6. Biological Influences on Criminal Behaviour

6.6 Discussion Questions

Dr. Gail Anderson

  1. Some cases show that something clearly biological or medical may have triggered aggressive behaviour, such as a brain tumour in a paedophile. In such a case, should a person be punished for what they did, even if not punishing them means they are still a danger to society? How should such situations be handled by the criminal justice system?
  2. Although a great deal of research has identified risk factors for antisocial behaviour, it has also identified a number of protective factors. Discuss at least two protective factors and how they could be helpful when considering a child at risk.
  3. An inherited factor such as skin colour or ancestry has often been used to support discrimination against a person, justifying this by saying that people with this factor are more likely to, for example, commit a crime. Discuss the reasons why this is entirely wrong and the real reasons why such factors may increase risk.
  4. Discuss how abuse, particularly in childhood, can impact responses to stressors in adulthood.
  5. Discuss the several biological risk factors that might help to explain the disproportionate incarceration of Indigenous Peoples.


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Introduction to Criminology Copyright © 2023 by Dr. Gail Anderson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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