7 Theories About Criminal Behavior That Will Have You Questioning The 'Average' People Around You

7 Theories About Criminal Behavior That Will Have You Questioning The 'Average' People Around You

Fear comes in many different forms but the worst fears are the ones created by society itself...humans.

Fear comes in many different forms but the worst fears are the ones created by society itself — humans. Criminals and terrorists are in the news every day. But what is the real truth behind their actions? Is it society or genetics that causes these so called “troublemakers?” What’s the truth behind these minds?

Two years ago I decided to do a research paper on neurocriminology. Back then, I was curious about the secrets about these "defective" mindsets. Back then, I was innocent and believed the stereotype that all criminals are psychopaths. Back then, I came to a realization: society's ignorance is what creates criminals. And we see this everyday in our lives, from the recent mass shootings to the wars. We feel sorry and send our prayers to the victims of political violence, but what we never do is actually attempt to change the way our world function. Believing and doing are different. Our ignorance to address the root cause of criminals ranging from mental health to lack of education is what is killing our own brothers and sisters.

Here are seven facts to help you understand how criminals are lot more average, like us, than you thought.

1. Criminals can be identified by physical characteristics.

Scholar, Cesare Lombroso was an Italian prison doctor (criminologist) and physician who established the Italian School of Positivist Criminology. Cesare Lombroso hypothesized that criminals could be identified by their physical characteristics including a large jaw and a sloping forehead. Other characteristics include twisted nose, excessive cheekbones, long arms, excessive wrinkles on skin and a large chin. Although this sounds like a stereotypical villain from Disney, because Lombroso was a celebrated intellectual, his findings became the basis of many fake theories in the early 20th century, making the people on the bottom of the hierarchy not fit to live at all. This birthed the stigma that all criminals are crazy psychopath who carry guns and are merciless.

2. Your parents could be the reason you end up a criminal.

When I say this, I don't mean abuse or the home environment. I am talking about genetics. In 1984, a study done by Sarnoff Mednick found that a person convicted of zero offenses resulted in 13 percent of their children convict a crime. And for the people who convicted two or more offenses, had 25 percent of their sons convict an offense. Contrary to popular belief, criminals are not always made, but sometimes, they are just born. The children of criminals are not taught right and wrong but "wrong" and "wrong." If we must address the criminal issue in America, we must target the children of criminals first.

3. Pollution can result in criminal behavior.

Environmental factors usually damage the prefrontal region of a criminal's brain, resulting abnormal behavior. From 21 months, children are particularly prone to lead in soil, air pollution and contamination done by dumping. Increasing levels of lead in the U.S. throughout the 1950 to 1970s caused an increased amount of violence 20 years later. This may not be concerning now, but as pollution increases, we may face our self in the midst of chaos.

4. Criminals usually have smaller brains.

In 2009, Yaling Yang directed a brain scan of 27 psychopaths. Compared to 32 normal brain scans, the psychopaths seemed to have a smaller amygdala by 18 percent. Because of their smaller amygdala, psychopaths know what is wrong and right, but they just don’t feel it. This is a crucial reason to bring light in the mental health field, because although many criminals don't face mental disorders, they are in an incorrect state of mind.

5. Mental Disorders

Society has placed a stigma that criminals are facing some mental disorder and that results in their irrational actions. That is simply not true. Researchers analyzed 429 crimes committed by 143 offenders with three major types of mental illness and found that 3 percent of their crimes were directly related to symptoms of major depression, 4 percent to symptoms of schizophrenia disorders and 10 percent to symptoms of bipolar disorder.

6. If you have a twin, you are more likely to become a criminal.

Numerous studies have found that identical twins are much more similar to each other in behavioral aspects of crime and aggression than fraternal twins who only share 50 percent of their genes. This brings me to the Kray Brothers, who ran mafia style operations. These twins often fought and committed murders as if they had telepathic signals between the two of them.

7. Cancer can result in crimes.

Some criminals are noted to have tumors. If the tumor reaches the amygdala, it can incite criminal behavior. While other criminals have low levels of neurotransmitters which results in loss of memory and an imbalance in chemical signals. This imbalance leads to impulsive acts and violent thoughts.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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The University Of South Florida Student Government Election Is On, Here Are The Deets

May the odds be ever in your favor.

On February 13, all the candidates running for the University of South Florida Student Government elections announced themselves. It comes as no surprise that Moneer Kheireddine and Shaquille Kent, this past year's Student Body President and Vice President, are re-running for office. They do have opponents, though. Gabby Cruz and Scott Tavlin, running for President and Vice President, respectively, are looking to broaden the horizons.

I had the chance to talk to all four of these wonderful people and got a peek into what they are going to do if they win the election. Not only that, but I also got a glimpse of who they are as people, and what means the most to them.

When I asked Gabby and Scott why they decided to run, Gabby said, "We're both really involved on campus and can't help but love the school." Together, they want to give the school everything they can, including the value of time.

Their platform is based on what they believe in. Gabby told me Scott and she sat down and discussed which core values they thought reflected them the most, and they came up with the following: Service, Family, Advocacy, and Tradition.

"Vote for us if our platform is what you believe in," Gabby said.

To find out more about their campaign, visit their website at gabbyandscott2018.com

Moneer and Kent have a different standpoint. Because they have already served, they made the point that there would be no transitionary period to go through because they already know who to go to.

For those of you concerned they haven't done much this current term, Moneer told me, "We haven't announced or released statements about what we've done because they are in progress and not complete." Things take time, and cannot be done in the blink of an eye.

Moneer and Kent have the platform "H.E.A.R. What We Stand For" which stands for Heritage, Entertainment, Access, and Representation. They are big on culture and want no part in extreme politics on campus.

"If I was me, I'd vote for me," Kent said.

To find more about their campaign, visit their website.

Both encourage a safe and healthy environment during this election process. In fact, they're friends and have served in many group organizations together.

"We all have an understanding," Scott said. "We want to leave a positive example on this election."

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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After Stoneman Douglas, High Schoolers Are Being The Change They Want To See

We will no longer be silent.

I want it to be known that the gun control revolution was started by high school students.

Let's throw it back to 1999 and what has been widely regarded as the first major school shooting in America—Columbine. The Columbine shooting was the first of its kind. The school itself didn't know how to react as there really was no such thing as a "code red." Police were the same; they didn't know how to respond to the situation. The police did not have blueprints of the school and had very few ways to communicate with the students and teachers within the school.

The two shooters of Columbine checked every box on the list of things we are told to look out for. They made home movies of them shooting guns, made a movie for a film class at school that alluded to a school shooting. One of the shooters even wrote an essay that raised the eyebrow of his teacher. This teacher called his parents in and talked to them, but no further actions were taken. Both students kept in-depth journals that even had details and drawings of their plans. There were so many red flags that went unchecked.

Cut to today and every student from kindergarten to seniors in high school, and even college can tell you their code red drills. Turning off the lights, locking the doors and hiding in the corner of the classroom. We have been taught the signs of a school shooter and have been told to report anyone suspicious. Most schools have fences that surround them, metal detectors and armed police officers on campus. Every action has been taken by schools and the student and faculty within the schools to avoid events like Columbine, or more recently Stonewall Douglas, from ever happening again. Now it's time for the government to do the same.

For the past week, high school students have been screaming at the government on both the local and federal levels to make changes to our lax gun control laws. There have been walkouts scheduled for the next months both to honor the victims of shootings and to raise awareness for the dire need to make changes to our current legislation.

Today (February 21), was one of the first major high school walkouts across the country, and I'm proud to say that my school participated.

At 12:06, when the bell rang, a large majority of the over 1,500 students at my high school walked out of class and made their way to the football field. We walked the track, with many of the students holding signs, and chanted for change, for no more lives lost.

At the end of the 17-minute walk, we stood in the middle of the field and chanted "Douglas Strong" before taking a moment of silence for the victims.

The entire walkout and protest had been put together by teenagers through social media. Teenagers have stopped sitting back and being silent and have started to take action. We are no longer being spoon-fed what is being told to us by the government and authority. We are too young to vote, but we will not let our voice go unheard. We are being the change we want to see.

It is time for people to sit down and listen to what we have to say. Or schools, our one safe zone, is under attack and it seems like no one wants to listen. We are screaming for help and refuse to be silenced.

Cover Image Credit: Rylee Nelson

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