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FSU / Criminal Justice / CCJ 4031 / What does biosocial criminology highlight?

What does biosocial criminology highlight?

What does biosocial criminology highlight?

Description

IMPORTANT TERMS 


What does biosocial criminology highlight?



Life Course Criminology

● Life course criminology= interconnection of trajectories influenced by societal changes and short term development transitions

● Why study?- things that happen early on influence later behavior

● Career criminal 

○ Start out young and then it just reinforced their behavior (maybe just made a mistake, but due to environment commit more crimes)

○ Crimes get more severe

○ Commit most crimes → criminologist want to study them

Pattern of crimes committed by age: 


How do traits influence behavior?



Don't forget about the age old question of What is the definition of redlining?

● Early on almost none, great increase at 15, slowly declines at 25 (brain is fully developed, get married)

2 general principles 

1. The potential effect of any life event is determined by its relation to other event and its timing in the life course

2. The meaning and Consequence of any event is related to the prevailing social context and the life history of that particular person

Importance for Biosocial Criminology 

● Highlight the non-uniform response to the same situation (difference due to sex, age, personality)

● Life course explanation devote attention to the interlocking nature of trajectories, transitions, and turning points in a variety of domains Don't forget about the age old question of What does survival of the fittest state about every state?

● Want to know what happens during transitions and how it affects people (turning points are also important)


How do scientic data show how human aggression emerges?



Stability of Criminal Behavior

● Behavioral Stability 

○ Behavior in relation to other people

○ Personality over time and how it relates to others

● Absolute Stability 

○ Always have high stability

○ Most have absolute stability in their personality

○ One person (go up and down)

● Relative Stability 

○ If you are on the top you probably stay there

○ Behavior charges a little bit over time but people on the top stay there and on the bottom stay there too

○ More people (stable)

● States of emotions (happy)- temporary (caused by a situation)

● Traits of emotions (agreeableness)- long term, personality, influence the way you handle situations

● State dependence- past behavior influences your future (if you offend ones the likelihood you do it again increases)

● Population heterogeneity- traits influence behavior

● Many human characteristics remain stable (IQ, extraversion, conscientiousness, impulsivity, risk seeking) If you want to learn more check out What are the sub-areas of linguistics?

● Difficult to understand how criminal behavior can emerge early in life and remain stable ● Some argue against measuring criminal/ aggressive behavior at an early age: ○ Crime is a behavior that is legally proscribed

○ Not all cultures socially define specific behaviors as criminals

○ Class differences produce social inequality If you want to learn more check out What does the prefix amphi- mean?

SCIENTIFIC DATA SHOWS THAT HUMAN AGGRESSION EMERGES EARLY IN LIFE 

How to measure? (best to combine them) 

● Official Records 

○ People recommit crimes

○ 60% that leave prison go back in the next 3 years

● Direct Observation- observe

● Self-report measures- ask people, find antisocial behavior, but never got caught

Measurement of stability 

● Different models place varying emphasis on levels of stability and change across time, the direction of stability and timing of stability and change

● Research should focus on establishing the trajectories of stability

○ Not enough to access stability of a trait or behavior

● Understanding trajectories helps pinpoint the cause and correlates that predict stability and change over time

Empirical Findings on stability If you want to learn more check out Which propositions a positional view of a system?

● Every study that include early problem behavior predict variation in frequent, serious adult criminal behavior

● Youths who engage in high rates of misbehavior early in life will continue to act like it ○ Density hypothesis 

● Youth who show Antisocial Behavior across settings (home, school)are more likely to continue their antisocial conduct

● Youth who engage in a variety of Antisocial acts as opposed to a limited number of acts, are at increased risk of continuing Anti-social behavior into the future

○ Variety hypothesis 

● The earlier to onset of Antisocial behavior the more likely it is to continue ● Highly aggressive behavior is found not only within individuals across settings but within families across generations

○ Intergenerational continuity 

● Levels of stability are higher for certain youths

Continuity in Antisocial potential 

● Continuity refers to psychological structures, personality traits or to the learned behaviors that carry forward from one development time period to the next ○ Combined, the factors create dispositions that relate to how decisions and choices are made over time We also discuss several other topics like What are examples of mature defenses?

● Criminality refers to the general tendency to violate social norms (personality trait) ● Little is known about the mechanisms that produce and maintain these behavioral patterns

○ By examining the continuity of criminality over time, we may be better able to separate causes at one time period from correlates at another

Biosocial criminology

Why? 

● Most criminological theories, including most life course theories (exclude the mentioning of biology and genetics)

● Important Questions

○ Why do people vary in criminal propensity?

○ What’s happening in the social environment that changes behavior?

● Links biological variables to environmental states and stimuli and seeks to explain how human organisms are affected by and operate on their immediate environment

● Majority of the work examining the development of human behavior is produced by molecular and behavioral geneticists, neuroscientists, psychologist, psychiatrist

● Is criminology a science?

○ It can be

○ 2005→ Criminologist were against death penalty for juveniles

● More than just sociological factors cause behaviors

Why criminology needs biology? 

● Focusing only on the environmental factors that lead to Antisocial Behavior is fundamentally flawed

● Standard Social Science Methodology (SSSMs)

○ One person of each family is included

○ Problems:

■ Correlation coefficient

● Correlation does not mean causation → not related (spuriousness

relationship)

■ Spuriousness → BIG PROBLEM! 

■ Another factor may cause the problem

■ Added factor cancels out the other relation

Nature vs. Nurture 

● Criminologists still divide them up

● Problem:

○ Almost all variables are biosocial → due to the effects of both environment and biology

● Findings from hard science are highly influential

○ poor of influencing public policy

● Informing Public Policy

○ Focusing on biological and environmental factors will help criminologists to be more influential in the shaping of public policy

● Much of the controversy surrounding the study of biology by criminologists is the potential for dangerous and oppressive policies to be signed into law

○ Concern is unfounded

Common Misconception about Biological Explanations to criminal Behavior ● How could biology matter if laws are ever changing

○ Mala in se vs. Mala prohibita

■ Mala in se: Considered a crime in most society (rape)

■ Mala prohibita: depends on society (traffic crime)

● When using the explanation of biology we mostly use Mala in se

● How could biology matter to the explanation of crime if crime rates vary across time and space, and criminal involvement varies over different times in the life course, but biology remains unchanging?

○ Biology varies

● If genes are related to crimes you cannot blame the person → NO!

○ This argument could also be made for environmental factors

● Biosocial explanations are deterministic and evil, while environmental explanations are humane

○ Comes from the believe that biology determines with 100% accuracy who will become a criminal

○ Gene coding → say they're criminals from birth on

■ NO BEHAVIOR ISN’T ONLY DETERMINED BY GENES

● Biology is immutable, if biological factors are associated with crime then prevention of crime and treatment of offenders is not possible

○ Environmental interventions can be used to alter biological predispositions

Biosocial Approach 

● Biosocial approach is integrative

○ Genes and environment matters

● Biosocial approach is developmental

○ Attempts to explain why certain events are turning points, why they are meaningful at certain times and why individuals are differently affected by them → look at it over time

Three broad approaches: 

1. Evolutionary

a. Natural Selection, Evolution, and Human Motivation, Adaptive behavior 2. Genetics

a. Behavioral, molecular, epigenetics

3. Neuroscience

a. MRI, fMRI, PET, SPECT

Biosocial critique of Popular Criminological Theory 

Forming and Testing Theories 

● The scientific Method 

○ Start with general questions 

● Narrow questions down to focus on a specific aspect 

○ Form hypothesis 

● Design research studies that allow researchers to observe/ analyze the specific aspect ○ Test the hypothesis 

● Repeat 

● Conclude and generalize to the real world 

Biosocial Critique of Popular Criminological Theories 

● Paradigm- a philosophical and theoretical framework of a scientific discipline within which theories, laws and generalizations are formulated 

● Paradigm shifts occur when scholars recognize the limitations and contradictions of the current paradigm and begin to alter their way of thinking 

○ Sun revolves around Earth vs Earth revolves around Sun 

○ Technological changes 

● Biosocial criminology represents a paradigm shift within the field of criminology 

Evolutionary Psychology

History of Violence 

● Humans have a long history of violence

● Common explanation: movies, tV shows, video games, toys, ideology of western society ● Problem:

○ Unable to explain the history of violence

○ Unable to explain violence in more traditional societies

○ Explanations that do not rely primarily on modern phenomena are needed ● Seeks to explain evolutionary behavior with reference to human evolutionary history ○ Ultimate-level explanations that seeks to complement not replace proximate explanations

● Concerned with the study of male and female human nature

● Human nature consists of evolved psychological mechanism (PM) which humans use to process information and make decisions

○ ULTIMATE GOAL: SURVIVAL AND REPRODUCTION → PASS ON GENES

Key terms 

● Psychological mechanisms- and information processing procedure which evolution has equipped to process in order to solve problem

● Adaptation- anatomical, physiological, behavioral characteristics that arose and thrived due to an extend period of selection

● Natural Selection- The process of different survival

○ Continuously adjusts populations to their environment

● Sexual selection- process of different reproductive success

○ Individual who possess certain psychological mechanism out-reproduce those without them in each gene

Important Principles 

● Evolutionary Theory reveals the dark side of human nature: Ultimate Goal is to reproductive success and survival

○ Bad and Good Behavior

● All Human behavior requires both a mechanism and an input (environment) ● All psychological mechanism owe their existence to evolution by selection ● Humans are typically unaware of evolutionary logic behind our psychological mechanisms

○ Aware of desires, values, preferences, emotions that our psychological mechanism cause in us and we consciously and rationally set about to pursue the goal (unconscious)

● Evolved Psychological mechanism need only be adaptive in the environment in which they evolved → evolutionary adaptedness or the ancestral environment ● Current environment is radically different from the ancestral environment → our psychological mechanism might produce maladaptive behavior (Aggression used to be necessary, but now we don’t need it anymore)

○ People who behave according to evolved psychological mechanism are often worse off in survival and reproductive success

Adaptive Problems aggression might have evolved as a solution 

● Mean to co-opting the resources of others

● Defense against attack

● Inflict costs on intrasexual rivals

● Negotiate status and power hierarchies

● Deter rivals from future aggressions

● Deter long term mates from sexual infidelity

● Reduce resources expended on unrelated children

○ Aggression is only triggered in context in which the specific adaptive problems are confronted and the adaptive benefits are likely to be reaped

Why men not women? 

● Men are more often the killers and their victims are mostly men

● Material sources and status improve men’s reproductive prospects much more than women’s

● Crime can be identified with the behaviors that tend to promote mating effort and non crime with those that tend to promote parenting effort

● Men are products of a long history of mild but sustained effective polygyny (Can get multiple people pregnant at a time) → men want to keep the female from going to other men

● Men are victims of aggression more than women because men are in competition primarily with other men

○ Other men interfere with their access to women, impede their access to resources needed to attract women, and other men provide strategic interference ● When women use aggression against women they typically use verbal aggression to lower the status of other women → not as attractive to the opposite sex

● Women don’t need to to commit crime to increase their reproductive success → women steal because they need to

Why younger men, not older me? 

● No reproductive benefits from competition before puberty because they can’t reproduce yet → NO benefits in being aggressive

● During puberty there are benefits to being aggressive → increase changes of reproductive success

● Before men start reproducing there are few costs of competition

● After first child mating efforts shifts to parenting efforts

Introduction toBehavioralGenetic Methods

● Behavioral genetics examines both the genetic influences and environmental influences on the development of behavior and traits

● Genetics refers to everything that is coded into the human genome, where the human genome captures all of the information found in DNA

● Environmental factors generally refer to socialization processes that are the result of factors external to the human body and brain

● Blurred lines → i.e. smoking

● Behavioral genetics is not solely focused on genetic influences, it is equally concerned with environmental effects

Key Terms 

● Phenotypes: the observable characteristics of an individual resulting from the interaction of its genotype with the environment

○ Behavior or personality traits

● Variance: A statistic that captures the degree of differences among people on a particular phenotypic measure

○ Height, hair color, aggression

● Heritability: estimates how much variation in a phenotypic trait due to genetic variation among individuals in that population

○ Expressed as a proportion .00-1.00

○ Symbolized as h2 

● Shared Environment: any environment that are the same between siblings from the same household

○ Make siblings similar

○ Focus of most criminology studies

○ Symbolized as c2 

● Nonshared Environment: Any environments that differ between siblings ○ Make siblings different

○ Includes both socialization and non-socialization effects

○ Symbolized as e2

Behavioral Genetic Analysis 

● Heritability estimates vary from study to study in part because of differences in a sample characteristics and differences in the measurement of Antisocial behavior (ASB) ○ Make it difficult to interpret the real impact of genetics on ASB

● Meta-analysis makes it possible to understand the effect of genetic influence on ASB by providing a relatively objective and parsimonious summary of what all of the research reveals

○ A meta-analysis is a methodology tool that can be used to summarize all of the studies that have examined a particular topic

● Enables us to tell whether or not there is an effect as well as how strong or weak the effect is

Heritability Estimates 

● Estimates can only be applied to group-level variance

○ Until recently

● Estimates should not be equated with some fixed, constant value

● Genetic factors captured by heritability estimates can make sibling similar or different from each other

● Two different ‘types’ of heritability: broad and narrow

○ Broad heritability: captures the effects that all sources of genetic variance have on phenotypic variance

○ Narrow heritability captures only the effects of additive genetic variance on phenotypic variance

● Genetic variation: term used to describe the variation in the DNA sequence in each of our genomes

● Three different sources of genetic variance:

○ Additive genetic variance

○ Dominance (Non-additive)

○ Epistasis (Nonadditive)

Additive genetic Variance 

● The sum of each gene's contribution to phenotypic variance

● Assumes that each gene’s effect on the phenotype is independent of all the other gene’s effects

● All genes contribute equally to the final phenotype

● Knowledge of genotype allows us to perfectly predict the value of the phenotype ○ AA= white, BB= red, AB= pink

Dominance Variation 

● Capture the interaction between the alleles of one gene

○ Alleles are different copies of a gene

● One gene contributes more or less to the final phenotype

● Knowledge of genotypic value allows us to only imperfectly predict the value of the phenotype

○ aa= white, BB=red, aB=red

● One allele is dominant and the other one is recessive. The dominant gene has a greater influence on the value of the phenotype

○ A= increases Self Control (SC) by 2 points

○ a= decreases SC by 1 point

○ AA= increase SC by 4 points

○ aa= decrease SC by 2 points

○ aA= increase SC by 1 point

Epistatis 

● Captures the interaction between the alleles of two or more different genes ● An allele of one gene hides or masks the phenotype, or visual output of another gene ● Entirely different dominance which applies to different alleles of the same gene (i.e. eye color, height)

● Epistasis have different effects in combination rather than individually ○ AA= blonde hair, BB= red hair, CC= baldness

○ AB= strawberry blonde hair

○ ABxC= baldness

■ The gene for baldness supersedes those for hair color

Heritability Estimates 

● Almost all variables analyzed by criminologists and almost all variable that are of central importance to criminological theories are influenced by genetic factors

● Evidence indicates that heritability estimates fluctuate over the life course ○ Heritability estimates of ASB are very high (-80%) in early childhood, relatively low during adolescence (-10%) and moderate in adulthood (-40%)

○ What does this indicate?

○ What does this say about the environment

● How do we estimate these three effects

○ Need to look at more than one child per family

SSMs (Standard Social Science Methodology) vs BG Methods 

SSSMs

BG

ONly look at one child per family

Include more than one child per family

Cannot put apart genetic, shared

environment and nonshared environmental effects

Able to separate genetic, shared

environment, and nonshared environment

Treat all variables as purely environmental and assume that ASB is not influenced by genetic factors

Assumes genetic similarity varies across households

Not possible to measure nonshared

environmental effects

Looks at different levels of genetic

relatedness

● Share 50% of your DNA with your parents and your siblings and your children ● Share 25% of your DNA with your grandfather/mother, niece, uncle/aunt

Twin Studies 

● Two types of twins

○ Dizygotic (DZ) twins (= Fraternal twins) are the result of 2 separate eggs being fertilized by 2 separate sperms but implantation occurs during the same

pregnancy

■ On average, DZ twins share about 50% of their genetic material

○ Monozygotic (MZ) twins (=identical twins) occur when one sperm fertilizes an egg, but then the fertilized egg splits to form 2 identical embryo

■ MZ twins share 100% of their genetic material

○ Both MZ and DZ twins are assumed to share similar environments: same parents, same neighbourhoods, same schools, same historical events

● Behavioral geneticists analyze sample that include both MZ and DZ twins to estimate heritability, shared environment and nonshared environmental effect by examining the similarity between twins from the same twin pair

● Cross-twin correlation: one way of measuring the similarity between twins from the same twin pair is to calculate an intraclass correlation

● Intraclass correlation measure the strength of the relationship between one twin’s score on a phenotype and their co-twin’s score on that same measure

○ Range from .00-1.0

■ Let’s say one of the twin smokes and the other one never touched a

cigarette the correlation would be .00 and one can assume that non-share environment caused it.

○ If MZ twins were found to be more similar to each other than DZ twins then we can assume it is due to genetic factors

● The MZ intraclass correlations can then be compared to the DZ intraclass correlation to gain estimates of heritability shared environmental effects, and nonshared environmental effects

● When comparing MZ and DZ twins, their environments are assumed to be the same making the amount of genes they share the only variation

● If the environment was the only factor that shaped phenotypic variance, than MZ twins from the same MZ twin pair should be just as similar to each other (on a phenotype) as DZ twins from the same DZ twin pair

● If MZ twins were found to be more similar to each other than were DZ twins, then we can assume it is due to genetic factors

● Criminologists argue that all twin-based research is flawed because it violates the EEA ● Equal-Environments Assumption (EEA): refers to the assumption that twins from the same MZ win pair have environments there are no more similar than twins from the same DZ twin pair

○ If violated, then heritability estimates may be upwardly biased

● Criminologists argue that MZ twins are more alike than DZ twins are because MZ twins have more similar environments than DZ twins do

○ Research using twins who zygosity was misclassified shows this is not true ○ The twins’ similarity was in line with genetic expectations and not in line with the misclassification

● While violation of the EEA may artificially increase heritability but 3 methodological problems that can artificially deflate heritability:

○ Some reason to believe that MZ twins may actually make an effort to be different ○ Identical twinning can result in biological difference that can accentuate human differences

○ Assortative mating results in DZ twins, on average, sharing more than 50% of their genes

■ Assortative mating: choose mates who are similar in terms of their

behaviors/personality

○ More likely that multiple violations of the twin-based research design occur. Heritability estimates are likely unaffected

Equation for Twin Studies (Optional) 

● Heritability: h2= 2(rMZ-rDZ)

● Shared Environment: c2= 2rDZ-rMZ

● Nonshared environment; e2= 1-(h2+c2)

MZ Twins Separated at Birth 

● In rare instances, MZ twins are separated from each other at birth, reared in different homes by different parents

○ genetically identical but raised in completely different environments

● Overcome any questions about twin based studies

● If genes are not important, MZ twins reared apart (MZAs) should be more similar on phenotypes than 2 people chosen at random

○ Supports environmental explanations

● If genes are important, MZAs should be somewhat similar to each other on a range of different phenotypes

○ Supports genetic explanations

● Minnesota Study of Identical Twins reared Apart (MISTRA) findings:

○ MZ twins who are reared together are no more similar to each other when compared to twins who are reared apart

○ The ‘rearing environment’ (=environment you grow up in) has little effect on adult personality traits

■ 50% of the variance in all human phenotypes are due to the non-shared environment, NOT the shared environment

○ Environmental explanations cannot account for these similarities

Adoption Studies 

● Alternative to the twin method. Overcomes questions about twin based studies ● Adopted children inherit 50% of their genes from their biological mother and 50% from their biological father but share 0% of their environment

● If genes are influential for a particular phenotype, then the adopted child should resemble the biological parents on that phenotype

● If the environment is important for a particular phenotype, the the adopted child should resemble the adoptive parents on that phenotype

● Studies have compared whether the adoptee had been convicted of a crime with whether the biological parents were criminals and whether the adoptive parents were criminals

○ Adoptees who had a criminal biological parent and who had criminal adoptive parents had the highest rate of being convicted of a crime (24.5%)

○ Adoptees who had a criminal biological parent and a noncriminal adoptive parent had the second highest rate of being convicted of a crime (20%)

○ Adoptees who had a criminal adoptive parent and a noncriminal biological parent had the third highest rate of being convicted of a crime, but just slightly (14.7%) ○ Adoptees with noncriminal biological and adoptive parents had the lowest rate of being convicted of a crime, but just barely (13.5%)

Family Studies 

● Family-based studies analyze samples that include at least 2 siblings per household to gain estimates of h2, c2, and e2 

○ Can use regular siblings, half-siblings, genetically unrelated siblings, or any other type of kinship pair

● Alter equations used for studying the similarities of twins to account for different levels of genetic relatedness

● •If genetics are influential, we would expect to see siblings that share a greater proportion of genes to be more similar to each other on a phenotype than siblings who share fewer genes

● Family studies overcome any questions about twin based or adoption studies ● Twins and adoptees are different from non-twins or non-adoptees

● All different types of kinship pairs, including twins, are contained in the same sample ● Helps to eliminate concerns about the generalizability of twin based and adoption studies

● Studies in this area produce heritability estimates that are consistent with those garnered from twin- and adoption-based research designs

Week 1

#1

● Title

Risk factors in the continuation of childhood antisocial behavior into adulthood (by Lee Robins and Kathryn Ratcliff)

● Objective

Origin of Antisocial behavior

● Method

- Considering variety of deviant behaviors (before 15)

o Arrest, incarceration, excessive elementary-school absence, drinking, alcohol problems, sexual intercourse, marriage, drug use, association with friends who are in trouble with police

o Interviews by psychiatrists

● Participants

- White ex-patients of a child guidance clinic

- Black non-patients

● Results

- More of deviant behavior increased the possibility for antisocial behavior in adulthood

- Childhood antisocial behavior increased risk for adulthood antisocial behavior (45%-58%)

- Drug use after teens had little effect, but before was the best predictor - 68% of antisocial adults had been antisocial children

- absence of antisocial behavior in childhood → 92% not antisocial later - number of antisocial behavior is a good predictor of severity of antisocial behavior later

- antisocial father can lead to antisocial behavior

- social class is not an important predictor of antisocial behavior

● Why​ ​does​ ​it​ ​matter?

- Shows that antisocial behavior has nothing to do with low status and racism.

#2

● Title

Stability of Aggression over time and generations (by Huesmann, Eron and Lefkowitz)

● Objective

Stability of Aggression over time (from childhood to Adulthood)

● Method

- Longitude study

- Interviewed every ten years

- Early measures:

o Peer-nomination index of aggression (childhood aggression), Severity of punishment and IQ scores

- Later Measures:

o Self-ratings, ratings of the subject by the spouse, citation of offenses, Wide Range Achievement Test

- Contacted by mail and telephone and they used computerized interviews

● Participants

- 600 subjects

- entire population of youngsters enrolled in the third grade in a semi-rural county in New York State

● Results

- Aggressive responding seems to be constant

- Aggressiveness displayed in school has a high chance to turn into severe antisocial aggressiveness in a young adult

- Aggressiveness is transmitted across generations

- Some situations are more likely to elect aggressive behavior

- The child who is most aggressive at 8 is most likely the most aggressive at age 30 - Relation between birth weight and peer nominated aggression in boys (av. Birth weight= most aggressive)

- Relationship between current weight and aggression in females at age 30 - Mother’s age at time of birth related to boy’s aggression at age 19

- No significant relationship between testosterone and aggression

- Aggressive disposition can be learned

● Why​ ​does​ ​it​ ​matter?

Aggressive behavior once established remains stable across time, situation and generations

#3

Title

A life course theory of cumulative disadvantage and the stability of delinquency (by Sampson and Laub)

● Longitudinal study is required when showing an effect of social class in crime ● Development: “systematic, organized, intra-individual change that is clearly associated with generally executable age-related progressions and which is carried forward in some way that has implications for a person’s pattern at some later time”

● Criminal behavior are relatively stable over long periods of the life course ● individual differences in ASB are relatively stable over time

● Heusmann et al: aggression in childhood was related not only to adult crime but marital conflict, drunk driving, moving violations and severe punishment of offspring ● most antisocial children do not become antisocial adults

● many juvenile offenders do not become career offenders

● labeling theory might cause problems

● Social control theory: social bonding over the life course

● Social bond in adolescence and adulthood explain criminal behavior regardless of prior differences in criminal propensity

● turning points can modify life trajectories

● turning points can be positive or negative

● cumulative disadvantage is linked to four key institutions of social control- family, school, peers and state sanctions

● Importance of family management and socialization practices has been well established ● poor school attachment may be a consequence of misbehavior more than a cause ● Length of incarceration has little direct bearing on later criminal activity when job stability is controlled

● convictions increased the probability of future offending

Week 2

#1

● Title

The Heritability of Antisocial Behavior: A meta-analysis of twins and adoption studies (by Mason and Frick)

● Objective

Origin of Antisocial behavior

● Method

- Considering variety of deviant behaviors (before 15)

o Arrest, incarceration, excessive elementary-school absence, drinking, alcohol problems, sexual intercourse, marriage, drug use, association with friends who are in trouble with police

o Interviews by psychiatrists

● Participants

- White ex-patients of a child guidance clinic

- Black non-patients

● Results

- More of deviant behavior increased the possibility for antisocial behavior in adulthood

- Childhood antisocial behavior increased risk for adulthood antisocial behavior (45%-58%)

- Drug use after teens had little effect, but before was the best predictor - 68% of antisocial adults had been antisocial children

- absence of antisocial behavior in childhood → 92% not antisocial later - number of antisocial behavior is a good predictor of severity of antisocial behavior later

- antisocial father can lead to antisocial behavior

- social class is not an important predictor of antisocial behavior

● Why​ ​does​ ​it​ ​matter?

- Shows that antisocial behavior has nothing to do with low status and racism.

#2

● Title

Sociology and Biology: What Biology do sociologists need to know? (by Udry)

● Sociology explains social behavior from social facts

● We learn to think of the boundary axiom as a true statement

● Instead of choosing to ignore other possible cause, we deny that they can even exist ● Possible that others develop explanations of the same behavior (competing explanations)

● Article makes following arguments

○ Other disciplines have biological explanations of social behavior

○ These biological explanations contradict sociological explanations

○ These other explanations are correct

○ Sociologists need to learn enough biology to make credible attacks on the biological explanations

○ Sociologists can incorporate these biological explanations

● Biological explanations:

○ Evolution of social behavior, behavior genetics, behavioral endocrinology ● Animal social behavior is evolved

● Hormones and genes affect behavior

● Social behavior is an evolutionary product

● The nature of humans is to HAVE no nature

● Biology can lead as back to the view of the uniformities in human behavior across cultures that we can reintroduce into sociology as the concept of human nature ● Hera most about sociobiology → the study of the evolution of social behavior ● Sociobiology can use evolutionary theory to explain the uniformities ● Durkheimian rule can explain the variance between groups and between individuals ● Durkheimian rule is only a disciplinary boundary suggestion and not a summary of how the world works

● Variance in genetic composition within populations in an evolutionary product as much as the genetic uniformity is

● Behavior genetics is built on the foundation of biological genetics, which is inseparable from evolution theory

○ Concerned within-population variance in behavior

● Behavior-genetics research designs are based on our knowledge about the degree of genetic relatedness among individuals, plus knowledge about the degree of shared environments among the same individuals

● Two components of variance:

○ Variance attributable to genetic sources

○ Variance attributable to environmental sources

● By late adolescence there is almost no remaining influence on IQ of the shared family environment

● Genetic effects are strong on income, education, personality, divorce, sexual behavior, religiosity, smoking, selection of friends, and delinquent behavior

● Genetic variance that cannot be identified are identified as effects of family environment

● Partial genetic basis for who uses marijuana and who does not

● Social Change

○ Can never explain why the gender structure in the US changed between 1930 and 1990

Week 3

● Title

Evolutionary Psychology and Crime (by Kanazawa)

● Evolutionary Psychology is the study of universal human nature, or the sex-specific male human nature and female human nature

● Psychological mechanism is an information-processing procedure or ‘decision rule’ ● Creating as many copies of our genes as possible is the ultimate purpose of life for all living creatures

● Two important principles:

o Evolved psychological mechanisms mostly operate unconsciously (desires, values, preferences, emotions)

o Evolved psychological mechanisms need only be adaptive in the environment in which they evolved (environment of evolutionary adaptedness or the ancestral environment)

▪ Male jealousy is an evolved psychological mechanism

● Males are highly competitive in their effort not to be left out of the reproductive game → intersexual competition leads to a higher rate of violence (more than 90%) ● Males commit crimes to protect their status and reputation

● The same psychological mechanisms that inclines men to gain reproductive access to women can motivate men to rape

● An Evolutionary psychological perspective on crime logically requires that the key psychological mechanisms emerge before the informal norms against crime did ● Men are much more motivated to accumulate material resources

● Men and women commit crime for different reason

o Women steal to satisfy their own needs → women steal what they need and men steal to show off

● Age crime curve

o Tendency to commit crime rapidly increases in early adolescence, peaks in late adolescence and early adulthood, rapidly decrease throughout the 20s and 30s and levels off during middle ages

▪ Young men might lose if they are competitive but they will definitely lose if they are not competitive

▪ The cost of competition rapidly increase after the birth of the first child ▪ We don’t make these calculation consciously

● Selection bias

o Lower class criminals were more likely to be arrested, prosecuted and convicted that upper class criminal and there is no class differences in self-reported criminals

o Unclear if relationship between crime and class exist

o Lower class men might commit more crimes not due to their social class but because they are less intelligent

● Savanna-IQ interaction Hypothesis

o Savanna Principle: the human brain has difficulty comprehending and dealing with entities and situations that did not exist in the ancestral environment o Theory of general intelligence: More intelligent people are better than less intelligent individuals at solving problems only if they are evolutionarily novel but that more intelligent individuals are NOT better in solving familiar problems o Evidence: tendency to respond to TV characters as if they were real friends, less intelligent individuals have more children, greater difficulty employing ● Lower class men who are physically more attractive should be less criminal than lower class men who are physically attractive

● The modern criminal justice system is an evolutionarily novel institution to deal with evolutionarily familiar criminal behavior

Week 5

#1 (Optional)

Title:

Multiple Regression Analysis of Twin Data (by DeFries and Fulker)

● Multiple regression model is appropriate for the analysis of data on twins in which one member of each pair has been selected because of a deviant score

● Easy to understand and apply

● Those computer programs are readily available and are familiar to researchers in the behavioral science

● Small data sets can be analyzed on a personal computer

● Can be fitted to data on other genetic relationships

● Can analyze data from more than two relationships simultaneously

● Ho et al. (1980): the method can be easily extended to facilitate age adjustment and developmental analysis by including age as another independent variable (ethnic group, gender etc.)

-

IMPORTANT TERMS 

Life Course Criminology

● Life course criminology= interconnection of trajectories influenced by societal changes and short term development transitions

● Why study?- things that happen early on influence later behavior

● Career criminal 

○ Start out young and then it just reinforced their behavior (maybe just made a mistake, but due to environment commit more crimes)

○ Crimes get more severe

○ Commit most crimes → criminologist want to study them

Pattern of crimes committed by age: 

● Early on almost none, great increase at 15, slowly declines at 25 (brain is fully developed, get married)

2 general principles 

1. The potential effect of any life event is determined by its relation to other event and its timing in the life course

2. The meaning and Consequence of any event is related to the prevailing social context and the life history of that particular person

Importance for Biosocial Criminology 

● Highlight the non-uniform response to the same situation (difference due to sex, age, personality)

● Life course explanation devote attention to the interlocking nature of trajectories, transitions, and turning points in a variety of domains

● Want to know what happens during transitions and how it affects people (turning points are also important)

Stability of Criminal Behavior

● Behavioral Stability 

○ Behavior in relation to other people

○ Personality over time and how it relates to others

● Absolute Stability 

○ Always have high stability

○ Most have absolute stability in their personality

○ One person (go up and down)

● Relative Stability 

○ If you are on the top you probably stay there

○ Behavior charges a little bit over time but people on the top stay there and on the bottom stay there too

○ More people (stable)

● States of emotions (happy)- temporary (caused by a situation)

● Traits of emotions (agreeableness)- long term, personality, influence the way you handle situations

● State dependence- past behavior influences your future (if you offend ones the likelihood you do it again increases)

● Population heterogeneity- traits influence behavior

● Many human characteristics remain stable (IQ, extraversion, conscientiousness, impulsivity, risk seeking)

● Difficult to understand how criminal behavior can emerge early in life and remain stable ● Some argue against measuring criminal/ aggressive behavior at an early age: ○ Crime is a behavior that is legally proscribed

○ Not all cultures socially define specific behaviors as criminals

○ Class differences produce social inequality

SCIENTIFIC DATA SHOWS THAT HUMAN AGGRESSION EMERGES EARLY IN LIFE 

How to measure? (best to combine them) 

● Official Records 

○ People recommit crimes

○ 60% that leave prison go back in the next 3 years

● Direct Observation- observe

● Self-report measures- ask people, find antisocial behavior, but never got caught

Measurement of stability 

● Different models place varying emphasis on levels of stability and change across time, the direction of stability and timing of stability and change

● Research should focus on establishing the trajectories of stability

○ Not enough to access stability of a trait or behavior

● Understanding trajectories helps pinpoint the cause and correlates that predict stability and change over time

Empirical Findings on stability 

● Every study that include early problem behavior predict variation in frequent, serious adult criminal behavior

● Youths who engage in high rates of misbehavior early in life will continue to act like it ○ Density hypothesis 

● Youth who show Antisocial Behavior across settings (home, school)are more likely to continue their antisocial conduct

● Youth who engage in a variety of Antisocial acts as opposed to a limited number of acts, are at increased risk of continuing Anti-social behavior into the future

○ Variety hypothesis 

● The earlier to onset of Antisocial behavior the more likely it is to continue ● Highly aggressive behavior is found not only within individuals across settings but within families across generations

○ Intergenerational continuity 

● Levels of stability are higher for certain youths

Continuity in Antisocial potential 

● Continuity refers to psychological structures, personality traits or to the learned behaviors that carry forward from one development time period to the next ○ Combined, the factors create dispositions that relate to how decisions and choices are made over time

● Criminality refers to the general tendency to violate social norms (personality trait) ● Little is known about the mechanisms that produce and maintain these behavioral patterns

○ By examining the continuity of criminality over time, we may be better able to separate causes at one time period from correlates at another

Biosocial criminology

Why? 

● Most criminological theories, including most life course theories (exclude the mentioning of biology and genetics)

● Important Questions

○ Why do people vary in criminal propensity?

○ What’s happening in the social environment that changes behavior?

● Links biological variables to environmental states and stimuli and seeks to explain how human organisms are affected by and operate on their immediate environment

● Majority of the work examining the development of human behavior is produced by molecular and behavioral geneticists, neuroscientists, psychologist, psychiatrist

● Is criminology a science?

○ Science can be thought of as the state of knowledge accumulation based on the scientific methods

○ Science Methods is a detailed step-by step process employed for acquiring knowledge about a particular phenomenon

■ Thinking of a hypothesis

■ Testing hypothesis

■ Decide , based on the results, which of the hypothesis is supported

○ It can be (but not if it comes to examining non-environmental factors) ○ 2005→ Criminologist were against death penalty for juveniles

● More than just sociological factors cause behaviors

Why criminology needs biology? 

● Focusing only on the environmental factors that lead to Antisocial Behavior is fundamentally flawed

● Standard Social Science Methodology (SSSMs)

○ Test hypothesis

○ One person of each family is included

○ Problems:

■ Correlation coefficient

● Negative relationship means that if one variable increases the

other one decreases

● Positive relationship means that if one variable increases the other

one increases as well

● Correlation does not mean causation → not related (spuriousness

relationship)

■ Spuriousness → BIG PROBLEM! 

■ Another factor may cause the problem

■ Added factor cancels out the other relatio

■ Inability to control for genetic factors

Nature vs. Nurture 

● Criminologists still divide them up

● Problem:

○ Almost all variables are biosocial → due to the effects of both environment and biology

● Findings from hard science are highly influential

○ poor of influencing public policy

● Informing Public Policy

○ Focusing on biological and environmental factors will help criminologists to be more influential in the shaping of public policy

● Much of the controversy surrounding the study of biology by criminologists is the potential for dangerous and oppressive policies to be signed into law

○ Concern is unfounded

Common Misconception about Biological Explanations to criminal Behavior ● How could biology matter if laws are ever changing

○ Mala in se vs. Mala prohibita

■ Mala in se: Considered a crime in most society (rape)

■ Mala prohibita: depends on society (traffic crime)

● When using the explanation of biology we mostly use Mala in se

● How could biology matter to the explanation of crime if crime rates vary across time and space, and criminal involvement varies over different times in the life course, but biology remains unchanging?

○ Biology varies

● If genes are related to crimes you cannot blame the person → NO!

○ This argument could also be made for environmental factors

● Biosocial explanations are deterministic and evil, while environmental explanations are humane

○ Comes from the believe that biology determines with 100% accuracy who will become a criminal

○ Gene coding → say they're criminals from birth on

■ NO BEHAVIOR ISN’T ONLY DETERMINED BY GENES

● Biology is immutable, if biological factors are associated with crime then prevention of crime and treatment of offenders is not possible

○ Environmental interventions can be used to alter biological predispositions

Biosocial Approach 

● Biosocial approach is integrative

○ Genes and environment matters

● Biosocial approach is developmental

○ Attempts to explain why certain events are turning points, why they are meaningful at certain times and why individuals are differently affected by them → look at it over time

Three broad approaches: 

1. Evolutionary

a. Natural Selection, Evolution, and Human Motivation, Adaptive behavior 2. Genetics

a. Behavioral, molecular, epigenetics

3. Neuroscience

a. MRI, fMRI, PET, SPECT

Evolutionary Psychology

History of Violence 

● Humans have a long history of violence

● Common explanation: movies, tV shows, video games, toys, ideology of western society ● Problem:

○ Unable to explain the history of violence

○ Unable to explain violence in more traditional societies

○ Explanations that do not rely primarily on modern phenomena are needed ● Seeks to explain evolutionary behavior with reference to human evolutionary history ○ Ultimate-level explanations that seeks to complement not replace proximate explanations

● Concerned with the study of male and female human nature

● Human nature consists of evolved psychological mechanism (PM) which humans use to process information and make decisions

○ ULTIMATE GOAL: SURVIVAL AND REPRODUCTION → PASS ON GENES 

Key terms 

● Psychological mechanisms- and information processing procedure which evolution has equipped to process in order to solve problem

● Adaptation- anatomical, physiological, behavioral characteristics that arose and thrived due to an extend period of selection

● Natural Selection- The process of different survival

○ Continuously adjusts populations to their environment

● Sexual selection- process of different reproductive success

○ Individual who possess certain psychological mechanism out-reproduce those without them in each gene

Important Principles 

● Evolutionary Theory reveals the dark side of human nature: Ultimate Goal is to reproductive success and survival

○ Bad and Good Behavior

● All Human behavior requires both a mechanism and an input (environment)

● All psychological mechanism owe their existence to evolution by selection ● Humans are typically unaware of evolutionary logic behind our psychological mechanisms

○ Aware of desires, values, preferences, emotions that our psychological mechanism cause in us and we consciously and rationally set about to pursue the goal (unconscious)

● Evolved Psychological mechanism need only be adaptive in the environment in which they evolved → evolutionary adaptedness or the ancestral environment 

● Current environment is radically different from the ancestral environment → our psychological mechanism might produce maladaptive behavior (Aggression used to be necessary, but now we don’t need it anymore)

○ People who behave according to evolved psychological mechanism are often worse off in survival and reproductive success

Adaptive Problems aggression might have evolved as a solution 

● Mean to co-opting the resources of others

● Defense against attack

● Inflict costs on intrasexual rivals

● Negotiate status and power hierarchies

● Deter rivals from future aggressions

● Deter long term mates from sexual infidelity

● Reduce resources expended on unrelated children

○ Aggression is only triggered in context in which the specific adaptive problems are confronted and the adaptive benefits are likely to be reaped

Why men not women? 

● Men are more often the killers and their victims are mostly men

● Material sources and status improve men’s reproductive prospects much more than women’s

● Crime can be identified with the behaviors that tend to promote mating effort and non crime with those that tend to promote parenting effort

● Men are products of a long history of mild but sustained effective polygyny (Can get multiple people pregnant at a time) → men want to keep the female from going to other men

● Men are victims of aggression more than women because men are in competition primarily with other men

○ Other men interfere with their access to women, impede their access to resources needed to attract women, and other men provide strategic interference ● When women use aggression against women they typically use verbal aggression to lower the status of other women → not as attractive to the opposite sex

● Women don’t need to to commit crime to increase their reproductive success → women steal because they need to

Why younger men, not older me? 

● No reproductive benefits from competition before puberty because they can’t reproduce yet → NO benefits in being aggressive

● During puberty there are benefits to being aggressive → increase changes of reproductive success

● Before men start reproducing there are few costs of competition

● After first child mating efforts shifts to parenting efforts

Introduction toBehavioralGenetic Methods

● Behavioral genetics examines both the genetic influences and environmental influences on the development of behavior and traits

● Genetics refers to everything that is coded into the human genome, where the human genome captures all of the information found in DNA

● Environmental factors generally refer to socialization processes that are the result of factors external to the human body and brain

● Blurred lines → i.e. smoking

● Behavioral genetics is not solely focused on genetic influences, it is equally concerned with environmental effects

Key Terms 

● Phenotypes: the observable characteristics of an individual resulting from the interaction of its genotype with the environment

○ Behavior or personality traits

● Variance: A statistic that captures the degree of differences among people on a particular phenotypic measure

○ Height, hair color, aggression

● Heritability: estimates how much variation in a phenotypic trait due to genetic variation among individuals in that population

○ Expressed as a proportion .00-1.00

○ Symbolized as h2 

● Shared Environment: any environment that are the same between siblings from the same household

○ Make siblings similar

○ Focus of most criminology studies

○ Symbolized as c2 

● Nonshared Environment: Any environments that differ between siblings ○ Make siblings different

○ Includes both socialization and non-socialization effects

○ Symbolized as e2

Behavioral Genetic Analysis 

● Heritability estimates vary from study to study in part because of differences in a sample characteristics and differences in the measurement of Antisocial behavior (ASB) ○ Make it difficult to interpret the real impact of genetics on ASB

● Meta-analysis makes it possible to understand the effect of genetic influence on ASB by providing a relatively objective and parsimonious summary of what all of the research reveals

○ A meta-analysis is a methodology tool that can be used to summarize all of the studies that have examined a particular topic

● Enables us to tell whether or not there is an effect as well as how strong or weak the effect is

Heritability Estimates 

● Estimates can only be applied to group-level variance

○ Until recently

● Estimates should not be equated with some fixed, constant value

● Genetic factors captured by heritability estimates can make sibling similar or different from each other

● Two different ‘types’ of heritability: broad and narrow

○ Broad heritability: captures the effects that all sources of genetic variance have on phenotypic variance

○ Narrow heritability captures only the effects of additive genetic variance on phenotypic variance

● Genetic variation: term used to describe the variation in the DNA sequence in each of our genomes

● Three different sources of genetic variance:

○ Additive genetic variance

○ Dominance (Non-additive)

○ Epistasis (Nonadditive)

Additive genetic Variance 

● The sum of each gene's contribution to phenotypic variance

● Assumes that each gene’s effect on the phenotype is independent of all the other gene’s effects

● All genes contribute equally to the final phenotype

● Knowledge of genotype allows us to perfectly predict the value of the phenotype ○ AA= white, BB= red, AB= pink

Dominance Variation 

● Capture the interaction between the alleles of one gene

○ Alleles are different copies of a gene

● One gene contributes more or less to the final phenotype

● Knowledge of genotypic value allows us to only imperfectly predict the value of the phenotype

○ aa= white, BB=red, aB=red

● One allele is dominant and the other one is recessive. The dominant gene has a greater influence on the value of the phenotype

○ A= increases Self Control (SC) by 2 points

○ a= decreases SC by 1 point

○ AA= increase SC by 4 points

○ aa= decrease SC by 2 points

○ aA= increase SC by 1 point

Epistatis 

● Captures the interaction between the alleles of two or more different genes ● An allele of one gene hides or masks the phenotype, or visual output of another gene ● Entirely different dominance which applies to different alleles of the same gene (i.e. eye color, height)

● Epistasis have different effects in combination rather than individually ○ AA= blonde hair, BB= red hair, CC= baldness

○ AB= strawberry blonde hair

○ ABxC= baldness

■ The gene for baldness supersedes those for hair color

Heritability Estimates 

● Almost all variables analyzed by criminologists and almost all variable that are of central importance to criminological theories are influenced by genetic factors

● Evidence indicates that heritability estimates fluctuate over the life course ○ Heritability estimates of ASB are very high (-80%) in early childhood, relatively low during adolescence (-10%) and moderate in adulthood (-40%)

○ What does this indicate?

○ What does this say about the environment

● How do we estimate these three effects

○ Need to look at more than one child per family

SSMs (Standard Social Science Methodology) vs BG Methods 

SSSMs

BG

ONly look at one child per family

Include more than one child per family

Cannot put apart genetic, shared

environment and nonshared environmental effects

Able to separate genetic, shared

environment, and nonshared environment

Treat all variables as purely environmental and assume that ASB is not influenced by genetic factors

Assumes genetic similarity varies across households

Not possible to measure nonshared

environmental effects

Looks at different levels of genetic

relatedness

● Share 50% of your DNA with your parents and your siblings and your children ● Share 25% of your DNA with your grandfather/mother, niece, uncle/aunt

Twin Studies 

● Two types of twins

○ Dizygotic (DZ) twins (= Fraternal twins) are the result of 2 separate eggs being fertilized by 2 separate sperms but implantation occurs during the same

pregnancy

■ On average, DZ twins share about 50% of their genetic material

○ Monozygotic (MZ) twins (=identical twins) occur when one sperm fertilizes an egg, but then the fertilized egg splits to form 2 identical embryo

■ MZ twins share 100% of their genetic material

○ Both MZ and DZ twins are assumed to share similar environments: same parents, same neighbourhoods, same schools, same historical events

● Behavioral geneticists analyze sample that include both MZ and DZ twins to estimate heritability, shared environment and nonshared environmental effect by examining the similarity between twins from the same twin pair

● Cross-twin correlation: one way of measuring the similarity between twins from the same twin pair is to calculate an intraclass correlation

● Intraclass correlation measure the strength of the relationship between one twin’s score on a phenotype and their co-twin’s score on that same measure

○ Range from .00-1.0

■ Let’s say one of the twin smokes and the other one never touched a

cigarette the correlation would be .00 and one can assume that non-share environment caused it.

○ If MZ twins were found to be more similar to each other than DZ twins then we can assume it is due to genetic factors

● The MZ intraclass correlations can then be compared to the DZ intraclass correlation to gain estimates of heritability shared environmental effects, and nonshared environmental effects

● When comparing MZ and DZ twins, their environments are assumed to be the same making the amount of genes they share the only variation

● If the environment was the only factor that shaped phenotypic variance, than MZ twins from the same MZ twin pair should be just as similar to each other (on a phenotype) as DZ twins from the same DZ twin pair

● If MZ twins were found to be more similar to each other than were DZ twins, then we can assume it is due to genetic factors

● Criminologists argue that all twin-based research is flawed because it violates the EEA ● Equal-Environments Assumption (EEA): refers to the assumption that twins from the same MZ win pair have environments there are no more similar than twins from the same DZ twin pair

○ If violated, then heritability estimates may be upwardly biased

● Criminologists argue that MZ twins are more alike than DZ twins are because MZ twins have more similar environments than DZ twins do

○ Research using twins who zygosity was misclassified shows this is not true ○ The twins’ similarity was in line with genetic expectations and not in line with the misclassification

● While violation of the EEA may artificially increase heritability but 3 methodological problems that can artificially deflate heritability:

○ Some reason to believe that MZ twins may actually make an effort to be different ○ Identical twinning can result in biological difference that can accentuate human differences

○ Assortative mating results in DZ twins, on average, sharing more than 50% of their genes

■ Assortative mating: choose mates who are similar in terms of their

behaviors/personality

○ More likely that multiple violations of the twin-based research design occur. Heritability estimates are likely unaffected

Equation for Twin Studies (Optional) 

● Heritability: h2= 2(rMZ-rDZ)

● Shared Environment: c2= 2rDZ-rMZ

● Nonshared environment; e2= 1-(h2+c2)

MZ Twins Separated at Birth 

● In rare instances, MZ twins are separated from each other at birth, reared in different homes by different parents

○ genetically identical but raised in completely different environments

● Overcome any questions about twin based studies

● If genes are not important, MZ twins reared apart (MZAs) should be more similar on phenotypes than 2 people chosen at random

○ Supports environmental explanations

● If genes are important, MZAs should be somewhat similar to each other on a range of different phenotypes

○ Supports genetic explanations

● Minnesota Study of Identical Twins reared Apart (MISTRA) findings:

○ MZ twins who are reared together are no more similar to each other when compared to twins who are reared apart

○ The ‘rearing environment’ (=environment you grow up in) has little effect on adult personality traits

■ 50% of the variance in all human phenotypes are due to the non-shared environment, NOT the shared environment

○ Environmental explanations cannot account for these similarities

Adoption Studies 

● Alternative to the twin method. Overcomes questions about twin based studies ● Adopted children inherit 50% of their genes from their biological mother and 50% from their biological father but share 0% of their environment

● If genes are influential for a particular phenotype, then the adopted child should resemble the biological parents on that phenotype

● If the environment is important for a particular phenotype, the the adopted child should resemble the adoptive parents on that phenotype

● Studies have compared whether the adoptee had been convicted of a crime with whether the biological parents were criminals and whether the adoptive parents were criminals

○ Adoptees who had a criminal biological parent and who had criminal adoptive parents had the highest rate of being convicted of a crime (24.5%)

○ Adoptees who had a criminal biological parent and a noncriminal adoptive parent had the second highest rate of being convicted of a crime (20%)

○ Adoptees who had a criminal adoptive parent and a noncriminal biological parent had the third highest rate of being convicted of a crime, but just slightly (14.7%) ○ Adoptees with noncriminal biological and adoptive parents had the lowest rate of being convicted of a crime, but just barely (13.5%)

Family Studies 

● Family-based studies analyze samples that include at least 2 siblings per household to gain estimates of h2, c2, and e2 

○ Can use regular siblings, half-siblings, genetically unrelated siblings, or any other type of kinship pair

● Alter equations used for studying the similarities of twins to account for different levels of genetic relatedness

● •If genetics are influential, we would expect to see siblings that share a greater proportion of genes to be more similar to each other on a phenotype than siblings who share fewer genes

● Family studies overcome any questions about twin based or adoption studies ● Twins and adoptees are different from non-twins or non-adoptees

● All different types of kinship pairs, including twins, are contained in the same sample ● Helps to eliminate concerns about the generalizability of twin based and adoption studies

● Studies in this area produce heritability estimates that are consistent with those garnered from twin- and adoption-based research designs

Week 1

#1 (x)

● Title  

Risk factors in the continuation of childhood antisocial behavior into adulthood (by Lee Robins and Kathryn Ratcliff)

● Objective  

Origin of Antisocial behavior

● Method  

- Considering variety of deviant behaviors (before 15)

o Arrest, incarceration, excessive elementary-school absence, drinking, alcohol problems, sexual intercourse, marriage, drug use, association with friends who are in trouble with police

o Interviews by psychiatrists

● Participants  

- White ex-patients of a child guidance clinic

- Black non-patients

● Results

- More of deviant behavior increased the possibility for antisocial behavior in adulthood

- Childhood antisocial behavior increased risk for adulthood antisocial behavior (45%-58%)

- Drug use after teens had little effect, but before was the best predictor - 68% of antisocial adults had been antisocial children

- absence of antisocial behavior in childhood → 92% not antisocial later - number of antisocial behavior is a good predictor of severity of antisocial behavior later

- antisocial father can lead to antisocial behavior

- social class is not an important predictor of antisocial behavior

● Why​ ​does​ ​it​ ​matter?  

- Shows that antisocial behavior has nothing to do with low status and racism.

#2

● Title  

Stability of Aggression over time and generations (by Huesmann, Eron and Lefkowitz)

● Objective  

Stability of Aggression over time (from childhood to Adulthood)

● Method  

- Longitude study

- Interviewed every ten years

- Early measures:

o Peer-nomination index of aggression (childhood aggression), Severity of punishment and IQ scores

- Later Measures:

o Self-ratings, ratings of the subject by the spouse, citation of offenses, Wide Range Achievement Test

- Contacted by mail and telephone and they used computerized interviews

● Participants  

- 600 subjects

- entire population of youngsters enrolled in the third grade in a semi-rural county in New York State

● Results  

- Aggressive responding seems to be constant

- Aggressiveness displayed in school has a high chance to turn into severe antisocial aggressiveness in a young adult

- Aggressiveness is transmitted across generations

- Some situations are more likely to elect aggressive behavior

- The child who is most aggressive at 8 is most likely the most aggressive at age 30 - Relation between birth weight and peer nominated aggression in boys (av. Birth weight= most aggressive)

- Relationship between current weight and aggression in females at age 30 - Mother’s age at time of birth related to boy’s aggression at age 19

- No significant relationship between testosterone and aggression

- Aggressive disposition can be learned

● Why​ ​does​ ​it​ ​matter?  

Aggressive behavior once established remains stable across time, situation and generations

#3

Title  

A life course theory of cumulative disadvantage and the stability of delinquency (by Sampson and Laub)

● Longitudinal study is required when showing an effect of social class in crime ● Development: “systematic, organized, intra-individual change that is clearly associated with generally executable age-related progressions and which is carried forward in some way that has implications for a person’s pattern at some later time”

● Criminal behavior are relatively stable over long periods of the life course ● individual differences in ASB are relatively stable over time

● Heusmann et al: aggression in childhood was related not only to adult crime but marital conflict, drunk driving, moving violations and severe punishment of offspring ● most antisocial children do not become antisocial adults

● many juvenile offenders do not become career offenders

● labeling theory might cause problems

● Social control theory: social bonding over the life course

● Social bond in adolescence and adulthood explain criminal behavior regardless of prior differences in criminal propensity

● turning points can modify life trajectories

● turning points can be positive or negative

● cumulative disadvantage is linked to four key institutions of social control- family, school, peers and state sanctions

● Importance of family management and socialization practices has been well established ● poor school attachment may be a consequence of misbehavior more than a cause ● Length of incarceration has little direct bearing on later criminal activity when job stability is controlled

● convictions increased the probability of future offending

Week 2

#1

● Title  

The Heritability of Antisocial Behavior: A meta-analysis of twins and adoption studies (by Mason and Frick)

● Objective  

Origin of Antisocial behavior

● Method  

- Considering variety of deviant behaviors (before 15)

o Arrest, incarceration, excessive elementary-school absence, drinking, alcohol problems, sexual intercourse, marriage, drug use, association with friends who are in trouble with police

o Interviews by psychiatrists

● Participants  

- White ex-patients of a child guidance clinic

- Black non-patients

● Results

- More of deviant behavior increased the possibility for antisocial behavior in adulthood

- Childhood antisocial behavior increased risk for adulthood antisocial behavior (45%-58%)

- Drug use after teens had little effect, but before was the best predictor - 68% of antisocial adults had been antisocial children

- absence of antisocial behavior in childhood → 92% not antisocial later - number of antisocial behavior is a good predictor of severity of antisocial behavior later

- antisocial father can lead to antisocial behavior

- social class is not an important predictor of antisocial behavior

● Why​ ​does​ ​it​ ​matter?  

- Shows that antisocial behavior has nothing to do with low status and racism.

#2 (x)

● Title

Sociology and Biology: What Biology do sociologists need to know? (by Udry)

● Sociology explains social behavior from social facts

● We learn to think of the boundary axiom as a true statement

● Instead of choosing to ignore other possible cause, we deny that they can even exist ● Possible that others develop explanations of the same behavior (competing explanations)

● Article makes following arguments

○ Other disciplines have biological explanations of social behavior

○ These biological explanations contradict sociological explanations

○ These other explanations are correct

○ Sociologists need to learn enough biology to make credible attacks on the biological explanations

○ Sociologists can incorporate these biological explanations

● Biological explanations:

○ Evolution of social behavior, behavior genetics, behavioral endocrinology ● Animal social behavior is evolved

● Hormones and genes affect behavior

● Social behavior is an evolutionary product

● The nature of humans is to HAVE no nature

● Biology can lead as back to the view of the uniformities in human behavior across cultures that we can reintroduce into sociology as the concept of human nature ● Hera most about sociobiology → the study of the evolution of social behavior ● Sociobiology can use evolutionary theory to explain the uniformities ● Durkheimian rule can explain the variance between groups and between individuals ● Durkheimian rule is only a disciplinary boundary suggestion and not a summary of how the world works

● Variance in genetic composition within populations in an evolutionary product as much as the genetic uniformity is

● Behavior genetics is built on the foundation of biological genetics, which is inseparable from evolution theory

○ Concerned within-population variance in behavior

● Behavior-genetics research designs are based on our knowledge about the degree of genetic relatedness among individuals, plus knowledge about the degree of shared environments among the same individuals

● Two components of variance:

○ Variance attributable to genetic sources

○ Variance attributable to environmental sources

● By late adolescence there is almost no remaining influence on IQ of the shared family environment

● Genetic effects are strong on income, education, personality, divorce, sexual behavior, religiosity, smoking, selection of friends, and delinquent behavior

● Genetic variance that cannot be identified are identified as effects of family environment

● Partial genetic basis for who uses marijuana and who does not

● Social Change

○ Can never explain why the gender structure in the US changed between 1930 and 1990

Week 3 (x)

● Title  

Evolutionary Psychology and Crime (by Kanazawa)

● Evolutionary Psychology is the study of universal human nature, or the sex-specific male human nature and female human nature

● Psychological mechanism is an information-processing procedure or ‘decision rule’ ● Creating as many copies of our genes as possible is the ultimate purpose of life for all living creatures

● Two important principles:

o Evolved psychological mechanisms mostly operate unconsciously (desires, values, preferences, emotions)

o Evolved psychological mechanisms need only be adaptive in the environment in which they evolved (environment of evolutionary adaptedness or the ancestral environment)

▪ Male jealousy is an evolved psychological mechanism

● Males are highly competitive in their effort not to be left out of the reproductive game → intersexual competition leads to a higher rate of violence (more than 90%) ● Males commit crimes to protect their status and reputation

● The same psychological mechanisms that inclines men to gain reproductive access to women can motivate men to rape

● An Evolutionary psychological perspective on crime logically requires that the key psychological mechanisms emerge before the informal norms against crime did ● Men are much more motivated to accumulate material resources

● Men and women commit crime for different reason

o Women steal to satisfy their own needs → women steal what they need and men steal to show off

● Age crime curve

o Tendency to commit crime rapidly increases in early adolescence, peaks in late adolescence and early adulthood, rapidly decrease throughout the 20s and 30s and levels off during middle ages

▪ Young men might lose if they are competitive but they will definitely lose if they are not competitive

▪ The cost of competition rapidly increase after the birth of the first child ▪ We don’t make these calculation consciously

● Selection bias

o Lower class criminals were more likely to be arrested, prosecuted and convicted that upper class criminal and there is no class differences in self-reported criminals

o Unclear if relationship between crime and class exist

o Lower class men might commit more crimes not due to their social class but because they are less intelligent

● Savanna-IQ interaction Hypothesis

o Savanna Principle: the human brain has difficulty comprehending and dealing with entities and situations that did not exist in the ancestral environment o Theory of general intelligence: More intelligent people are better than less intelligent individuals at solving problems only if they are evolutionarily novel but that more intelligent individuals are NOT better in solving familiar problems o Evidence: tendency to respond to TV characters as if they were real friends, less intelligent individuals have more children, greater difficulty employing ● Lower class men who are physically more attractive should be less criminal than lower class men who are physically attractive

● The modern criminal justice system is an evolutionarily novel institution to deal with evolutionarily familiar criminal behavior

Week 5

#1 (Optional)

Title:

Multiple Regression Analysis of Twin Data (by DeFries and Fulker)

● Multiple regression model is appropriate for the analysis of data on twins in which one member of each pair has been selected because of a deviant score

● Easy to understand and apply

● Those computer programs are readily available and are familiar to researchers in the behavioral science

● Small data sets can be analyzed on a personal computer

● Can be fitted to data on other genetic relationships

● Can analyze data from more than two relationships simultaneously

● Ho et al. (1980): the method can be easily extended to facilitate age adjustment and developmental analysis by including age as another independent variable (ethnic group, gender etc.)

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