An Evaluation on the Biological Theories of Crime
The biological theories of crime are based on the nature versus
nurture debate. Are we born criminals or do we learn crime?
The main objective of these theories is:
'Does the way you look say that you are a criminal?'
Lombroso (1876)introduced the first theory.
This theory proposes the following three points:
* You have an innate predisposition towards criminal behaviour. In
other words crime is something you are born to do.
* Your physiognomy - the way you are going to turn out by the way you
* We as 'normal' humans are termed as Homo Sapiens. Criminals are
thought to be 'retarded'; therefore they are termed as Homo Deliquens.
Lombroso stated that criminals (homo delinquens) exhibit the following
* A narrow sloping brow symbolizing low intellect
* High cheekbones and large ears
* Extra nipples, fingers or toes
* A renowned jaw symbolizing strong passion
Lombroso had also stated that these criminals behaved in a different
way to everyone else. These different behaviours are as follows:
* An inability to adjust to social and moral issues
* An inability to differentiate between right and wrong
* A low inability to show any kind of guilt or remorse
* An inability to show any kind of feelings towards other people
* An inability to form any kind of relationship
However, from an evaluative point of view, there is no actual
psychological evidence to show that these behaviours are true only for
Goring (1913) tested a group of criminals and non-criminals to see if
they showed any differences in behaviour and he found no significant
difference between them.
Lombroso revised his ideas to explain that women also display the same
behavioural characteristics as men but the only difference between men
and women is that women are more jealous and vengeful and are capable