What is criminology? Criminology is the scientific study of the extent, nature, causes, and control of criminal behavior in individuals, and in society. Criminology is an ` sociologists, (particularly in the sociology of deviance), social anthropologists, and psychologists, as well as on writings in law. Areas of research in criminology include the incidence, forms, causes, and consequences of crime, as well as social and governmental regulations, and reaction to crime.
For studying the distribution, and causes of crime, criminology mainly relies upon quantitative methods. The term criminology was coined in 1885 by Italian law professor Raffaele Garofalo as criminological. Around the same time, but later, French anthropologist Paul Topinard used the analogous French term criminology. The social problems perspective is the belief that crime is a manifestation of underlying social issues, such as discrimination, pervasive family violence, poverty, the break downs of traditional social institutions, ,and inadequate socialization practices.
The definition of the social responsibility perspective is: the belief that individuals are fundamentally responsible for their own behavior, and that they choose crime over other, more law abiding courses of action. There have been several ongoing debates about both perspectives. It is clear there is contrasting perspectives between criminologists, and some sociologists, and I intend on explaining the differences, and similarities between the two, if any. Underlying social problems are what some believe is the real reason for crime.
Yes, it is believed that people who live in poverty, and do not have the monetary advantages as others, and share violent formative years have more tendencies to commit crime. Human beings that suffer from horrific experiences growing up often repeat the vicious cycle in which their own experiences have shown them. There are several agencies that are in place that attempt to combat deviant behavior that the state spends millions of dollars on because they argue that, crime, is a problem that should be ddressed the same way one would address a public health concern. Social scientists have chosen to macro manage the social problems perspective because it depicts a larger uncontrollable more widespread way of describing why such deviant behavior is possible in areas that are largely violent ,and subjected to poverty. Individuals who chose a life of crime over other law abiding courses of action are lawless, and their choices make them more sociopathic than psychologically disturbed creating a euphoric feeling once the crime has been committed.
Some feel that some individuals are more prone to making irresponsible decisions due to some very personalized issues that affect their decision making process, and will always chose to be deviant. There is a unique similarity between the social responsibility perspective, and the social problems perspective. Once the background of the subject is exposed it can often times be determined that immediate life experiences can be the culprit of deviant behavior.
Like most social issues in the world that affect a certain demographic negatively, it is likely that the survival of the fittest can be introduced ,and people may then try to take care of themselves by any means necessary, even if it means robbing ,and stealing ,and often times murder. The micro analysis that the social responsibility perspective offers can indeed analyze a person’s personal psychology and their unique biology as the causes of negative and deviant behavior. Those who believe that social responsibility is the way to rehabilitate approve of increased punishment through imprisonment, and a wider use of police power.
Part II Serial Killer Profile Andrei Chikatilo was born October 16, 1936 in the village of Yablochnoye Ukraine; USSR. At the time of Chikatilo’s birth Joseph Stalin was forcing farmers to give their entire crop to the state wide collectivization of agriculture. There was massive starvation throughout the Ukraine and several reports of cannibalism. Chikatilo’s mother told him that his brother was kidnapped and eaten by the neighbor’s due to the rampant starving throughout the country. This was never proven, however this haunted Chikatilo for the remainder of his life.
Chikatilo slept on a single bed with his parents, he was a chronic bed wetter and was often berated and beaten by his mother for every incident. During World War II his father was drafted into the Red Army and was taken prisoner after being injured in combat. During his father’s stint in the war he and his mother watched as their hut was burned to the ground. In 1943 while his father was still at war, Chikatilo’s mother gave birth to his sister. Some speculate that Chikatilo watched as his mother was raped, thus causing the illegitimate birth.
In 1949 his father returned home and was quickly deemed a traitor for surrendering to the Germans. As a teenager Chikatilo was very shy and was often a target for bullies. At seventeen he discovered he was impotent. He attempted to rape a friend of his sister’s, but was unable to obtain an erection. During the struggle Chikatilo realized something. He was able to get an erection and ejaculate. This deviant sexual behavior seemed to excite Chikatilo in a manner which would later progress into a more vicious cycle of murder.
In 1953 Chikatilo graduated from high school and applied for a scholarship to the University of Moscow State. Chikatilo passed the entrance exam, but his grades were not good enough to be accepted. From the year 1957 thru 1960, Chikatilo fulfilled his duty to the military. In 1963, he met and married a woman his sister introduced him to. This union would produce two children, a daughter and a son. Chikatilo was unable to consummate the marriage and had to manually inseminate his wife by somehow pushing his seamen inside her with his fingers.
In 1971, Chikatilo completed a correspondence course in Russian literature and got a degree from Rostov University. Shortly after obtaining his degree Chikatilo began teaching Russian Language, and Literature in Novoshakhtinsk. Chikatilo’s teaching career was short lived due to his shyness and his inability to command respect from students and or teachers. Chikatilo also had a dark deviant behavior that would stifle his teaching career; he liked molesting little children of both sexes. After Chikatilo was fired from teaching he took a job as a supply clerk for a factory.
The position required Chickatilo to travel often and this would mark the beginning of what Russia would deem their most notorious serial killer to date. In September 1978, Chikatilo moved to a small town near Rostov-on-Don; this would be where Chikatilo would commit his first deviant act of murder. On December 22, 1978 nine year old Yelena Zakotnova was walking home from the bus stop when she was approached by a tall dark stranger in a long black coat, with promises of chewing gum. Yelena was lead back to a secret home Chikatilo purchased. Once inside the home Chikatilo immediately began to force his self on the young girl, but once gain Chikatilo was unable to get and erection.
Angered by this, Chikatilo began stabbing and choking Yelena to death. Excited by the heinous act, it allowed Chikatilo the erection he so desperately needed to complete the rape and with every striking force with the knife he was able to achieve expostulate pleasure. Another man was tried and convicted for this murder giving Chikatilo more confidence to commit more deviant acts. Chikatilo would kill again in 1981. On June 12, 1982 Chikatilo abducted and killed his third victim, Lyubov Biryuk.
Lyubov was a thirteen year old girl from the village of Donskoi. She was found mutilated with skin of leather hanging from the bones and small patches of her hair from her skull. The young child’s body was found on its back with her head facing to the side, ears intact, enough to see the earring holes in her ears. Chikatilo beat the victim so badly causing broken ribs, deep stab wounds to the bones, and her eyes were gouged out of the socket. He also gained satisfaction by gouging the genital area of the young lady. Chikatilo would strike five more times before murdering Olga Stalmachenok.
Olga Stalmachenok was a ten year female that was abducted by Chikatilo while walking home from her piano lessons, she was his ninth victim. Olga was found lying nude in a tractor on a farm in the snow. The knife wounds were clearly visible due to her snow preserved body. During this murder, it appeared that Chikatilo pay close attention to the child’s organs, puncturing her chest, stomach, and genital areas. Chikatilo also gouged the eyes out of the young victim. All of Chikatilo’s victims were homeless women, prostitutes, or small children easily manipulated.
Chikatilo lured his victims to secluded areas where the torture would ensue. He would become very angry once the women would make fun of him for not being able to get an erection and he would brutally beat and stab the victims until he had an orgasm. Andrei Chikatilo was arrested and investigated several times before actually being caught for the crimes he committed. He had also been in jail for three months on unrelated charges. The Soviet Militia could not seem to find or even want to admit that they even had a serial killer on the loose for fear of bringing embarrassment to the department.
The police obtained several confessions from different men they arrested during the killing spree; these men were interrogated so violently that they confessed to murders t hey did not commit. One innocent homosexual man hung his self in his cell due to the brutal and aggressive police interrogations. The Soviet Militia obtained a bad reputation because they were arresting innocent men for the Chikatilo murders who were mentally ill or retarded thus not knowing how to defend themselves in harsh interrogative circumstances.
Chikatilo finally was arrested and confessed to brutally murdering fifty three women and children. He also confessed to three other murders where the bodies were never found or identified. While imprisoned, Chikatilo was placed in a maximum security lock down facility where child molesters and rapists are kept out of the general population. Chikatilo read many books and wrote several letters as well as working out in his cell before he was put to death by one single shot to the back of the head by the Soviet government on February 14, 1992.
The social problems perspective indicates that an individual has suffered from an almost inhumane way of growing up in an appalling society ridden with crime and injustice. Chikatilo suffered an appalling childhood, suffering from what we call today, post traumatic stress disorder. The horrific images he witnessed as a child from watching his home burned to the ground, to knowing about cannibalism, to watching his mother be savagely raped, further solidifies the social problems perspective.
It can be theorized that individuals with post traumatic stress disorder take a photograph in their minds of what they see and the brain ultimately pauses at that moment thus causing a shell shock like approach to life. This theory provides a rationale for the actions of Andrei Chikatilo. It is important that we differentiate among criminological theories to assess criminal behavior because all deviant and criminal behavior does not come from the same place. Chikatilo’s deviant behavior was a direct reaction to society during his formative and adolescent years.
It can be acknowledged that once Chikatilo was captured and observed by physicians and psychologists, the theory from the social problems perspective would be better utilized than the social responsibilities perspective. This is true because Chikatilo’s personal life growing up simply molded his mind and the way of thinking. You have to remember the heinous crimes he committed were a direct result of him being powerless as a child. The sexual deviance in which Chikatilo treated his victims was also a result of his being powerless to impotence.
If you remember he would savagely stick the knife forcefully into the genitals of female victims as if he were using his penis. He would cut the penises off of his male victims for the simple fact that they had working genitals and he didn’t. He would also gouge the eyes out of his victims so that he would not have to look at them looking into his dreadful soul. So this is why it is so important to be able to differentiate among criminological theories to assess criminal behavior because it gives insight to why an individual could do such things.