Strengths And Weaknesses Of Biological Explanations Of Criminal Behaviour

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Analyse the strengths and weaknesses of biological explanations of criminal behaviour Introduction In order to answer this question, I will outline an understanding of the various criminological theories which aim to explain criminal behaviour in biological terms. A brief timeline of criminology will be provided to express the development of the biological perspective on crime from theorists such as Lombroso (19th c.) to modern biological theories. I will evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of each theory from alternative perspectives using empirical data and previous research as evidence. I will discuss policies and initiatives used to combat crime based on biological explanations and finally, conclude the essay by synthesising these points to produce a valid evaluation of the biological perspective of criminal behaviour. Early theories (1800-early 1900s) The earliest research to introduce biological explanations of crime to the field of criminology was conducted by Cesare Lombroso in the 19th century who theorised that there was a…show more content…
This statement is a valid one, crime is a social construct dependant on time, context and place therefore is it possible to define behaviour using simplistic and deterministic assumptions that may not be applicable in 50 years’ time? The only solution, therefore, is to study behaviour using biological and social assumptions combined to combat the weaknesses of each theory on its own. Many researchers today agree with this and interpret behaviour using a variety of assumptions and study it using alternative methods. Enrico Ferri (1901) emphasises this in a concluding statement, ‘to sum up, crime is a social phenomenon, due to the interaction of anthropological, telluric and social factors’ (p.70). The only way forward then is to combine the different schools of criminology to gain a more developed insight into crime. Word Count:

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