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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 98761 Find in a Library
Title: Biology, Crime and Ethics - A Study of Biological Explanations for Criminal Behavior
Editor(s): F H Marsh; J Katz
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 397
Sponsoring Agency: Anderson Publishing Co
Cincinnati, OH 45202
Sale Source: Anderson Publishing Co
Publicity Director
2035 Reading Road
Cincinnati, OH 45202
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This book presents the leading theories supporting the biological causation of crime; major criticisms of these theories; and the ethical, legal, and political implications of attempting to control crime based on such theories.
Abstract: Part 1 presents three articles which underscore the theme of sociobiology and the specific issue it raises: genetic determinism versus free will. The readings do not verify either the validity or falsity of sociobiology but set the stage for the subsequent discussions. Part 2 addresses the major theories supporting biological explanations for criminal behavior and some serious challenges to these theories. The theories are limited to those biological characteristics which permit nonsocial and nonbehavioral measures, including genetic influences, brain disease, menstrual cycles, and body types. Part 3 considers the ethical, legal, and political implications of the biological control of crime, assuming that policymakers should give credence to biological theories of crime causation. Some of the issues confronted are (1) physical interventions to alter behavior in a punitive environment, (2) biological therapies, (3) psychosurgery, and (4) reproductive controls. Chapter notes, approximately 150 selected readings, and a subject index are provided.
Index Term(s): Biological influences; Genetic influences on behavior; Neurological disorders; Offender physical characteristics; Professional conduct and ethics; Research uses in policymaking; Social control; Violence causes
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