Early Positivism - Criminological Theory - Lecture Slides, Slides for Law and Criminology. Chaudhary Charan Singh Haryana Agricultural University

Law and Criminology

Description: These are the lecture slides of Criminological Theory. Key important points are: Early Positivism, Biology and Crime, Sociological Criticism and Dominance, New Directions, Biological Research, Biosocial Interactions, Born Criminal, Darwinistic Theory, Supermale, Cross Fostering Analysis
Showing pages  1  -  2  of  9
The preview of this document ends here! Please or to read the full document or to download it.
Document information
Embed this document:
No Slide Title

Biology and Crime

• Early Positivism: the legacy of the early 1900s • Sociological Criticism and Dominance • New Directions in Biological research

– Biosocial Interactions


Early Biological Positivism

• Lombroso’s “born criminal” – Darwinistic theory of “atavism”

• Various theories of the “feeble-minded” • Charles Goring, E.A. Hooten

– body stature and weight • The XYY supermale • Commonality? 1 immutable factor directly causes



Biology from 1940-1980s

• Any hint of “biological research” was ridiculed, ignored, treated as “taboo.” – Akers: this criticism was warranted – The use of “knowledge destruction?”

• 1990s-present: rebirth of biological research – Is modern biological research or theory any



Is Crime “inherited?”

• Twin Studies – Christianson (1977) – “Concordance” rates: MZ (36%), DZ (12%) – Criticism of twin studies?

• Adoption studies – “cross fostering” analyses – criminal history of biological parents vs. adoptive



Cross Fostering Analysis Mednick et al. (1984)

Biological Parents Criminal?

Adoptive Parents Criminal? YES NO YES 24.5% 14.7% NO 20.0% 13.5%


Assuming that something is inherited...

• “Intelligence” • “Physiological Arousal”

– How our body processes stimuli – cortical arousal, CNS measures (heart rate, etc.)

• Personality/Temperament – ADD, ADHD


A “Biosocial” emphasis

• No modern theory relies solely on biology – Interaction of biology and social factors

• Example: Mednick’s biosocial theory – A mix of “socialization” (parenting, SES…) and

biology (arousal)


Mednick’s biosocial theory

• Children refrain from crime when consistently socialized to do so (similar to?) – Parental efficacy (consistent rewards/punishment) and

social context of parenting – Children have different “learning ability”

• Some do not feel the “sting” of punishment • Low cortical arousal, low nesting heart rate, etc.

• Potent mix = poor parenting and low arousal



• Early Positivism – Eugenics (quotes from Hooten, others)

• Biosocial Criminology

– Biology may identify “high risk” kids – Prevention can target “social” factors


Docsity is not optimized for the browser you're using. In order to have a better experience please switch to Google Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer 9+ or Safari! Download Google Chrome