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Concepts of Crime, Deviance and Victims

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Criminology
Wordcount: 3250 words Published: 8th Feb 2020

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Table of Content

Table of Content

Elements of Defiant and Abnormal behavior

Major theoretical factors and forces that cause crime

Impact of crime on person and property

The Ramification of violent crimes, the career criminals and organized crimes

Concept of victimless crimes

Elements of Defiant and Abnormal behavior

Ancient history believes that supernatural controlled people and events, when people acted outside the normal, they were then defiant and placed to the mercy of spirits. Ancient society referred to physical evidence for defiance from the norms. Defiant behavior is defined as a manner of conducting oneself differently from the norm (Egemen, 2018). It is also referred to as aberrant behavior or abnormal behavior.  Deviance happens when the social norms are broken or violated.  There are no set agreements on the issue of deviance, but there are few elements that help with categorizing the phenomenon.

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One element refers that to deviant been relative not absolute. This acknowledges that every individual is deviant in some extent. These are usually as a result of different cultural groups having different norms. An example is the act of alcohol consumption been deviant in the Muslim community but not in the Hindu society. Another example is women driving in the Arab countries are considered defiant while in other regions women have the freedom to own a driving and drive motor vehicles. History plays a major role in the variance of relative nature of deviance within given cultures.

The second element is norm violation. There exist a wide range of norms such as; health, legal, religious and cultural. These norms govern the bodies under which a certain practice is to be undertaken, for example there are legal norms for lawyers practicing law and nurses in the hospitals like the confidentiality of information to their clients.  Sometimes there is conflict between different norms and in such situations, it becomes very hard to decide on the deviance behavior. The other element is the view of defiance as a stigma structure. This is based upon the behavior of individual during certain events or time.  This for example the case of a terrorist becoming a political martyr, deviance is seen as shifting and volatile to the wide range of norms.   There are various criteria to identify abnormal behavior, which are; Unusualness, Social deviance, Emotional distress, Faulty perceptions or interpretations of reality, Maladaptive behavior, and Dangerousness.  Abnormal behavior is expressed by a blurred view of existing legal order and norms (Uski & Lampinen, 2014). 

Out of experiments done on students, various vices were considered to be factors that resulted to abnormal behavior. Some of the habits that lead to the abnormal behavior by youth are alcohol consumption, either for fun or to deal with stress. Alcohol tend to impair judgement and this then giving youth. Smoking is another vice peer that is mostly impacted by peer pressure. Suicide attempts and bullying, Social Media (Egemen H., 2018)

Computer games; in 2012 a journal review showed women been featured as objects and encouraging violence against them hence the hostility to rape women victims. Gamers playing of violent games give gamers the understanding of real-life violence (Victoria & Eric, 2012). 

To prevent this deviant behavior, there ought to be continuous monitoring of the behavior, which should include assessment of the risk from this behavior. Sensitization programs to also should be used in order to help people be keen and take action against vices that doesn’t seem to be acceptable.  Some of these vices are like the consumption of alcohol and smoking among the adolescents. The family also plays a very important role when it comes to the basic values of a child, as they learn what is right and wrong to the norms of the society. Therefore, home education is very important to achieving a society with zero or relatively to no deviance behavior.

Major theoretical factors and forces that cause crime

There various factors that can lead to crime in the society.  Parental relations are one of the factors that lead to crime. “Cycle of violence” is an idea adopted in the 1980s that states, where people grow up is most like to impact their behavior. For example, Individuals who grow up in an antisocial abusive behavior in their home are more likely to carry on with that trend and mistreat their children. This pattern will tend to be carried on to the generations to come in the lineage of that family. Sexually abused children often lead to the victims becoming sexual criminals in their adult life. The neglected and abused children are likely to be crime offenders in their adult life. The cycle of crime keeps repeating, this is clear from having most inmates having history of abuse.

Education is another factor contributing to crime. Merton’s sociological theories on a survey of inmates showed very high level of illiteracy among the inmates. These criminals committed various crime, most common been shoplifting, trafficking, robbery and automobile theft. Poor education background indicated history of employment in low wage jobs and even periods of unemployment. These led to people making choices between low income and profitable crime hence a major factor to crime contribution.

Peer pressure and influence strongly contribute to the decision to commit crime. An example is children who cannot afford adequate clothing, been trapped in the need to match their fellows, this hence led to petty crime such a shoplifting or drug trafficking in order to finance their needs. There is evidence in research of youth joining criminal gangs as of the status and respect the gangs get. Criminal activities in the gangs give individuals respect and credibility hence a major force to crime.

Another major force that can lead to crime is Easy access to firearms. The back market provides an ease access to hand guns in the USA, from statistics crimes committed with firearms in 1998 330,000 of 400,000 used handguns. Firearms use in USA was among the eighth leading crime cause in the twenty first century.

Abuse of Drugs and alcohol is a leading force in criminal activities. These are as a result and urge to satisfy a drug habit or addiction. Abuse of drugs and alcohol often lead to violence, often where the victim and the perpetuator have no relationship. Alcohol and drugs reduce inhibitions hence giving the abuser courage to commit crimes. A high rate of 30% to 50% is estimated by criminologist to be as a result of violence from the use abuse of alcohol and drugs.

Another force of crime is heredity and brain activity. From studies in 1980s having case subjects as twins and adopted children indicated that identical twins are likely to have similar behavior as compared to fraternal ones who have different genes.  The case of adopted children indicated that adopted children have more similarities to those of their biological parents then to those of the adoptive parents.  Robert Hare a psychologist in 1986 identified a connection between anti-social behavior and brain activities, this are such as having individuals been greater risk takers.

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Hormone discharges in the body also play a role in how the body functions. Some of the hormones are; Testosterone is a sex hormone, Cortisol a hormone that affects how quickly food is digested. Cortisol is produced by adrenal glands and high levels lead to greater energy in times of danger or stress.  Studies on animals indicated high relation between high levels of testosterone to aggression, also a study in of inmates USA on this hormone showed high levels to those of free adults.

Impact of crime on person and property

Crime has had very great impact to people and the property. Crime in the USA has fallen as per the FBI statistics stating that there was a decline of 48% in between the year 1993 and 2016. The first six months of the year 2017 showed a decline by 0.8% of the figures by law enforcement agencies on violent crimes in comparison to the figures of the previous year 2016. The violent crimes include; rape, robbery, murder and aggravated assault (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2017). There exists a large variation on crime rates to the geographic location. Data from the FBI showed differences from city to ty and state to state. In states of Nevada, Tennessee and New Mexico there were more than 600 crimes per 100,000.  

Property crime in the United States has dropped over a long term. Data from the FBI shows that crime rate fell 48% between year 1993 and 2016. From the comparison of data on property crimes in the United States, there was a decline of crimes by 2.9% for the first 6 month of 2017 to the first 6 months of 2016. With exception of arson, property crimes include; motor vehicle theft, burglary and larceny-theft (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2017).  The figures of 2017 showed a decline of 3.5% of arson compared to figures of 2016 for the first 6 months of the year. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2017).

Most studies relate unemployment, poverty and crime. Regions that have high crime rates have high rates of unemployment and poverty has high crime rates. The only problem is that the studies do not indicate whether it is the unemployed individuals that commit the crimes. Individuals at lower end of social economic status are more likely to participate in crime. This shows a clear relationship between crime, poverty and unemployment, having many individuals in high crime rate areas unemployed and poverty stricken. 

Substance abusers directly increase the risk of criminal violence, such substance as alcohol has shown increased aggression when abused.  Heavy alcohol drinkers have a high preference to commit alcohol related violent crimes. Regions where there is high consumption of alcohol are also associated with high crime rates. There are other substances that are abused that lead to increased aggression and are linked to crime. These substances are a variety and dependent on the regions where they are commonly trafficked, and are such as cocaine, meth and heroine.

A property proximity to any crime is a deal breaker to the owners. For example, when people are choosing a house, they get away from the crime prone areas. (Devon, 2016). A high loss in the property value comes after news of a crime spreads locally, which develop an aversion to the area (Devon, 2016). When it comes to property there are Check disclosure laws. This entails provision of evidence the crime occurred in the propertyin some states. While others simply state that the truth of the crime must be made known to the buyer. From these laws most, buyers decide on whether to choose the property based on the crime rate of that region.

Studies show various effects that crime can have on a victim. One is the loss of trust and shock to the society of the individual who is victimized, this is particularly for small society or group’s where the offense was carried out. Second is the guilt of having to be the victim of the crime, victim feeling that they could have stopped the crime from happening. Guilt may be brought also by loss in the crime, be it financial or scars caused where violence was involved. Psychological effects are also common in persons affected by crime, such as fear, anger and depression. Social effect is also a personal impact involving the changing of lifestyle of the victim to avoid situation in which the crime occurred, such as may lead to moving to a new house and even not visiting the street of crime.  (Matthew & Joanna , 2007)

The Ramification of violent crimes, the career criminals and organized crimes

The issue of organized crime is among the top agenda problems facing governments, this is as a result of increased international reach of the activities by the organized criminals facilitated by technological development that globalize activities to be legit.  Organized crime is a significant problem in countries like Russia. Usually the starting point is the identification of activities with economic nature that organized criminals are associated with such as human trafficking and exchange of illegal goods. Organized criminals are also involved in predatory activities such as robbery, fraud and theft. (Richard, 2000)

Existing literature has focused on identification of impact that crime and violence have on economic factor accumulation, yet there is little on the impact that crime and violence have on how economic factors are located. Wisdom suggests that high or increase in crime rates make communities have a decrease. Researchers translate the decline to need of people to move, less local involvement, satisfaction with the neighbor and lower value of the houses. Empirical research has conformity to only some of the wisdom, the house price neighborhood satisfaction and desire to move. Different crimes have an influence on housing market as crime rates play role in transition of neighbor hoods (Taylor, 1995).

Crime has a negative impact on socioeconomic costs; analyses find that individuals tend to avoid areas and activities perceived to victimize them to crime. Tourism is also negatively affected in crime prone area, so does it discourage investment and stifle growth economically.  Another ramification of crime is the direct costs incurred on all goods and services used to prevent violence and offer treatment to victims. This cost in experienced in the heath sector, justice and prison, private security and police sector. Crime has a high non-monetary cost too, on such issue as mortality and morbidity which are also classified as economic loss (Taylor, 1995).

There are various effects that the gangs have on the societies. The most affected are the businesses that operate in the regions that are crime prone. The businesses have to incur high end security as their premises can end up been vandalized any time even during the day. The other effect is the closure of businesses very early to avoid been caught up in the dusk by the criminals, this means that the working hours in the premises are limited for security purposes. Some businesses have to pay some fee taxed to them for operation in the regions that the gangs also control, this making the running of business in this area to be extremely high.  (Alex, 2004)

Concept of victimless crimes

These are behaviors that are against the criminal law but have no harm to the consenting parties. This concept was argued that behaviors are not criminal till they inflict harm (Ross & Karen, 2010) the concept of victimless crime started in the 1960s and played a major role in debates both legal and social.  The essence was from an appeal of the archaic laws against homosexuals which is a victimless crime. It was later promoted by Edwin M Schur in his sociologist works back in 1965; Crimes without victims: Deviant Behavior and Public Policy (Edwin, 1966). The notion of “victimless crime” to homosexual behavior is essentially a restatement of the argument against the laws that prescribed death penalty; been that no other human’s right is infringed and punishing the culprits is an overstep of the mandate of the state.

Various aspects of the crime are denoted form the definition: One is that there is consensual between the participants; two is that none of the participants is willing to act as a complaining witness and last is there is no direct harm to the participants. An example is example, an offense committed by consenting adult homosexuals. In this case there is no complaining witness to protest the conduct even thou it might violate the criminal code and American criminal law do recognize this distinction. There are various types of victimless crimes. These crimes do not directly or specifically harm another individual. They are; Prostitution, Drug use, Trespassing, Traffic citations, Public drunkenness, Suicide and gambling.


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