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Theories Of Juvenile Delinquency Essay

  • Submitted by: koguttuh
  • on February 18, 2012
  • Category: Social Issues
  • Length: 4,013 words

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Below is an essay on "Theories Of Juvenile Delinquency" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

The juvenile justice system has evolved slowly, influenced by many circumstances. In addition to its historical evolution, the system has deep roots in theories about justice, crime, delinquency and punishment.
Some researchers propose biological explanation for crime. They find that some biological characteristics appear more frequently in criminals than in non criminals. In other words, they believe there are such things as criminal genes.
Biological theories include physiognomy, phrenology, body type and heredity studies, including studies of twins and adoptees.
Physiognomy assigns character traits to physical features, especially facial features. Curran and Renzetti (1994) noted that in the Middle Ages the law specified that if “two people were suspected of having committed the same crime, the uglier one should be regarded as more likely the guilty party”. Indeed people tend to have a mental picture of criminals. Some researchers have pointed out that criminals tend toward large, prominent or crooked nose, abnormal ears, lantern jaws, high cheek bones, higher sex drives, lower intelligence, larger body types, longer arms, larger lips or abnormal amounts of body hair. Researchers search for predominant factors among criminals and compare these factors with their presence or absence in general population (Drowns and Hess, 2000).
Phrenology studies the shape of the skull to predict intelligence and character. This was the approach used by Cesare Lombroso, who believed that at birth criminals are recognizable by certain anomalies. Such anomalies do not cause crime, but they indicate a predisposition to criminal behavior.
Body type theories. William Sheldon (1898-1977) theorized that humans can be divided into three distinct body types, or somatotypes, corresponding to three distinct personalities: 1. the endomorphic- soft, fat – easygoing; 2. the mesomorphic – athletic, muscular,...

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