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Flashcards in AC2.1 Deck (8):
1

What are Biological theories of crime?

Biological theories state that physical characteristics can determine criminality
Some theories believe that criminality is genetic and heritable

2

XYY theory

The presence of an extra Y chromosome induces aggressive behaviour
Jacob et al (1965) found that more Male prisoners had extra Y chromosomes
Serial killer John Wayne Gacy had an extra Y chromosome

3

Twin theory

Criminal behaviour is inherited
Lange (1929) found identical twins shared common characteristics, so criminal tendencies would be shared
The Kray twins were identical

4

Adoption studies

Determines whether children will adopt characteristics from their biological or adoptive parents
Studies found a high proportion of 14,000 boys whose parents had been involved in crime had criminal convictions

5

Physiological theories: Lombroso

Facial features can determine criminality
Criminals are a separate species more similar to primitive beings with atavistic features such as:

Low forehead
Large jaw
Long arms
Large ears
Flat nose

6

Physiological theories: Sheldon

There are 3 somatypes: Endomorph (fat), Ectomorph (skinny) and mesomorph (ripped)
Mesomorphs are more likely to be criminal and ectomorphs are least likely to be criminal

7

Physiological theories: Brain abnormality

Damage to the Pre-frontal cortex area of the brain can lead to a loss of self control and aggressive behaviour
Raine et al used PET scans to study the brains of killers and found common damage in this area

8

Physiological theories: Neurochemicals

Studies link low levels of serotonin to high levels of aggression
Screbo and Raine studied anti-social adults and children and found low serotonin in all of them