholars and empiricists such as Leslie Knowlton and Tabitha M. Powledge suggest a more environmental approach, where nurture shapes nature....