Generally, the basic determinants of any human behavior including individual criminal tendencies to a certain level of degree are genetically based. This means that criminal behavior can be passed from one generation to another and I concur that a proclivity for crime can be inherited. Criminal behavior runs in families and researchers have found that sons who had criminal fathers had some criminal records in some part of their lives. For instance, offenders of criminal parents showed an offence pattern of a criminal conviction at a very young age and they progressed to chronic offending in later life (Hollin, 1992).
This is mainly contributed by the fact that most of the families share the same inheritance and environment. Thus the contribution of both genetic factors and environmental factors leads to the origin of certain criminal behavior. Twin studies have debatably provided the means by which control can be achieved in showing how genetic and environmental factors influence criminal behavior. Members of a twin pair share the same environment and any slight difference in their behavior may be due to genetic variations.
Nevertheless, the MZ twins normally show a higher degree of concordance for criminal behavior as compared to DZ twins. This is because the MZ twins have more identical genes and thus a great resemblance in the bahavior of each member. Therefore, twin studies provide a great and convincing support for a certain degree of genetic component in criminal behavior. Analysis on the effects of behavior in an individual aids in estimating the relative contribution of genetic and environmental factors towards criminal behavior.
Criminal genetic and environmental factors are the important contributors of criminal behavior. However, it is when they are both combined together that they put forth the greatest influence. It is true that an individual’s criminal behavior can be as a result of both their genetic background and the environment in which they were raised. References Hollin, R. (1992). Criminal Behavior: a Psychological Approach to Explanation and Prevention. New York: Routledge.