Is it a latent genetic trait that makes a person crime prone, or is crime a function of environment and socialization?

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Biosocial theorists of crime argue that both of these factors are important in determining whether a person comes to commit crimes.

Such theorists argue that people can be genetically predisposed to crime.  They point out that there are predispositions to many other things.  Therefore, they argue, it is likely that there are genes that push a person towards crime.

However, they also realize that environment and socialization can make it more or less likely that these tendencies will lead to actual criminal acts.  They say that people from certain less stable environments are more likely to be socialized in ways that allow their criminal tendencies to manifest.  Conversely, people who are raised in “better” environments may learn to subdue their tendencies towards crime.