Biological and Psychological


Theories are useful tools that help us explain and understand our environment. In criminology they help us understand the workings of the criminal justice system and its actors, basically they are used to pre-empt crime in either lager or small social units. And for maximum effectiveness they are deemed to make a logical sense as much as the real world applications and policies are concerned.

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Biological theories tend to explain and demonstrate how social human behaviors are genetically linked to criminal behaviors. Below are some of the biological theories that elaborate on how human social problems are attributed by the biological genetic inheritance. For instance Mednick’s theory explains that individuals who inherit a slower than normal autonomic nervous system (ANS), are slow in controlling antisocial behaviors hence tend to have increased violence and criminal activities in the society. Such individuals in specific would be involved in animosities like unrest and strikes due to their aggressive nature. (S.Christines, 2004)

Another biological theory is Biosocial Arousal theory which explains that an individual’s level of arousal works in conjunction with the social environment, thus those individual with low levels of arousal are less likely to learn appropriate ways of dealing with aggression and violence. Such individuals will be involved in antisocial behaviors like fights and also course unrest in the community making them more prone to commit crimes. A gene-Based Evolution theory which is a general approach that suggested that the process of natural selection has resulted in criminal genetic tendencies being passed from one generation to another generation, for instance if the parent is a criminal the criminal behaviors will be passed to the siblings resulting to antisocial behaviors in the community. (Schmalleger, 2006)

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Psychoanalytic theorists believed that criminal behaviors are as a result of mental disturbance. From a Freudian perspective, this may have been caused by a conflict between the id, ego, and the superego or was as a result of an improper fixation during a stage of emotional development in early childhood, this may subsequently lead to personality disorder such as hatred, immoralities and compulsive negative indulgence in the society hence the societal moral decadence. (Owen, 10 Feb 2011) There is also the leaning theory that is based on the principle of behavioral psychology, in this case the behavior is leaned and maintained based on the consequences that follow the previous act, for example when individuals at early childhood are punished for a bad behavior they tend to avoid the repetitive action for punitive measures. Otherwise the self regulatory characters will still have high susceptibility to participating in negative psychosocial aspects because their judgments are individually based. This prompts ultimate increase in causation of crime. (Schmalleger, 2006).

Another psychological theory is the personality theory, in this theory it explain that criminal activities are as a result of deviant, defective, or inadequate personality. The deviant personality traits includes; impulsiveness, hostility, and sensation-seeking. These deviant traits can lead to individual antisocial and irresponsible behaviors in the society resulting to criminal actions.

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If biological theories are acceptable then the society is limited in its responses to wrongdoers. There are some responses that can be adopted which are; the community should try to fix the offender though therapy or medication, they could also be locked up keeping them physically separated from the larger society, they may also be sterilized this will prevent passing of defective genes to future generation, finally they may be banished or deported to eliminate such deviant behaviors in the society. In psychological theories, the criminal actions are symptoms of the underlying psychological or the personality disorder. Various forms of therapy and treatment should be adopted by the society to fix the disorder, since if the underlying psychological or personality disorder is addressed, the criminal and deviant personality traits will cease to exist in the society.

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