Behind the Criminal Mind: Causes of Criminal Behavior

4 April 2015
This paper provides an in-depth look at the theories surrounding what causes people to act in a criminal manner, focusing on childhood and upbringing.

This essay examines crime and deviance, looking at the different theories on what causes criminal behavior with the main focus on the family and childhood. The author pays particular attention to the case of serial killer Henry Lee Lucas, exploring his childhood and linking it to his criminal behavior.
“Today, deviance and crime plague American society. There are vast degrees of deviance, from a simple shoplifter, to a car theft, to a killing machine with no conscience, otherwise known as the serial killer. But how is this killing machine created? Where and how does this type of criminal behavior begin? The answers to these questions must be addressed in order to stop the formation of this deviance. This essay will investigate the life of one of the most infamous serial killers, Henry Lee Lucas, to answer these questions. In the search for the answer, the question of nature vs. nurture is inevitably brought up. Scientists and psychologists have debated over whether a child’s upbringing forms their behavior or whether they are born with a personality. Most scientists believe that biological dysfunctions and physical illnesses are the factors that bring on this type of deviance. Most psychologists will argue family, society, environment, and the media cause criminal behavior. While many factors contribute to this frightening deviance, but the root of criminal behavior lies in the home and the family structure of children.”

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