skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 70221 Find in a Library
Title: Chromosome Errors and Antisocial Behavior
Journal: CRC Critical Reviews in Clinical Laboratory Sciences  Volume:3  Issue:1  Dated:(January 1972)  Pages:41-101
Author(s): D Baker
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 61
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This review of research on chromosome errors and antisocial behavior concludes that chromosomal imbalance may set up physiological conditions predisposing to abnormal behavior, but this theory has not been proved.
Abstract: In early studies of chromosome disorders, affected individuals were characterized by gross morphological changes, mental retardation, and/or impaired sexual development. Later studies examined chromosome disorders' relationship to behavior disturbances. Findings of unexpectedly high incidence of individuals with an extra Y chromosome among inmates of Scottish maximum-security prisons generated both publicity and controversy. Numerous laboratory techniques are available for studying sex chromosome abnormalities. Interest in the extra Y chromosome was stimulated by early case reports from Klinefelter and others, and the incidence of sex chromosome abnormalities has been studied in a variety of populations. Clinical features of the XYY group have included increased stature, abnormal neurological signs, endocrine dysfunction, and a wide variety of psychological abnormalities. For the individuals showing no morphological, neurological, or intellectual abnormalities, several explanations have been advanced for the etiology behavioral changes. Critiques of the research findings have focused on both methodology and on conceptual problems. Literature on legal implications of the XYY syndrome emphasizes philosophical judicial issues and procedural matters relating to the pleas of not guilty. It is concluded that the relationship between XYY chromosome and antisocial behavior has been neither proven nor disproven. Moreover, simple explanations for complex behavior, such as antisocial behavior, should be avoided. The presence of a sex chromosome disorder may in no way dictate either the inevitability of behavior disturbance or its form. Medicine should focus on identifying individuals at risk and providing for their needs. Ten references are included.
Index Term(s): Chromosomal abnormalities; Deviance; Literature reviews; Nonbehavioral correlates of crime
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.