Biological explanations of criminality

James Wright
Mind Map by James Wright, updated more than 1 year ago
James Wright
Created by James Wright about 5 years ago


Mind Map on Biological explanations of criminality, created by James Wright on 03/19/2015.

Resource summary

Biological explanations of criminality
1 Family studies
1.1 You compare family trees of criminals and non criminals
1.1.1 The child is more likely to become criminal if their grandparents or parents are You can't separate the biological factors from the environment Adoption studies have been more successful
2 Mednick 1984
2.1 Studied 14,427 adopted children and compared their criminal records with those of both adopted and biological parents
2.1.1 Those who have criminal records for theft have biological fathers with the same record even if separated It showed that some criminal behaviour is influenced by biological factors
3 Twin studies
3.1 Christiansen 1977
3.1.1 Studied 3586 twins in Denmark He found if an identical twin was a criminal 52% of the time their twin was also criminal He found that with non identical twins if one twin was criminal only 22% of the time their twin was also criminal
4 Theilgaard 1984
4.1 Wanted to see if criminals had a gene that was responsible for their criminal beahaviour
4.1.1 Studied 30,000 men born in the 1940's Theilgaard took blood samples from the 30,000 and analysed the 23 pairs of chromosomes each person has From 30,000 only 16 were found to have the XXY abnormality and 12 had the XYY abnormality The final twelve were then examined The 12 were interviewed by a social worker who didn't know the aim of the study about their background and criminal history The twelve were also given IQ tests The twelve were given personality tests The XYY males only had slightly lower levels of intelligence than average They also tended to be more aggressive There were far more similarities than differences between XXY and XXY males
4.2 The social worker didn't know the aim of the study so that eliminated interviewer biase
4.2.1 Theilgaard used a variety of tests to get her data. Which improved the credibility of her results
4.3 This was only tested on 12 men with the XYY out of 30,000 so it's impossible to generalise it to all men who have the XYY abnormality
4.3.1 The links between XYY males and aggression is only a correlation so the chromosome abnormality may not be the cause of the increased aggression
4.3.2 Not all XYY males were criminals and via versa
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