Biological Influences on Criminal Behavior

In reviewing most of the introductory texts available to criminologists, one is left with the impression that the contribution of biological factors is by-and-large irrelevant to the formulation of criminal behavior. Where biology is mentioned at all, it receives infinitesimal coverage. This dearth of attention could at one time be blamed on shoddy research and the legitimate fear that evidence gathered along this path would be used to support eugenic extremists. However, in the past 20 years tremendously valuable work has been accomplished that legitimately correlates and often links biological factors such as genetics, biochemistry, diet, and brain disease to criminal behavior.

Biological Influences on Criminal Behavior fundamentally questions the way most criminologists attempt to explain, let alone ameliorate human criminal behavior. Introducing criminologists to an emerging area of research, this landmark work—

  • Discusses basic biological concepts such as natural selection and evolution in relation to behavior
  • Reviews contemporary evidence regarding patterns of inheritance, sex-linked traits, and propensities towards aggression
  • Explores studies on hormonal effects, as well as brain chemistry, and delves deeply into organic brain dysfunction
  • Looks at investigations into nutrition and food allergies
  • Explains why criminologists have traditionally rejected biology’s contribution
  • Considers hormonal influences including that of testosterone, as well as the relation between PMS and crime
  • While it is steeped in scientific research, the material is presented in a way that does not require a scientific background. The author does not suggest that biology plays the major role in criminal behavior; however, her carefully researched work does prove that we can gain a far deeper and more useful understanding when we objectively assess all the factors involved.

ISBN: 1-4200-4331-5

Price: $82.00

About the author

Gail Anderson is a professor of forensic entomology in the School of Criminology at Simon Fraser University. Professor Anderson has served as a forensics consultant to the RCMP and city police across Canada. Among her many accolades, she was listed in TIME magazine as one of the top ten innovators worldwide in criminal justice and recently received the Derome Award from the Canadian Society of Forensic Sciences.