A criminal can be defined as a person who has committed a crime. It does not matter whether one has committed a crime once or numerous times. Offences that may make one qualify to be called a criminal may include, robbery with violence, murder and so on. One may wonder why is it that some people have the habit of continually committing such crimes while others don’t? Is it a matter of inheriting some genes from the family or is it one’s on desire to do so? These questions and many more are some reasons that have brought about a fiery argument from the subject of criminology in the expedition to find the source of criminal behaviour in our society today and also ways of dealing with such kind of behaviour in our society. This essay will bring out factors that may lead to answering some of these questions looking at both approaches whether one is born a criminal or is forced to become a criminal because of some other factors like environment. Nevertheless, the essay will take a position and argue that these criminals are made and that no one is born a criminal. This is a behaviour some people obtain due to either by their own choice or factors from their environment.
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Psychologists have come up with many assumptions and intentions as to why individuals commit crimes. The two main clarifications lie in genetic and environmental factors, which conveys to the nature and nurture debate. Some argue that criminals are born, these are philosophers and scientists who believe that the genetics play a role in a persons behaviour and thus criminals are as a result of the same; these are twin and adoption studies. On the other hand there are also studies that have been conducted to prove that criminals are made by society, these are scientist and philosophers who consider that it is the environment, such as a persons interaction with the society that models behaviour of the individual.
Some psychologists and medical researchers have come to the theory that criminal behaviour is hereditary just as other medical conditions, such as heart disease and high cholesterol. This gives a conclusion that criminals have a tendency to commit crime and are indeed born (Wasserman D (2004). On the other hand, an individual who is not genetically inclined to criminal behaviour can be forced by the environment to get involved in to the same. Peer pressure is one of best illustration in such cases. Most of the criminals today are from big cities where living conditions are somehow hostile. One of the major factors that drive such individuals to criminal behaviour is poverty, which in this case lies in the nature side of the debate. That is to say, poverty, which is an environmental factor, also plays a huge role in producing criminal behaviour (Baatz, Darrow, 2009)..
A study on identical twins in a University in Florida carried out in 2007 shows that the relationship of criminal behaviour of identical and fraternal twins were evaluated with each other in these studies; it was concluded that rates of participation in criminal acts to be more alike for pairs of identical twins compared to fraternal. However, critics dispute that reasons other than that of hereditary could be the cause for the result. Contrasting to other family members identical twins normally spend more time collectively, frequently having the similar instructors and associates, thus sharing allot of experiences. Identical twins are more often than not closely emotionally involved to each other because of the aforesaid factors, making them similar in approach and behaviour including, involvement in criminal activity. A question may be raised in relation to genetic factors leading to criminal behaviour, that why should one be penalized if it is genetically inherited? The answer to such a question rely in part on whether one believes that factors reducing but not getting rid of one’s ability for willpower ought to reduce moral accountability for one’s behaviour. Moral philosophers differ on this subject, with some requiring an impairment of normal deliberative processes or at least a denial of the desires that the person finds so hard to manage before they would accept an argument for improvement.
However, poverty is not the only environmental factor that may lead an individual to crime. One may notice that though poverty is a factor in criminal behavior, not all people leaving in poverty indulge in crime (Raine, 1993). This is to say that criminal behavior can be controlled by the environmental factors like what lessons one is taught. Still, not all criminals come from modest background or from big cities, some also come from well-off families living in outer edge. These are mostly peer influence, naturally human beings are sensible, and they freely make decisions even though they understand the outcome of their own choices. Thus criminals are not born but made.
The old proverb says that wicked group damage decent principles. Relating with criminals can make an individual to end up as a criminal. This may be the major motive why children from well-off families obtain criminal behaviour. Petty crimes committed by children may appear to be a tale to friends who may also be involved the same for pleasurable. Over duration of time, this behaviour may prove to become a permanent thing. Peer pressure is mainly clear in the slums where houses close to one another. Among other factors, this explains why crime rate is on the higher on average in poor vicinity. According to study, families in inner cities are facing many challenges. There is extremely huge number of single parent families where mostly the father is missing. A family where father is missing lacks that unity that a father brings in a family. Boys need a father figure in the family to help them grow and learn how to control their manhood. In Addition to this domestic hostility that is rampant in families and the circumstances that become apparent is an rising number of youth brought up in such homes. Another good example is the high rate of criminal activity associated with African Americans as compared to the whites. This can only be explained by the peer influence acquired from one another in these neighbourhoods.
A family mingles an individual to the exterior world. It introduces the prospects of society on each individual. When the individual is brought up in a family set upwhere there is respect for authority and personal possessions, there is affection, and hard work is appreciated; this individual assumes the similar principles. A father figure in the family symbolizes authority. Children brought up in single parented families where they were battered may utter their antagonism on the public and become criminals (Ferri, 2008). The importance of rearing children in normal families cannot be contradicted. Thus most single parented families play a major role to crime in that they do not instil the best of the children they bring up by bringing out the mandatory morals. This evidently illustrates why a family is the heart of every society, and everything that takes place in it will eventually resound transversely in the whole society (Miller, & Gaines, 2008). The same relates to schools. A school not only implant helpful morals, but also authorize children to lead straightforward lives. Failure to this, its graduates may be prone to crime. From the above-mentioned situations, the environment also plays are the crucial task in initialling criminals. Therefore, criminals are made. This is to say, criminals realize this behaviour from their neighbourhood or they are forced by living conditions.
Similarly psychologists frequently say things like “Families with inadequate communication and poor family attachment have been shown to have a connection with a child’s development of hostile/criminal behavior”. Or “children are at a bigger risk of involving in crimes, if they were abandoned or neglected” (Caspi A. (2002).
There is sharp turn of events in out societal principles concerning earning a living currently. We are instructed that in order to be wealthy, you don’t need to work hard, but rather work smart.. The meaning of the term “work smart” is vague. In the real sense, an individual a little less hard but earning significantly extra than generally individuals would be termed to be “working smart.” Reasonably speaking, there are careers where people receive plenty of money for working fewer hours; compared to r the majority plenty of cash is a result of tolerance and hard work. Since chances for “working smart” are scarce or rather imaginary, some people end up devious and other deceitful activities that border on crime to get money (Baatz, & Darrow, 2009). In societies where people like this obtain and hold on to their corrupted wealth, who would be willing to stick to usual ways of earning a living. Everyone will be on the look for a shortcut to develop living standards. This habitually means turning to corruption. When such circumstances exist in any society it will eventually crumple, particularly if the leaders are implicated.
To conclude therefore, it can be argued that, though studies have found that both genes and environment play a role in the criminality of the individual, the environment plays a key role in stemming or spreading such behaviors. Criminals are therefore made and not necessarily born
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