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"'Gene for crime'"
'Gene for crime'
John Mayes
'Such incredulity about a 'gene for crime' – the label that has, inevitably, attached itself to an inborn tendency to offend – is surprising, as nobody denies that crime is inherited.' (Jones, S (1996))*

In the passage above Jones suggests there is a societal disapproval for the notion that crime can be reduced to a single gene (a purely biological explanation for crime). This disapproval of a biological cause for crime is contrasted against Jones' own view that nobody denies that crime per se is inherited. It may be reasonable to assume that the acquisition of a criminal lifestyle is preferably seen to be social rather than biological.

Discuss the above statement with respect to the psychobiological evidence and social factors.

From Jones, S. (1996). In the blood: God, genes and destiny. Flamingo

The controversial field of behavioural genetics has been researched into thoroughly, with supported claims for a genetic base of behavioural attributes such as aggression and impulsivity. A growing scientific focus on genes and behaviour has contributed to the recovery of genetic determinism, the belief that genetics is a major contributing factor in determining behaviour. This biological approach can be substantially invalid by the likes of B. F. Skinner. The behaviourist would lead you to believe that the environment was the predetermining factor in the origins of behavioural characteristics. This highly contentious subject can be argued for eternity but each side of the debate puts forwards some interesting findings, suggesting that maybe this field can be explained by a correlation between genetic and social factors.

Men, in general, are far more aggressive than women, which leads to the question, are males born that way or do environmental factors contribute? A study by John Toot on rats established that nature, not nurture holds the answers. The levels of neurotransmitters in various brain regions of...

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