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Biological Aspects of Criminal Psychopathy

Everyone is born with different genetic and neurological predispositions and inherited biological capabilities that change after interaction with specific social, familial, and cultural conditions. These conditions play an important role in shaping a person’s personality and temperament. Biological and environmental factors are the basis of criminal behavior.

Modern studies have shown that neuropsychology and genetics play an essential role in the making of a criminal psychopath. To study the influence of genes on a person’s antisocial behavior, the scientists answered with twin and adoption studies, which showed that a person could inherit schizophrenia, depression, intelligence, alcoholism, neurotic disorders, and criminal behavior.

It is suggested that the abnormalities in a youth’s brain that can cause psychopathic behavior may run in families. The temperament related to the fear responses and low arousal, connected to psychopathy, affects the formation of conscience and guilt in a person.

Neurophysiology factors play a more significant role in the formation of psychopathic behavior than the genetic factor. Neuropsychological markers are detected in psychopaths in different nervous system indices like cardiovascular and electrodermal measures.

Scientists found seven genes that can be associated with psychopathic behavior. These genes cause brain dysfunctions, which in turn cause antisocial behavior. For example, a functional or structural disorder of the prefrontal cortex can stimulate violent behavior. However, the Monoamine Oxidase A (MAOA) gene plays an instrumental role in preventing psychopathic behavior in humans (Bartol & Bartol, 2014).

The history of treatment of criminal psychopaths is replete with violent recidivism. Usually, they do not respond to the psychiatrists. Therefore, their treatment includes techniques to get them to cooperate and follow the instructions of the therapists. However, cognitive behavioral therapy targeting “criminogenic needs” is recommended for psychopathic offenders. It follows the principles of correctional treatment. This program also focuses on deviant sexual preferences and antisocial attitudes(Harris & Rice, 2006).



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