Sociological Psychological And Biological Theories Of Criminals Essay

¶ … biological theories, sociological theories, and psychological theories of crime. Biological explanations of criminal behavior

Lombroso's Theory dates back to the late 1800s, and is not widely accepted today. Lombroso believed that a person's body type and constitution can tell a researcher whether or not the person is "a born criminal" (Crossman, 2011). Lombroso believed that criminals inherited their deviance, and that the body type of a person, if it resembled "primitive men," meant that individual was a criminal through a biological connection.

Typically, Lombroso believed that if a person had five or more characteristics from this list (" ... large monkey-like ears, large lips, a twisted nose, excessive cheekbones, long arms, and excessive wrinkles on the skin") then that individual would likely be a "born criminal" (Crossman, p. 1). Females, according to Lombroso, needed just three of these characteristics to qualify as a "born criminal."

Another biological crime theory comes from William Sheldon, whose work took place in the early to mid 1900s; Sheldon developed his theory around three types of human bodies: ectomorphs, endomorphs, and mesomorphs (Crossman, p. 2). He postulated that ectomorphs have "thin and fragile" bodies; that they have small shoulders, their...


2). Endomorphs are "soft and fat," and they have "underdeveloped muscles, a round physique," and struggle to keep excess weight off their bodies (John Goodman would fall into this category) (Crossman, p. 2). Mesomorphs are athletic and muscular, with good posture, and an example would be Bruce Willis or Sylvester Stallone (Crossman, p. 2).
Psychological explanations of criminal behavior

The psychoanalytic theory holds that "... all humans have criminal tendencies," and humans have "natural drives and urges" that we repress in the unconscious (Sigmund Freud). To reel in these urges and drives, Freud said people get involved in socialization; hence, he believed that when a child is properly socialized at an early age, the likelihood of that person becoming criminal at an adult age is greatly reduced (Crossman, p. 3). The cognitive development theory (developed by Lawrence Kohlberg) points out that there are three levels or moral reasoning: a) stage one is the "preconventional stage" which takes place during the middle portion of childhood, and it is strictly based on "obedience and avoiding punishment"; b) stage two is reached toward the end of middle childhood, and is based on what the family and…

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited

Crossman, A. (2011). Biological Explanations of Deviant Behavior.

Retrieved November 21, 2015, from

Jrank. (2010). Crime Causation: Sociological Theories -- Labeling Theory / Social Learning.

Theory. Retrieved November 21, 2015, from
Violence: Literature Reviews. Retrieved November 21, 2015, from

Cite this Document:

"Sociological Psychological And Biological Theories Of Criminals" (2015, November 21) Retrieved July 16, 2024, from

"Sociological Psychological And Biological Theories Of Criminals" 21 November 2015. Web.16 July. 2024. <>

"Sociological Psychological And Biological Theories Of Criminals", 21 November 2015, Accessed.16 July. 2024,

Related Documents
Psychological Trait Theory

Psychological Trait Theory in Criminology: The field of criminology can basically be described as the scientific study of criminals and criminal behavior since professionals in this field try to develop theories that explain the reason for the occurrence of crimes and test the theories through observation of criminal behavior. The criminological theories in turn help in shaping the response of the society to crime in relation to preventing criminal behavior and

Criminology Theories Biological Theory of Crime The biological or bio-physiological theory of crime regards human behavior in general and of deviance and criminality in particular as mainly the result of internal states of mind (Schmalleger, 2009). More specifically, the biological perspective, as it was originally detailed in the 19th century by Cesare Lombroso, emphasized the role of heredity in conjunction with the (then) new concept of Darwinian Evolution also in conjunction with

Criminal Behavior

Criminal Behavior Approaches to Understand Criminal Behavior Psychological Approaches Sociological Approaches Biological Approaches Psychosurgery Chemical Methods of Control Imagine yourself having a walk in the premises of your house and a stone come flying through the boundary wall and hits you. As a layman, one might face difficulty in defining this incident. It can be termed as an assault, an act of violence or a criminal offence. This is a layman's term to define this act but

Whereas atavists may commit crimes due to their physiological attributes, "passionate criminals" engage crimes of their own make (C. Bartol & a. Bartol, 2006). The first advantage in the Lambroso theory lies in the physicality of determining criminal. The attributes that underlines atavists may trigger a trend of caution while dealing with people with the characteristics given. This precaution trend may lessen crime in instances where early detection is done

Sociological theories of criminal behavior do not discount individual-level learning but focus more on the surrounding culture and environment. To explain criminal behavior, sociologists usually center on conflict theories, strain theories, labeling theories, and social control theories. Conflict theories have their roots in Marxist philosophy. They reveal how class conflict can create impetus for deviance and also lead to general anomie. Strain theory similarly suggests that criminal behavior can result

Criminal Justice Theory

Criminal Justice Theory and the Los Angeles County Probation Department Criminal and antisocial behaviors have been studied in the field of criminology for many years. Criminologists are very interested to learn what types of things cause specific criminal and antisocial behaviors. While criminal behavior and antisocial behavior are not always related, they often have close ties. Criminologists and other researchers are looking to find commonalities between certain genetic makeups and deviant