Heritability of criminal behavior behavioral

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Criminal behavior is often associated with bad behavior that has been acquired from the environment. On the contrary research suggests that criminal behavior can also be a genetic trait. This is the reason researchers are studying families with adopted children. These influences of criminal behavior are nature and nurture. Nature refers to parts of body cell known as gene that is linked to a person’s character trait (Lilienfeld, Lynn, Namy, & Woolf, n.d.). Human’s nervous system is shaped by both nature and nurture. In this case nurture refers to the immediate environments that influence an individual’s behavior.

Genes are an important part of the human cell because they carry hereditary traits from one offspring to another. Some people possess the trait of criminal behavior because these traits were transferred from their ancestors. Therefore criminal behavior comes from a certain gene that has been inherited. A history of criminal behavior within the family is a perfect case of study to determine if criminal behavior is hereditary.

Nurturing refers to all factors within the environment that can alter the behavior of a human being (Lilienfeld, Lynn, Namy, & Woolf, n.d.). For example, being brought up in an environment where people commit criminal acts to acquire what they want forces other people to behave the same way. It is important to consider both nurture and nature while studying human criminal behavior within families. The reason why researchers use families with adopted children is to try and identify if the child in a new environment can acquire new traits or the child will grow and still display the inherited traits.

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  1. Lilienfeld, S., Lynn, S., Namy, L., & Woolf, N. From Inquiry to Understanding (3rd ed.).
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