Nurture versus Nature in Criminal Behavior
1. Think of an example of how behavior is shaped by the environment. Discuss the different examples and the question which environmental forces may lead to crime. 2. Media Tool Watch the video Testosterone and Crime at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0AOUNN051Q ForaTV discusses evolutionary biologist Steve Jones notes that genes responsible for circulating testosterone in men are also to blame for most violent and criminal behavior. Summarize the information from the video. Discussion: Assume that there is a relationship between testosterone and crime. Also assume that young males have high amounts of testosterone. Should they be monitored closely? What may be the positive and negative consequences of closer monitoring? 3. Debate whether nature or nurture is more responsible for criminal behavior. 4. Read about the middle-class enclave of Chatman on page 148 in the textbook. Discuss the concept of collective efficacy and how it relates to social disorganization and crime. Why can some neighborhoods remain stable while others cannot.