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Serial Killers: Nature Vs Nurture English Research Paper

2536 words - 11 pages

Drilling into the skull of a young man, he began to funnel a stream of sulfuric acid into the head of his unconscious victim in order to create a zombie to fulfill his fantasies. Dead within a day, he mummified the head of his victim, placing it in the freezer beside the skulls of those who came before. Dismembering the remnants of the body, he placed skin, blood, and bone into a fifty-gallon vat of acid, dissolving what was left. This is the mind of Jeffery Dahmer, an American serial killer and sex offender who committed the rape, murder, and dismemberment of seventeen men and boys. Like many serial killers before him such as Richard Ramirez, Theodore Bundy, and David Berkowitz, psychologists, criminologists, and scientists have searched to answer the question of why serial killers commit these mass killings and why they become such violent humans. Are serial killers born with predetermined genes that play an integral role in creating their homicidal tendencies? Or do they become murderous through their surroundings as children? Childhood abuse has been given varying levels of blame in the development of a serial killer. It is revealed that “over 40 percent of [serial] murderers reported being physically beaten and abused in their childhood. More than 70 percent said they had witnessed or been part of sexually stressful events when young…” (Mitchell and Aamodt 41). The significantly dark and abusive childhoods of known serial killers display the fact that the gradual development of a serial killer is directly influenced by environmental factors such as family atmosphere, society, psychological, physical, and sexual abuse, and alcohol or drug abuse rather than hereditary traits, mental diseases, and genetic code.
Specific personality disorder (PD) is defined as a severe disturbance of the character and behavioral tendencies of an individual. Although they are not considered diseases, personality disorders are abnormalities of the psychic development, and are essentially classified as mental health disturbances. Often times, those who are not specialized in personality disorders view individuals presenting this kind of disorder as problematic, difficult to engage with, and unproductive. When studying the life history of individuals affected with personality disorders, it is evident that they find it challenging to establish themselves due to their turbulent behavior, incoherent attitude, and obsession with a need for immediate gratification. Personality disorders are frequently characterized by an insensitivity to the feelings of others. As this degree of insensitivity increases, the affected individual is more likely to adopt a recurrent pattern of criminal behavior. It is from here that the clinical profile of the personality disorder takes the form of psychopathy (Morana, Stone, Filho).
Psychopathy is a mental disorder marked by affective, interpersonal, and behavioral abnormalities. Specifically, people who suffer from psychopathy...

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