Author Topic: Lombroso’s biological theory of crime  (Read 8943 times)

Offline shyful

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Lombroso’s biological theory of crime
« on: December 02, 2011, 04:18:50 PM »
The most vivid example of the biological determinism is the theory of Cesare Lombroso. Lombroso based his theory on the assumption that criminals have certain physiognomic features or abnormalities. Lombroso wanted to be able to detect future criminals in order to isolate them from the society. This gave criminology a strong push to create new methods of dealing with criminals and prevent crimes. Lombroso implied that prisoners had common facial characteristics. If to exaggerate criminals in Lombroso’s theory can be identified through the shape of their skulls, asymmetry of the face and head, large cheekbones, ears and lips, long arms and a twisted nose. Lombroso’s theory is the oldest one and it can without a doubt be called the main background data for the whole process of the development of criminology. Lombroso stated that men are more inclined to commit crimes due to the conservatism and the narrow-mindedness of their interests. According to Lombroso women have less social contacts and this is what predetermines their conservatism. This theory of female deviance seems to be very discriminating and not a present-day issue. The evaluation of a person as a “born criminal” basing on his facial features is at least not ethical and rather primitive. Lombroso considered this “born criminals” to be the “atavisms” of the society.

All the biological theories are based on the notion that biological markers foreordain criminal behavior. The core of all these theories is that genetic factors or any abnormalities which are inherited or acquired throughout the life, predispose individuals to the criminal behavior. Lombroso’s theory gave life to probably almost every single biological theory that appeared afterward.

Among the biological theories the XYY syndrome occupies a special place, as it analyzes why males are more often subjects to become criminals due to the presence if an extra Y chromosome. As this syndrome is in the first place associated with the low IQ-level of such males which seems to be a much better explanation. IQ shortage causes the inability to adjust in the contemporary social world that requires constant activity and flexibility. People facing these difficulties are left with no other choice that to turn to criminality. It all starts with low performance at school which results in the awareness of the “irretrievable dissimilitude” from others which later on results in deviance. Also such diseases as Organic Brain Syndrome, ADD or hormonal changes according to the biological theories play a very important role in the inclination to any criminal activities.

Later in his career Lombroso modified his beliefs and admitted that other factors than biology could be involved in producing criminality. Atavism accounted for only about 1/3 of the criminal population. Environmental factors played a role in a number of types of criminality.

Lombroso cited 6 categories of criminality that were not necessarily biologically determined. Among these were the following:
 
01.Habitual [or career] criminals had chosen crime as their occupational niche (i.e. Mafia soldiers). Lombroso believed prisons acted as breeding grounds of crime for many.

02.Judicial criminals were those who acted impulsively.

03.Criminals of passion acted criminally for noble reasons [Jack Katz's righteous slaughter fits this category].

04.Criminaloids were weak natured and too easily followed the, bad example of others [Sutherland's differential association fits here].
05.Morally insane criminals did not know the difference between right and wrong.

06.Hysteric criminals displayed psychological abnormalities.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2012, 04:49:28 PM by shyful »
S.M.Shyful Hoque
 Senior Lecturer
Department of Law
Daffodil International University
Email: shyful@daffodilvarsity.edu.bd

Offline farzanamili

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Re: Lombroso’s biological theory of crime
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2011, 03:48:22 PM »
Sir,
This theory is very confusing. A person cannot be a criminal by birth & his biological appearance. Then everybody will tend to show excuse that for facial features,i m bound to be criminal! According to reformative theory, crime is like disease,so any person can be victim of disease whatever his/her physical appearance. Every person has good & bad sides. Whose good sides are stronger than evil,he/she is considered as good person. So by strengthening one's good side & by weakening of his bad sides, the criminality inherent in a person can be diminished. Motivation works good in this respect. So, Lombroso's theory does not seem to me as very acceptable. But thank you Sir for this nice post. :)
Mirza Farzana Iqbal Chowdhury
Lecturer
Department of Law
Daffodil International University.

Offline shyful

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Re: Lombroso’s biological theory of crime
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2011, 06:16:54 PM »
Thanks mam for your opinion ,you are right about exceptions not in all cases he examined  near about 300 prisoners then prescribed these idea, once i didn't support that theory ,but now i can't completely deny him cause if you examine a few habitual criminals even in our society ,their out look,  you can  easily  distinguish them from others ,and his view about women ,you may disagree but I am not ....I am trying to understand him more precisely .Thanks mam ;
« Last Edit: December 08, 2011, 09:12:57 AM by shyful »
S.M.Shyful Hoque
 Senior Lecturer
Department of Law
Daffodil International University
Email: shyful@daffodilvarsity.edu.bd

Offline shyful

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Re: Lombroso’s biological theory of crime
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2011, 06:21:26 PM »
 :)
S.M.Shyful Hoque
 Senior Lecturer
Department of Law
Daffodil International University
Email: shyful@daffodilvarsity.edu.bd

Offline farzanamili

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Re: Lombroso’s biological theory of crime
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2011, 11:09:33 AM »
yes Sir, that may be true,it requires more n more research to get a better idea. :)
Mirza Farzana Iqbal Chowdhury
Lecturer
Department of Law
Daffodil International University.

Offline shyful

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Re: Lombroso’s biological theory of crime
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2011, 02:50:26 PM »
thanks mam :D
S.M.Shyful Hoque
 Senior Lecturer
Department of Law
Daffodil International University
Email: shyful@daffodilvarsity.edu.bd

Offline Ferdousi Begum

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Re: Lombroso’s biological theory of crime
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2012, 03:39:14 PM »
Sir,

This theory concerns about criminology. All of your issues are related with criminology. Why?

Ferdousi.

Offline shyful

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Re: Lombroso’s biological theory of crime
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2012, 12:32:28 PM »
 Cause I like to work on that subject ,his words on women really outstanding ........
thanks mam and i am happy with your query .
« Last Edit: March 10, 2012, 12:34:14 PM by shyful »
S.M.Shyful Hoque
 Senior Lecturer
Department of Law
Daffodil International University
Email: shyful@daffodilvarsity.edu.bd