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Psychological and psychiatric theories of criminal behaviour emphasise individual propensities and characteristics in explanations of criminality Whether the emphasis is on conditioned behaviour the development of parental attachment or the psychoanalytic structure of the human personality these approaches see the wellsprings of human motivation desire and behavioural choice as being firmly rooted in the personality Some of the earliest positivists were convinced that criminal behaviour was a result of genetic abnormality Lombroso advanced the notion of atavism which stated criminals represented a savage earlier form of humankind Lombroso compiled a list of physical features that were associated with criminals which included protruding eyes long arms tattoos and large jaws He tested convicts and those who had 5 or more of these atavisms were deemed to be born criminals However his research was based on male criminals in a Sicilian jail which was inadequate as a control group as it had an overrepresentation of Sicilians who naturally demonstrated several of Lombrosos atavisms Sheldons somatic typology theory was based on a large sample of males in rehabilitation institutions He listed three major somatypes or body types endomorphs obese soft and rounded people who were fun loving and sociable mesomorphs muscular athletic people who were assertive vigorous and bold ectomorphs tall thin with a well developed brain who were introverted sensitive and nervous Sheldon thought that mesomorphs were most likely to become criminals However unrepresentative samples were used and he may have been confusing causation with correlation - just because there is an association between body type and deviant behaviour doesnt mean that the body typebiology caused the deviant behaviour Also neither of these theories take into account female crime Some criminologists believe that criminal behaviour is genetic There are two types of studies which try to draw the link between inherited traits and criminal behaviour 1 twin studies which compare the criminal behaviour between identical monozygotic twins and fraternal dizygotic twins These studies have found
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