Lombroso's theory of offending

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Lombroso's theory of offending

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Lombroso's theory of offending
  1. Atavistic theory - Characteristics of a remote ancestor or primitive type
    1. Claimed that the characteristics were heritable and therefore criminals are born and not made
    2. His theory formed the foundationn of modern criminological theory
      1. Argyued that criminals were a biologically distinct group of people with diffeernt physical feats compared to non-criminals
        1. Chracteristics of a criminal-
          1. large ears
            1. extra nipples,toes, fingers
              1. narrow sloping brow
                1. prominent jaw
                2. characteristics of a murderer -
                  1. curly hair
                    1. bloodshot eyes
                    2. Then suggested that only 1/3 criminal directly inherited criminal behaviour and that the rest was due to enviromental factors e.g poor education
                      1. He did not compare the criminals with non-criminals therefore there was no control or measure of wether or not the physical features associated with criminals were also found in non criminals
                        1. Goring - compared the physical features of 3000 criminals and a control group and found little evidence to support Lombroso
                        2. Sample consisted of peope with psychological disorders and so Lombroso could have confused criminality with psychopathology
                          1. Sample included people with learnng difficulties - results may not be gerneralisable to people without learning difficulties
                            1. Criminality and certain facial features could both be due to cofounding factors such as poverty and poor nutrition
                              1. Even if characteristics occur more often in criminal toes it doesn't mean their is a casual relationship between them as may be other explanations
                                1. For example - People with certain characteristics may be categrosied as hard and picked on more often leading to a self fufilling prophecy
                                2. Due to opposition, Lombroso had to modify his theory of the born criminal stating it could also be due to the enviroment
                                  1. Lasting consequence of the theory - ntion of criminals having a certain look and stereotyping them could be seen as racist/sexist
                                    1. Despite critisicms, Lombroso was responsible for moving the explantion of criminality away from wickendess and more into scientifica realm - therefore he is known by many researchers as the Father of Modern Criminality
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