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Do you believe there is a latent trait that makes a person crime prone, or is crime a...

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telesco79 | Student, College Freshman | Honors

Posted December 10, 2011 at 12:26 AM via web

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Do you believe there is a latent trait that makes a person crime prone, or is crime a function of environment and socialization?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted December 10, 2011 at 12:42 AM (Answer #1)

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My answer is "yes."  In other words, I think that both factors can have an impact on whether a person will commit some forms of crime.

For example, there are genes that have been connected to the propensity for violence.  There are genes connected with a low ability to exercise self control.  These sorts of traits would make it more likely that a person would commit a crime.

But these genes do not, by themselves, cause criminal behavior.  A person who has somewhat less innate self control, but has been "trained" by socialization to control himself might not commit crimes.   Both "nature" and "nurture" surely play a part.

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