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The Role Of Neurological And Genetic Disorders In Adopting Criminal Behavior

Brain disorders pertain to the field of genetics. There are different causes of disturbances in the brain that affect a person’s personality. When a gene experiences a change in its form, it is called a mutation. These disorders have an adverse effect on the functionality and development of the brain.

Some of these variations in the functions of the brain are the results of inheritance. There are other changes that are due to a certain environment that a person is exposed to, be it pollution or any kind of smoke that comes out of the cigarette. In order for the brain to function properly, the production of proteins should be of a certain level, but when the brain is unable to do that, it affects its functionality of the brain. There are treatments through which these disorders can be curbed, but some of them have the tendency to harm a person’s life.

Psychology extensively deals with different kinds of brain disorders, mainly focusing on the behavior of the person who has a tendency to be violent. These violent and petulant behaviors shown by people result in criminal acts. The question remains the same: Is the criminal behavior in a person due to a mutation in the genes, or is it because a child is born and raised in a community that has a knack for indulging in crimes? Both of these theories have strong grounds for claiming that a person’s behavior is because of that theory. If there is a mutation in genes, it definitely shows that a person is different from the one whose genes have experienced no variations. It is also possible that a person sees what the other people are doing and tries to copy them.

The researchers have discussed at great length how and why criminal behavior is exhibited by an individual. It could be because of the results of adopting a child, or maybe it has something to do with the twins. Some researchers are of the opinion that mutations, which ultimately lead to criminal activities, are the result of genetics, as in the case of twins. Some of the researchers say otherwise. There is a method to know whether the twin cases have anything to do with the person’s behavior toward criminal activities or not. Compare the monozygotic rates of criminal behavior with the dizygotic rates. Monozygotic deals with identical twins, and the dizygotic pertains to fraternal twins. The purpose of these results is to show the effects on the person’s behavior, whether it is the environment that causes this behavior to flourish or genetics. If the rates of Monozygotic are more than those of dizygotic, then genetics play an important role in human criminal behavior (Tehrani & Mednick, 2000). A study done by a researcher in 2001 studied 32 monozygotic twins who were separated at an early age and put into different environments. The results are a high degree of change in terms of phenotypic characteristics (Joseph, 2001).

The environment where a child grows up is very important in terms of his behavior and overall personality. If a child experiences something adverse in his childhood, then it has severe consequences that have a great impact on his life. Some researchers claim that hyperactivity in children is due to the surroundings of the children’s families. It makes them overactive, unable to focus on things, and causes constant fidgeting (Schmitz, 2003). Children living in abysmal conditions are usually prone to such behavior. The research claims that families who are destitute or the way the families harshly treat their children cause this behavior to prevail. The children become more aggressive and petulant by the poverty and aggression shown by the parents towards them. The research showed that there is more than a 50% chance of children being involved in criminal activities when they are abused by their parents or neglected in some way (Holmes et al., 2001).

It is incumbent upon every single person to help those people who are suffering from a personality disorder. People do not realize what these kinds of people went through or experienced in their childhood. Therapy is a good technique to make these people say what they feel in general. The anger is mainly because they do not talk with people or do not feel comfortable talking about their past with people. Sigmund Freud came up with the idea of ‘Psychoanalysis’ (Freud, 2014). He would treat these patients by making them talk about their past and feelings. Through this method, the patient would realize the problems he had and would rectify them. Talking helps in these situations.

People who have a tendency to commit violence because of their adverse past experiences should be treated differently than those who commit crimes with no personality disorder. It is not their fault if they behave in a certain way. It is the society that has corrupted them or the genetic disorder. People should take responsibility for their actions, but it is not the fault of a child who is born and raised in an environment that facilitates these criminal activities. They should be treated properly, and even after the treatment, if they still commit crimes, they should be punished. But they should not be put in the same category as every other criminal. It is the responsibility of the state to provide a better living environment for their citizens, but if they fail to do so, then they should rectify their actions by giving those people a normal life.


Tehrani, J. A., & Mednick, S. A. (2000). Genetic Factors and Criminal Behaviors. Fed. Probation64, 24.

Joseph, J. (2001). Is crime in the genes? A critical review of twin and adoption studies of criminality and antisocial behavior. The Journal of Mind and Behavior, 179-218.

Schmitz, M. F. (2003). Influences of race and family environment on child hyperactivity and antisocial behavior. Journal of Marriage and Family65(4), 835-849.

Holmes, S. E., Slaughter, J. R., & Kashani, J. (2001). Risk factors in childhood that lead to the development of conduct disorder and antisocial personality disorder. Child Psychiatry and Human Development31(3), 183-193.

Freud, S. (2014). Heredity and the etiology of the neuroses. Read Books Ltd.



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