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NCJ Number: 228716 Find in a Library
Title: Natural Born Killers: The Genetic Origins of Extreme Violence
Journal: Aggression and Violent Behavior  Volume:14  Issue:5  Dated:September/October 2009  Pages:286-294
Author(s): Christopher J. Ferguson; Kevin M. Beaver
Date Published: October 2009
Page Count: 9
Type: Literature Review
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Netherlands
Annotation: This article provides a review of what is currently known about the genetic and evolutionary origins of extreme violence.
Abstract: Despite reluctance, articles covering evolutionary psychology and behavioral genetics approaches to violence have begun to appear in leading criminological and psychological journals. In the area of genetics, a monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) gene and the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene (genetic polymorphisms) have consistently been shown to relate to antisocial behaviors. However, the available evidence suggests that the MAOA gene is perhaps the one gene that is most consistently related to extreme violence. In the area of evolution, extreme violence is viewed as high-end variance in an evolutionarily adaptive process in which the propensity for aggression and violent behavior, in moderate doses, has been adaptive for individual behavior. From behavioral genetics and evolutionary models of violence, a better understanding of which individuals are at greatest risk for extreme violence may be found. This article examines the influence of genetics and evolution on acts of extreme and criminal violence among human primates. Table, figure, and references
Main Term(s): Violence causes
Index Term(s): Aggression; Dangerousness; Genetic influences on behavior; Literature reviews; Violence; Violence prediction
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