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Atavism The theory of atavism also referred to as sociobiology was a concept developed by the criminologist Cesare Lombroso 1835 - 1909 that offers a biological explanation for criminal deviance His theory states that criminal deviance is inherited and this inheritance is visible in the shape of the human skull Through biological determinism Lombroso attempted to show that physical traits would be determinants of criminal behavior His ideas were part of the 19th century movement known as positivism Lombroso applied positivism to the field of criminology in an attempt to create a field of study known as criminal anthropology Criminal anthropology was based on the earlier work of Charles Darwin and the theory of evolution and Lombrosos theory of atavism Drawing on Darwins theory of natural selection Lombroso reasoned that in any population a small number of individuals were likely to exhibit extremely primitive instincts and that they would have difficulty functioning in a civilized culture They were in effect evolutionary throwbacks or atavistic anomolies as Lombroso termed them In early human societies individuals with atavistic traits were more likely to be fit for survival A strong desire to kill for example would have made them successful hunters and desirable mates However in civilized urban Europe atavism the reversion to evolutionarily primitive traits was highly likely to cause criminal behavior Assuming that Nevet and Begonia are the same age and may be twins since they are graduating at the same time this theory would explain that the behavior exhibited by the children was a result of their skull structure Since they are brother and sister their skull structure is more than unlikely to be relatively similar However for this theory to hold true there needs to be evidence that their parents also had atavistic traits or behavior or a past criminal behavior Since there is no evidence of either this theory can not be legitimately used to explain their behavior Differential Association The
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