Can Geneics Cause Crime Are Genetic Factors More Likely To Make One Person Violent?

806 words - 3 pages

Can Genetics Cause Crime ?Introduction to Criminal Justice SystemDr. Mike CarlieAre genetic factors more likely to make one personperform violent acts? Many doctors and researchers in thefield of genetics have searched for a answer to thisquestion.During 1989-93 one such researcher named Dr. Sullivan foundsome interesting points about genetics and crime.Sullivan while working for the Bush administration'ssecretary of health and human services during 1989-1993 wasappalled by the epidemic of violent crimes he saw takingplace in American cities. According to Dr. Sullivan," more than 26,000 Americans were murdered,and six million violent crimes were committedwith young men and minorities falling victimmost frequently".Sullivan also reported that about one in every 27 black men,compared to one in every 205 white men, died violently also1 in 117 black women met a untimely end as compared to whitewomen which only 1 in 496 were killed due to violent crimes.This is not surprising that young males commit most of theserious crimes. According to an article in ScientificAmerican, only 12.5 percent of violent crime in the U.S. in1992 was committed by females. What is also surprisingaccording to W.W. Gibbs the author of "Seeking the CriminalElement," in Scientific American,(1995 March) pp 100-107,is that a very small number of criminals are responsible forthe majority of the violent crime.Sullivan who is now the president of the MorehouseSchool of Medicine in Atlanta wanted to try and address theviolence as a public health issue. In an interview after heleft office in 1993, Dr. Sullivan explains that his rationalfor this was that the higher increases in violent crimes andspecifically homicide in the young male population in largecities. Which was higher than any other social group inAmerica at this time.Dr. Sullivan then began to organize his department'sresearch resources under the banner of the so called"Violence Initiative" as he put it. With the predominantthought of looking at unemployment, poverty, the use ofdrugs and any other factors that might help to contribute tothe likelihood of causing violence. Primarily Sullivans'research was directed towards the psychological andsociological point of view. Sullivan primarily working withthe before mentioned points and only worked lightly with thebiological aspects, such as race, gender, brain chemistryand genetic make up.Dr. Sullivans research, did find some links betweenaggressive behavior, and disturbances in the level of achemical called Serotoin. Which is directly related tocertain genes. Although there was no conclusive proof thatthis abnormal gene was completely responsible for aincreases in violence, Another study in 1993 also found alink between genes and violence. The X chromosome mutationwhich was discovered in a certain Dutch family was...

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