reaction paper 3 - 1 Alicia Deal CJ 760 Reaction Paper#3 2...

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Alicia Deal CJ 760 Reaction Paper #3 02-01-06 1
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Summarize the “nature v. nurture” debate as it currently exists in the academic literature. For centuries, an ongoing and somewhat heated debate has divided the scientific community among those who believe that human behavior is the result of “nature” and those who believe that it is the result of “nurturing.” However, these two schools of thought share a common goal. Both biological/psychological and sociological theories of crime and deviance are included in the positivist school of criminology, in which the primary focus is to determine what causes crime. The characteristics of these theories argue that behavior is “more or less determined by factors within the individual or in his/her external environment” (p.16) of which these forces are to “some extent at least. .. beyond the offender's control” (Curran & Renzetti, 2001, p. 16). This school of thought differs from classical definitions that believed that crime was the result of rational choice without the aid of other forces, whether internal or external. Those who argue for “nature” as the principle cause of human behavior, especially criminal/deviant behavior assert that internal forces at the individual level, such as genetic predispositions, brain activity, brain chemistry (chemical or hormonal imbalances), and physiology dictate how a person will behave. For example, some agree that brain abnormalities or brain damage cause certain individuals to act out aggressively. In order to study the reliability and truthfulness of this theoretical hypothesis, advocates of this theory conduct twin, family, and/or adoption studies (Scarpetti & Nielsen, 1999). All of these forms of scientific study tests whether
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This note was uploaded on 06/30/2011 for the course CJ 760 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '08 term at Sam Houston State University.

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reaction paper 3 - 1 Alicia Deal CJ 760 Reaction Paper#3 2...

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