People are not born as a criminal

Topics: Psychology, Crime, Sociology Pages: 7 (2148 words) Published: May 1, 2014
“People are not born as criminal”
People are not born as a criminal. In fact, they are born neutral but then learn criminal behavior as they get older. Why is that? They are born as neutral human beings, but what events cause deviance action? How do they learn? Individuals learn criminal behavior through outside influences or the events that happen in their past. Causes such as nature and the environment in which the person is brought up in are key factors to criminal behavior. The upbringing of an individual primarily shapes the future personality of said person. This is done through family or societal influences, imitation of one’s role models, being surrounded by criminal people or through media influences such as video games and violent movies.

It is theorized that a strong link exists between negative experiences from the past and criminal offenses that people do, since childhood is the basis for the growth of personality and forming the pathways that individuals take as adults. When an individual is going through a rough childhood, anger or frustration is created within the person who further increases their chances of taking the wrong path towards deviant behavior. Or when an individual lives in a society or family where abuse or drug use is normal, the chances of the individual following the same path is very high. Studies have revealed that out of 200 serious juvenile offenders that were asked, over 90% of them had serious childhood trauma. 74% were physically or sexually abused and 30% suffered the disturbance of losing a significant person sometime during their life. Criminals such as Robert Thomson, John Venables, Jesse Pomeroy, Cheryl Pierson and Peter Dinsdale (otherwise known as Bruce Lee), have suffered severe problems in terms of their family relations, whether it is through abuse or an immoral influential figure. So according to this, individuals have a much higher chance of leading a criminal life based off their childhood trauma and the way in which they were influenced. In this essay, the question of why people commit crime will be explored through the psychology and learning theory lens. The cases of John Venables, Jesse Pomeroy and Sergeant Robert Bulges will also be discussed. The Social Learning Theory suggests that learning occurs when an individual (the learner) observes the copier (the model). The learner’s criminal behavior is reinforced from the model and they learn beliefs that are favorable to crime. The theorist argues that people are not born as a criminal. They learn to think and act violently as a result of their day to day experiences. These experiences can include observing the behaviors of friends, family, and media. There are four factors that can increase violence; a stressful event like a threat, challenge or assault that can heighten anger, aggressive skills or techniques learned through observing others, a belief that aggression or violence will be socially rewarded (for example, reducing frustration, enhancing self-esteem, providing material goods or earning the praise of other people) and finally, a value system that tolerates violent acts within certain social contexts. A child’s mind is undeveloped fully and is innocent. They learn from observing their surrounding environment, whether it is a good or bad thing since they do not have a sense of right and wrong. If an individual is surrounded by a bad environment, they have a higher chance of doing the same thing. A significant influence on a child’s mind is their family. Family, in general, are groups of related individuals living under the same roof. As human beings, we learn learn everything from family first, because those are the people we spend the most time with. So family reflects of what we do, who we are and is also a reflection of how we are brought up. The family is divided in three groups; parents, siblings and relatives. If a child is brought up in an abusive environment, this will affect him negatively and...
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