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Biochemical conditions and brain activity linked to crime - Essay Example

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Name: Title: Course: Tutor: Date: Biochemical Conditions and Brain Activity and Crime Introduction There are many theories that explain why an individual commits crime borrowing from biological, geographic, economic, developmental, psychological and sociological theories (Joyce, 2013)…
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Biochemical conditions and brain activity linked to crime
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Download file to see previous pages This will be achieved by borrowing from various secondary sources and using examples appropriately. Crime refers to behaviors that violate taboos or social laws, thus a contextual fact (Bekerian & Levey, 2012). Because of the behavioral aspect of crime, the discussion on biochemical factors on criminology would focus on how biochemical factors influence criminology behaviors. Gaines and Miller document trait theories which postulate that “certain biological or psychological traits in individuals could incline them towards criminal behavior given a certain set of circumstances” (2012, p. 45). Moreover, behavior is biological and would be represented in the brain, its biochemistry, structure, electrical activity and growth and decline. Biochemical Conditions and Crime In the evaluation of the relationship between biochemical conditions and crime, it would be critical to appreciate the postulate by Siegel (2013) that biochemical conditions, both acquired and genetic influence and control antisocial behavior. The trait theory postulates that biochemistry would influence one’s criminal behavior. To put this into perspective, it would be important to appreciate the role that chemical messengers, referred to as hormones, play in influencing crime. Gaines and Miller (2012) give an example of testosterone in males whose elevated levels have been linked to aggression and thus increased criminality. This explains the high crime levels among men below age 28, doubling that of men between ages 31 and 60 due to the high testosterone levels at this age bracket. To further support this argument, it would be observed that boys exposed to steroids prenatally exhibit less aggression during their adolescence because of increased androgen levels. Biological contaminants and damaging chemicals could commence action even before birth if the mother takes diets lacking or having an excess of important nutrients. Siegel (2013) documents magnesium, sodium, potassium, amino acids, calcium, peptides and monoamines as examples of minerals and chemicals whose presence in a diet results in abnormal sexual activity, mania and depression among other criminal tendencies. In the studies of diet and crime, sugars and carbohydrates have been particularly associated with antisocial behavior. According to Joyce (2013), this is the reason that children’s diets would have sweet drinks replaced with fruit juices, molasses for sugar and table sugar with honey among others. Harmful chemicals could come into play through maternal smoking and alcohol abuse during gestation, with Siegel (2013) noting that this causes prenatal damage and subsequently leads to antisocial behavior in adolescence. Furthermore, such parents exhibit poor parenting practices hence resulting in conduct disorder among their children. Biosocial criminologists also argue out on the requirement for certain minimum levels of specific chemical and minerals to maintain normal brain growth and functioning. Excess supply or undersupply of such minerals and chemicals as potassium and manganese could cause behavioral problems. This postulate has been supported by Joyce (2013) who observes that excessive amounts of cobalt and lead in the body or glucose deficiency in the bloodstream could adversely affect behavior and thus propagate crime. Brain Activity and Crime Studying brain activity points out at its relationship to crime. Neurophysiology ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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