Running Head: PARENTAL LICENSURE TRAINING REDUCES CRIME RATE 1
Parental Licensure Training Reduces Crime Rate
Florida Atlantic University
PARENTAL LICENSURE TRAINING REDUCES CRIME RATE 2
Crime rate on the small Caribbean island of Wiji reached epidemic levels fifteen years ago.
It is important to understand what caused the crime epidemic in the first place. Literature also
shows that there were recent reductions in the crime rate. What was responsible for the recent
David Lykken (2000, 2001) wrote two papers that advocated parental licensure. Taking
from his advice, he ministry of Justice implemented the parental licensure to curb the crime rate
in Wiji and New Wiji.
According to the parental licensure program, all parents were required to obtain licenses
prior to receiving permission to reproduce. Strict licensure requirements were established that
included extensive parent training requirements. Harsh financial penalties were administered to
those who reproduced without licenses.
People who commit violent crimes are called psychopaths, whose genetic temperament
makes them so difficult to socialize that unless they are very lucky in the quality of their rearing
experiences, they grow up to be predators of one kind or another (Lykken, 1995). It was found in
twin research that two of the more crime-relevant personality traits, aggression and impulsiveness,
are strongly genetic but also emergenic (Lykken, Bouchard, McGue, & Tellegen, 1992); the
relevant polygenes appear to combine configurally rather than additively, so that these traits run
only weakly in families.
It is argued that the main reason for this epidemic of crime and violence is the rapid recent
increase in the proportion of the young people aged 15 to 24 who have grown up unsocialized
(Lykken, 1995, p. 30). It is argued further that most of these feral youngsters are sociopaths,
defined as genetically normal children whose failure of socialization was due to their being
PARENTAL LICENSURE TRAINING REDUCES CRIME RATE 3
domiciled with an immature, overburdened, unsocialized, or otherwise incompetent parent or
It turns out that there is a striking correlation, at least in the United States, between
fatherless rearing and subsequent social pathology (Lykken, 1997). Of the juveniles incarcerated
in the United States for serious crimes, about 70% were reared without biological fathers (Beck,
Kline, & Greenfeld, 1988; Sullivan, 1992). Of the antisocial boys studied at the Oregon Social
Learning Center, fewer than 30% came from intact families (Forgatch, Patterson, & Ray, 1994).
Of the more than 130,000 teenagers who ran away from home in 1994, 72% were leaving single-
parent homes (Snyder & Sickmund, 1995).
Correlation does not of course prove a direct causal connection. Fatherless children may
be at higher risk because single or divorced mothers tend to have to live in straitened
circumstances, often in bad neighborhoods. The...