Nature v Nurture - Serial Killer Essay

Nature v Nurture- - Nature Vs Nurture Inside the Serial Killer The question of whether or not man is predetermined at birth to lead a life of crime

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Nature Vs. Nurture: Inside the Serial Killer The question of whether or not man is predetermined at birth to lead a life of crime is a question that has been debated for decades. Are serial killers born with the predisposition to become killers? Do the traits of a serial killer become a part of them because of a traumatic childhood? While some think that all babies are born inherently good, and develop either for better or for worse, others believe that it is impossible for society to have so much corruption unless there are some “bad seeds” roaming the streets. If serial killers are made and not born, we can do little to prevent them. However the odds that they are born a serial killer are very slim considering the idea that many serial killers have abusive childhoods. Those who have a predisposition of mental disorders from family history though, have a higher tendency to become serial killers if their parents or guardians raise them poorly or if they have a traumatic experience in their childhood. Nature and nurture come into play strongly during one's childhood, the time when people endure many major behavioral and personality developments. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines nature as "the genetically controlled qualities of an organism" ("Nature," def. 8). While nature can influence the disorders that a person has and the physical state they live in, nurture, "the sum of the environmental factors influencing the behavior and traits expressed by an organism," influences the expression of one's physical traits ("Nurture," def. 3).The personality therefore, does not result from a single gene, be it a kindness gene, or a killer gene, but results in a combination of genetic predispositions, combined with a person's upbringing. A classic example of a serial killer, Ted Bundy's disturbing childhood demonstrates the importance of an ideal childhood and that having a problematic childhood may contribute more than genetics towards countless murders. As a child, Bundy's mother, Eleanor Louise Cowell,
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and his "mentally unstable" and violent grandmother functioned as his parents since his father left when Cowell gave birth to Ted out of wedlock (Wikipedia). Growing up, his family told people that Cowell adopted him so as to not reveal the fact that Cowell had Bundy out of wedlock. Bundy and his mother later moved to Washington State so that Bundy's uncle could help support the family. There, Bundy seemed intelligent, but had trouble associating with people. Psychologists believe that the lack of a typical family structure and an abnormal childhood acts as one of the main contributors to the series of Bundy's personality disorders. The combination of his family history of mental disorders and of abnormalities growing
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This note was uploaded on 04/08/2008 for the course ENGL 101 taught by Professor Thomas during the Summer '07 term at Montgomery.

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Nature v Nurture- - Nature Vs Nurture Inside the Serial Killer The question of whether or not man is predetermined at birth to lead a life of crime

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