Is the Criminal Mind a Product of Learned Behavior? Examining the Causes of Crime

Is the Criminal Mind a Product of Learned Behavior? Examining the Causes of Crime

Crime, as we all know, is an antisocial behavior. But why do people commit crimes? Why some commit crimes without considering the repercussion of their actions? Is it a learned behavior? Could be, but there are several other factors that can rule to a criminal mind. And these factors could be psychological, biological, social or economic. As a matter of fact, for every crime committed, one or combination of these factors is often the reason behind it.

It is of utmost importance for parents to continue a healthy relationship with their children. Caring and loving parents who cherish and sustain their children instill in them a positive self image. These children are generally well-balanced in relating to others and are less likely to commit crimes later in their lives. however, children that grew up in an abusive and disturbing home will most likely abuse their own children. consequently, children that were neglected and abused are more likely to commit crimes later in life. Equally, kids who have been sexually abused growing up often become sexual predators as adults. Studies have shown that most serial rapists had experienced some form of cruel abuse in the early stages of their lives.

Researchers have also discovered that there is a connection between brain activity and criminal behavior. They concluded that certain substances released by the brain to generate body activity, plays a major role in influencing antisocial behavior. These substances are called neurochemicals. Serotonin and dopamine are the two major neurochemicals that can considerably affect a person’s emotional state of mind. Serotonin decreases aggression while dopamine other hand increases aggression. The researchers discovered that there were higher levels of dopamine and lower levels of serotonin in people that commit violent crimes.

Now, let us examine the social and economic causes of crime. When you take a look at most of the people that commit crimes such as burglary, robbery, car theft and shoplifting you’ll find out that a lot of them have a very poor educational background. Most of them cannot read or write above sixth grade level. They rarely have employment history and if they do their earnings are at the minimum wage or below. So, some of these people have to make a choice between living in poverty and a lucrative crime. Peer pressure is another factor that can influence people to commit crimes. Kids wanting to “belong” tend to do things they will not typically do to “fit in” with their peer group. Kids not participating in any sports or social programs tend to fall into this trap. Also, children who have been neglected by their families often become gang members. And we all know what these criminal gangs do. Drug and alcohol abuse is however another factor that causes people to commit crimes. Both alcohol and drugs greatly impairs someone’s ability to make good decisions and reduces a person’s restraints, consequently giving them more courage to commit a crime. People commit crimes to sustain their drug habit.

In conclusion, now that we understand the major causes of crime in our society, we must all work together to do the best we can to make crime more difficult to commit or reduce the opportunities for criminals to commit them.

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