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The term biology has arguably been defined as the science of nature that concerns with the studying of lives and other living organisms in relation to their varied functions, biological structures and growth (Kiesler 22). Psychological factors are considered to constitute the thoughts, attitudes and feelings by individuals that have an influence on the cognitive characteristics that impact the general behavior. Either, social factors are considered to be various facts and experiences of life that significantly influence the personality traits, attributes and general lifestyle of an individual. It has been found that biological characteristics do play a significant role in the psychological and social set up and behavior of an individual (Barlow, and Durand 11). The argument whether biology can be considered separately without the inclusion of the psychological and social factors has raged for a long period. Different studies have been carried out in an attempt to find the link between them. This paper will give an in-depth analysis on an individual’s biology. It will, however, do so by exploiting the psychological and social factors that play out in determining the criminal activities. It also looks at the possible ways in which such scenarios can be mitigated by the various criminal and justice systems.
Research findings state that there is a general link between the biological set up of an individual and the social and psychological factors that are found to have a wide range of impacts on the general criminal and justice systems. The studies have revealed that there are certain biological factors that considerably influence the criminal behavior. Though, this fact is still debatable as various findings still accrue. This is attributed to the fact that the study of biological predisposition is a new concept that was introduced recently. Actions that are criminal in nature have been attributed to biology due to the fact that advancements in the social orders and natural science have significantly taken place more especially in the field of genetics (Barlow, and Durand 21). This makes criminal behaviors become primarily based on biological analysis that has become of foremost focus of psychologists.
When studying biology, various psychological and social factors have to be considered more so in relation to criminal activities. This results from the fact that the genetic makeup of individual persons does contribute significantly to their criminal activities. The environment to which one dwells in also reflects on an individual’s criminal activities since it has an influence on one’s social life which in effect determines individuals’ social behavior that makes them criminals or not. Both the genes and environment have a significant role when it comes to determining their criminal nature. This is due to various levels of interaction between the psychological factors as determined by the genetic makeup of an individual and the social factors that are a determinant of the environment one resides (Siegel 26). Studies have established that the criminal predisposition of an individual does not necessarily determine his/her actions, but when one is put into certain environmental conditions considered appropriate, his/her tendencies to engage in criminal activities do increase significantly. The general arguments that criminal activities within family lines are biological have not been accepted that much. Initially, it was believed that individuals had a complete free will in their predisposition and behaviors, but recent studies have found that there are indeed certain psychological and social factors that do influence and act as causative agents of crime.
The psychological factors such as mental health status have been widely linked to various criminal activities as they appear well established. On the other hand, psychological conditions such as paranoid schizophrenia usual manifest in situations of extreme violence. This is widely seen in the cases of murdererd and serial killers where it has been found that the predisposition does exist and more especially in the cases of mental illness such as schizophrenia which may be reinforced by the environmental factors. Its causes are rooted in various neurotomy regions of the brain that significantly influence the criminal activity of individuals. The body hormones also have psychological influences on individual emotions. The emotions have an impact on the criminal behaviors of individuals since their imbalance results in situations of extreme aggressions that reflect itself in violent acts or even destruction to properties. Either, sexual assaults do result from the impairment of an individual’s psychological state (Barlow, and Durand 21).
Characteristics of individuals and their personalities are also modified by the environment they live. This affects their social behavior and is more pronounced in the social disorders that play a significant role in individual criminal activities. Social disorders such as the oppositional defiance disorder that is characterized by extreme argumentativeness, irritation and noncompliance to regulations usually change to the worst when one grows (Barlow, and Durand 6). It manifests itself in criminal activities such as lying, stealing, substance abuses, aggression towards others and vandalism on property. The social disorder of attention increases one’s inability to be attentive to issues thus cannot critically analyze consequences of their actions. These disorders of individual conduct lead to the violation of set social values that eventually translate into criminal activities.
A case example where the social and psychological factors have substantially contributed to an individual’s biological predisposition to crime is murder or serial killing (Siegel 24). It results from the social factors that are related to skewed interpersonal attentions that individuals get. This emanates from the social group that one gets involved in that gives rise to unfavorable relationships with others where an individual may end up having distorted mentality on humanity or does not see the need of appreciating life. They develop the urge to take away the lives of others for fun. This majorly occurs when one indulges in substance abuse within his social cycles. His judgment will then be impaired and engage in criminal activities for fun. The psychological states that determine ones’ feelings, cognitions, attitude and thoughts usually affect their personal behavior that results in the criminal act of murder. When ones mental health is not stable, his feelings towards individuals will be impaired. They might judge through their cognitive abilities whether it is wrong or right to kill. This clearly shows that the various psychological and social factors significantly determine an individual’s possibility of engaging in crime.
A wide range of measures has been proposed on how these criminal behaviors can be addressed within societies. Psychologists propose that a keen analysis of these individuals’ condition should be carried out so as to determine the exact factors that influence their criminal behavior. The genetic or hormonal factors that affect one’s psychological state can be addressed using the scientific methods. Chemicals or medications are prescribed in an attempt to rectify the anomalies. In situations of mental health, the psychological influences causing an individual to engage in criminal activities can only be addressed through confinement or isolation where one is put out of contact with other members of the society so as to avoid instances of engaging in criminal activities such as murder (Siegel 34). Criminal activities resulting from social factors should be met with severe punishments so that individuals can vary their actions that lead to skewed social behaviors as it is within their power to change them. Criminal activities such as rape and assault should be met with castration for rapists and jail sentence for assaults (Siegel 45). This will create some sense of fear in those who are intent on committing crime based on their social influences.
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It can be concluded that the analysis and study of biology cannot be considered in isolation of the numerous social and psychological factors that affect individuals. This results from the fact that biology constitutes the study of various organisms, their structural makeup and their functions. The functional and structural aspect of individuals is concerned with the psychological and social factors that play out. Thus, the study of biology must be considered in account of the varied psychological and social factors.
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