Bio-criminology: Individual Criminal Behaviors (Essay Sample)
Recent research has begun to link nutrition, eating habits and environmental contaminants to violent and disruptive behavior. What is this research know as? Explain in detail the connection that food, drugs, environmental features/contaminants have on criminal behavior. Also, discuss how male and female hormones play a role in criminal behavior. Do you notice a change in your behavior or attitude or someone you know after eating or drinking a particular food?
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Bio-criminology suggests that individual criminal behaviors are genetically predetermined. According to bio-criminologists, a stable amount of minerals and chemicals is required in the body for normal brain functioning and growth. Ellis (2005) suggests that cognitive and learning deficits are subject to chemical and mineral imbalances, which are also associated with antisocial behaviors. Previous studies have associated hypoglycemia and abnormal levels of male sex hormones to violence and aggressive behaviors respectively. Imbalanced serotonin and autonomic arousal, as well as impaired prefrontal cortical functioning, are also related to crime and antisocial behavior. The genes that are linked to crime affect the neurotransmitter systems. For example, a dopamine-sensitive gene triggers a sensation characterized by antisocial behavior. Correlates of crime are variables that have repeatedly been investigated concerning criminal behavior and found to show a consistent relationship with such behavior. The paper investigates the links between criminality and various biological variables, including food, drugs, and environmental contaminants. Additionally, the paper also analyses the role of both male and female hormones in criminal behavior in individuals.
Various studies have been carried out in an attempt to investigate the relationship between nutrition or toxins and criminal behaviors, including violence and antisocial practices (Denno, 1990; Ellis, 2005). Such studies mainly involve correlational analysis of sugar, cholesterol, and lead toxicity but often face some forms of methodological shortcomings. Excessive intake sugary foods are associated with hypoglycemia and are common in individuals who are likely to engage in criminal activities. But other studies have highlighted several methodological shortcomings in researches that associate sugar intake with criminality (Raine, 2013). The role of sugar intake in antisocial behaviors is still not yet clear. Although sugar is said to cause hyperactivity in children, the research methods used are doubtful. For sugar intake to be linked to criminal habits, their needs to be a solid research methodology while investigating possible negative effects of sugar. Similarly, several studies associate blood cholesterol and violent habits and such studies present the same methodological shortcomings as those associating sugar and violent behavior (DiLalla&Gottesman, 1991). Lastly, exposure to lead whether in the diet or environment is said to have negative effects on the normal functioning of the brain. It causes learning disabilities and attention deficit disorder in children. Other studies associate exposure to lead with an increased risk of developing antisocial behaviors. However, the studies should continue investigating the connection between lead exposure and negative behavioral habits in the future.
The brain usually derives its energy from glucose, a type of natural sugar. Availability of glucose in the bloodstream is mainly regulated by the pancreas, with the aid of chemical messages from the hypothalamus. Too low or too high levels of glucose in the blood trigger the hypothalamus to send chemical impulses to the pancreas to either inhibit or increase glucose production (Raine, 2013). The process of increasing or reducing blood-sugar level is carried out by regulating the amount of insulin released into the bloodstream. Under normal circumstances, the amount of glucose in the brain is maintained at stable levels by this natural regulatory process. However, the process of stabilizing brain glucose levels may be difficult for some people. Instability of glucose levels in the brain is known as hypoglycemia...
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