Causes of Criminal Behavior

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Causes of Criminal Behavior Free Essay

Criminal behavior has been an area of study and research by academicians, justice department personnel, and other relevant individuals, which aim at understanding why people commit crimes, and devising ways to eradicate and stop them. Unlawful conduct involves actions taken by a person in accordance with methods prohibited or punishable by law or in a manner regarded as violation of religious and moral code – this is in hand disciplinary by a Supreme Spiritual being including God. Moreover, some theorists consider criminal behavior any kind of performance that violates societal traditions or norms, therefore, is disciplinable by the community. Consequently, unlawful conduct is one that inflicts severe mental damage or creates psychological stress to the victim, however, is regarded affordable by the wrongdoer. Nonetheless, there is the importance of distinguishing a criminal act from delinquency – the former implying violation of stipulated laws while the latter presupposes practices forbidden by public norms. The causes of such misconduct may vary among individuals as well as societies and they embrace neurochemicals, personality traits, environment, and radicalization channels that result in different degrees of punishment by the relevant authorities.

One of the principal grounds of infraction of law is the brain's neurochemicals charged with activating behavioral tendencies and patterns. The studies by Wilson, Grimmer, and Rosenthal (2013) investigate various roles of dopamine, norepinephrine, monoamine oxidase (MAO), serotonin, and epinephrine in influencing this variation in social trends. The research suggests that low levels of MAO – the enzyme responsible for altering antisocial deportment – can cause aggression and impulsivity. On the other hand, disinhibition of serotonin – the neurochemical, which is in charge of changes in personality traits including bipolar disorder, anxiety, and depression – could stimulate impulsiveness and emotional belligerence. In addition, these low level of serotonin results in conduct disorder among children. Consequently, decrease of dopamine levels – the neurotransmitter associated with pleasure –may lead to aggression. Therefore, the variation in brain’s neurochemicals may trigger one to react aggressively, in hand, provoking them to perform in a way regarded as illegitimate.

            Furthermore, the research by Wilson, Grimmer, and Rosenthal argues that personality traits and disorders may induce criminal behaviors.  Emergence of such characteristics begins at the early stages of childhood and lasts throughout the development to the adult life. Some of the most prominent disorders that result in unlawful conduct are the conduct disorder (CD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and the oppositional defiance disorder (ODD). The features of ODD include irritability, noncompliance, and argumentativeness. Wilson, Grimmer, and Rosenthal further assert that conditions of children with ODD and the following symptoms may deteriorate over the years that will prompt stealing, lying, substance abuse, vandalism, and aggression if not handled properly while they are still young. On the other hand, Goldweber et al. (2011), concludes that ADHD may lead to minimal attention by the individual and hyperactivity, ultimately, impulsivity inducing antisocial behaviors. The studies prove that kids with ADHD are exposed to the risks of developing CD and ODD. Furthermore, CD may provoke one to violate societal rules (Wilson, Grimmer, & Rosenthal, 2013). Therefore, the diagnosis of a person suffering from CD, ODD, and ADHD may further be associated with antisocial conduct and aggression, which may contribute to criminal practices and breach of law.

            Additionally, upbringing and environment may trigger humans to engage in illegal acts. The research by Vaske (2011) claims that genetics may encourage antisocial or unlawful conduct. On the other hand, individuals' surrounding including their upbringing and current place of residence could facilitate one to behave in a certain way. Such conditions also encompass peers and family. Furthermore, Vaske (2011) suggests that the latter is a very critical unit for rearing of a child, as it is responsible for instilling the core and essential values that guide one's adult life. In case a kid is raised in the adverse circumstances – the one with aggression, torture, high rates of alcoholism and drug abuse, violence, or antisocial behaviors – then, such people are most likely to undertake criminal activities during their adult life. Additionally, gang influence and peer pressure persuade one to participate in illegal acts, namely stealing, trafficking, murders, rape, vandalism, and other violent deeds. Moreover, Vaske (2011) declares that poverty, illiteracy, fellows, and parenting practices are some of the stimuli that affect the environmental conditions that prompt citizens to involve themselves in criminal performance. Arguably, parents, teachers, community leaders, and policy-makers should work hand in hand to ensure that children receive proper upbringing under favorable conditions to avoid unlawful behaviors during their adult lives.

            Notably, humans participate in criminal activities because of radicalization or as a way of “revolting”. In the modern society with increased globalization and penetration of the Internet, many people are currently interlinked with each other by means of social media accounts and eased communication means (Laferrière & Morselli, 2015). Through these platforms, criminal gangs take advantage of anonymity to recruit and radicalize new followers to combat or participate in their activities. A good example of this form of selection and radicalization is the extremist groups inciting “new soldiers” to fight in their “justifiable” causes through mass shootings, suicide bombings, and beheadings (Laferrière & Morselli, 2015).

On the other hand, Laferrière and Morselli (2015) argue that there exist people interested in taking a radical stance by striving against government vices. The latter include taxation, corporate greed, environmental degradation, unemployment, global wars, and currency price wars. Therefore, for them, indulging in the form of revolt would make the government finally listen to their concerns, thud leading to a revolution. Hence, these individuals organize uprisings (that may at times be illegitimate or get violent), engage in criminal activities (such as bombings and hackings), or endanger their lives (through attempted or successful suicides). Perhaps, presence of the interweb and dark web encourages unlawful behavior, as there are minimal regulations and the allowance of anonymity by creating pseudonyms. Through these channels, drug traffickers, hackers, violent gang members, weapons smugglers, human traffickers, child pornographers, fraudsters, phishers, and pedophilias thrive in the communities. Consequently, the unrestricted regulation and minimal surveillance on the Internet are a major reasons and determinants for criminal behaviors.

            Finally, Laferrière and Morselli (2015) argue that serving time in jail may trigger repeat offenses, thus being the cause for violation of law. Fox and Farrington (2016) suggest that for one having undergone rehabilitation, stigmatization that follows their release negatively affects their social lives, in hand influencing such persons to re-commit a crime. Moreover, wrongdoers find it difficult to survive in the outside word upon being dismissed, as they may not be able to find stable jobs or maintain relationships; therefore, they opt for returning to jail where they are accustomed to living. In other situations, some gang members feel that there is the sense of respect for repeating offenses. They are motivated by revenge or desire to rise in ranks forcing them to behave in unlawful manner.

Conclusively, various reasons induce an individual to engage in criminal behavior. Such a conduct includes acts prohibited and punishable by law, or in other instances, the deeds that are unacceptable according to the societal standards. The consequences may  comprise psychological disorders, harm to oneself or others, or damage to property. The causes of illegal actions embrace human neurochemicals, personality traits, environment, and radicalization channels. Nevertheless, different governmental authorities, parents, teachers, and academicians need to work together to find feasible solutions of eliminating criminal behaviors. Moreover, additional research is required to find other developing grounds of unlawful conduct that may evolve and change over the years.