A criminal behavior is an act that is committed with an intention of causing harm or inflicting some degree of pain, be it physical, mental or psychological to another person. It is crime since it is not allowed by the law. It also carries heavy or lighter punishment to the offender depending on the magnitude of the offence. Many types of crimes have been attributed to aggression delinquency and poor and lose moral structures. The criminal behavior has also been associated with poor judicial systems and lengthy prosecution and court cases.
In many cases the offenders are arrested and immediately released since no one comes forward with the evidence required to prosecute the offenders. A number of crimes which promote criminal behavior are permissiveness of the society, influence from drugs and excessive taking of alcohol, poor parental guidance and corruption. However, abuse of drugs has contributed largely to the spread of criminal behavior. (Einstadner & Henry, 1995) Youth and Drugs Youths are the most affected since most of them especially those in modern areas (cities or towns) have access to drugs.
Drugs taking among the youth are considered stylish and fancy to them and hence, a youth will always want to remain part of the group and hence he/she is influenced to engage in drug taking/trafficking. However, peer pressure is the main factor that contributes to drug abuse among many youths. The most affected however are those ones who come from rich families since they are given money by their parents and consequently use it to purchase drugs. The adolescents who are still in high school have also been reported to abuse drugs. Some carry them to schools and sell to their fellow students.
To some it is a booming business in school. Most of the youth, who abuse drug tend to do it for fun and to conform to a certain way of living lifestyle, oblivious of the dangers they are exposing themselves to. A small number however take drugs because they have been told that they relieve stress or make one perform better in class or sexually. Domestic problems at times drive unsuspecting youth to drugs just because they cannot handle divorce between parents, mistreatment to child favoring within their families. Drug trafficking has also been reported to be prevalent among music artists.
There is a myth that it helps them perform better on stage. As a result, they become addicts and in extreme cases the consequences are fatal. Some of them are known to have died from drug related cases or engaged in violence and consequently met their death. (Geen, 1990) There are a number of cults which promote drug taking and acts of violence. Committing violence or being involved in acts of aggression is tolerated amongst themselves and as a result they find themselves on the wring side of the law for being involved in criminal behaviors.
The most abused drugs are cannabis sativa, heroine, cocaine and madrax. These drugs have a very high rate of addiction and instant withdrawal result to death. Many victims of those drugs engage in violent acts with an intention of harming other people. This form of behavior translates into criminal behavior. The drugs are taken orally or injected into the body, to maximize their effct. (Eintadner & Henry, 1995) Effects of Drug Trafficking. Any person under the influence of drugs tends to show signs of aggression and mental retardation. Some have a tendency of eating too much (bulimia).
If they are confronted, they become angry and react by fighting. (Moyer, 1976). This kind of behavior can be said to be similar to a criminal behavior since it is done with an intention to inflict harm on the other person. Other drug related criminal behavior is murder. To vent out their anger, there are persons who have gone to an extent of killing their families only to realize the consequences of their actions when it is already too late. Such persons are liable for criminal prosecutions which may involve capital punishments or life sentences.
If an argument is brought forward that they were not aware of their actions when committing such crimes, it is usually declared null and void. Otherwise, most of them are never aware of their actions because the drugs affect them mentally (Moyer, 1976) Another effect of drug taking is robbery with violence. These offenders exert too much violence so that they can lay their hands on their targeted treasures. They don’t give a damn who they step on as long as they get what they want. This is aggression in a worst form. More often than not, their loot is meant to create money to enable them purchase more drugs.
This is the consequence of addiction. They cannot do without drugs and are therefore willing to break into people’s houses to acquire means for getting money to buy more. Many parents have reported that their sons and daughters steal money from them, sell their clothes, cups and even spoons just so that they can continue taking drugs. They at times organize kidnapping of their loved ones to compel their parents to comply with their sick demands. Aggression which leads to criminal behavior can be divided as follows. Selected Types of Criminal Behavior and Aggression
In psychology aggression has been referred to as any kind of behavior committed with an aim of inflicting harm or physical pain. (Geen, 1990). The definition however does not give a complete definition which is all inclusive and therefore is inadequate and cannot be used to represent behavior that is characterized with aggression. There are eight selected types of criminal behavior which have been identified and are believed to affect all species as well as human behavior. (Moyer, 1976). Predatory Aggression. This type of aggression is linked to predators used for hunting.
It is committed by those people who harm others because they regard them to be lesser human beings and not equal to the rest. They derive joy from inflicting harm on others. These people tend to demonstrate pathological disorders and they never see anything wrong with killing or assaulting others. Forensic investigations reveal that these people lack morals and they simply do not see what others see. (Moyer, 1976) Intermale Aggression This kind of violence is physical in nature and normally demonstrated among the male. The forensic investigations reveal that such males engage in such violence to outdo each other.
They feel threatened by the other and hence fight back to protect their ego and assert their authority. Another reason for fighting is perceived to be competition for available resources. They also do this to demand respect from the other male. (Moyer, 1976) Aggression Induced By Fear. Biologically, this kind of aggression is inmate. All species are programmed to react when being confined forcefully in some kind of environment. The responses that people give out are aggressive since they fear for their lives and have the desire to protect themselves.
The forensic investigations reveal that the increased rate of aggression among the prisoners is induced by fear caused by confinement; and more so since they are aggressive people. (Geen, 1990) Territorial Aggression. This aggressive behavior is displayed if ones place or territory is being invaded because they feel that someone is intruding. They therefore attack the intruder to make him retreat and avoid further invasion. The forensic investigations reveal that when one is invading another’s territory, it is not just property that they are afraid will be occupied or taken away.
People fear that, their status can also be stolen when invaded. In those relationships whereby power no longer exists, spouse abuse is easily understood if this aggression model is applied. (Geen, 1990) Maternal Aggression This violent behavior is mostly exhibited by females and in other instances is displayed by men. They do this if there is an intruder and they feel that his presence especially among the children is harmful to them. The forensic investigations show that there are no crimes that can be explained by a situation, but they can only be known by definition given.
(Moyer, 1976) Irritable Aggression. This is a kind of intense anger that a person projects through objects when heart broken, hurt, frustrated and stressed. This is seen when a person for instance, breaks things in the house, push things or hitting objects. The aim is to let out anger. The forensic investigations revealed that if an individual fails to access such objects to release anger they usually project anger onto other people. (Moyer, 1976) Aggression Related To Sex. This form of aggressive behavior is produced by a sexual stimulus.
A person who has sexual desires is capable of showing this behavior usually as a result of jealousy or revenge. According to forensic investigations, any person who shows signs of sexual aggression, the behavior may not be as a result of jealousy or revenge but may be caused by associating the sexual desires with acts of violence as well as dominance. Most of sexual related aggressions can be associated with violent sexual behaviors. (Moyer, 1976) Instrumental Aggression. Violent behavior is displayed by people who have been promised a reward for committing such crimes.
Most aggressive behaviors demonstrated by humans have to do with these rewards promised. According to forensic investigations, most criminal behaviors and other reported crimes are as a result of this. Anyone who has been rewarded for committing a criminal act is likely to commit the same crime as long as he or she is given the reward she has been promised. The reward may be in form of money or sexual gratification. (Geen, 1990) Empirical Evidence According to studies done unattractiveness of physical features, deformity as well as disfigurement has been linked to evil behaviors.
Physiognomy which is a science of knowing characteristics of a person and linked them to facial features was advanced by Homer. Homer referred a wicked thersite as being in possession with a thin hair line and a disfigured head with only a single blinking eye coupled with lame leg. There was a time when Socrates faced conviction for engaging in unsubstantiated rumors and corruption around 5th century, a physiognomist having looked at his facial features concluded that the crime he committed could be seen on his brutal face. There was a connection between his facial features and the crime committed.
This was further advanced by Aristotle’s theory of metaphysics which states that what is contained in the body is also found in the soul. The culture of Greeks embraced this fact. (Hooton, 1939) Surprisingly, the opinions were established and became law during the olden days in Europe. If anyone was accused or convicted of being in possession of a demon, the edicts of the medieval Ecclesiastes concluded that the person was guilty of the crime if he/she had large moles and warts on his/her skin. It was believed that the demons made their way into his body through the moles.
(Einstadter & Henry, 1995). Criminal behavior and its links to unattractiveness was exercised until the 20th century and was very popular among the American culture. Chester, who was a cartoonist, contrasted those with neat and nicely shaped teeth, nice cut hair, and smooth faces with hard criminals who have flat heads, rough face and ugly wrinkled forehead. In 1989, a Hollywood movie copied the science which was in Johnny Handsome movie, whereby a violent robber with disfigured and deformed look improved his looks after undergoing a plastic surgery.
This view exemplifies the connection between ugly and the bad. (Hooton, 1939) Majority of researchers of criminal acts shared in this view during the early days. The theory of physiognomy continued throughout 18th and 19th century. The most notable work was done by a scholar from Swiss, his name was Johan Lavater. He published very influential work ‘Physiognomical Fragments’ in around 1775. Almost 100 years later Cesare who was a physician in Italian prison published a book called ‘Criminal Man’ in around 1876.
In his book, criminal behavior was attributed to ‘atavism’ which was believed to be a condition which was inherited which made the offenders to become primitive. Autopsies were done on 76 dead criminals, and made a comparison with 833 inmates who were alive with approximately 389 soldiers. (Goring, 1972) Using the results of the autopsies, Cesare list down the physical features which he believed were connected with the prisoner’s criminal behaviors. He deduced that the criminals had short legs, excessively long arms, too much wrinkles, asymmetrical faces, extra toes and fingers and sloping foreheads.
(Einstadter & Henry, 1995) The findings of Cesare were however countered by Charles. He refuted the notion that criminal behavior was related a person’s physical features. To further his argument, Charles published a book in 1913 ‘English convict’. His publication put to test around 37 findings of Cesare and was empirically tested through comparing around 2, 349 convicts in London to a cross-section of very young English speakers (men); who were acting as the control group. From the results of his study, there was no evidence to support Cesare’s argument.
He therefore concluded that criminal behavior is as a result of feeblemindedness which is inherited and not facial looks nor physical features. (Goring, 1972) Earnest Hooton was however not intimidated by those results. This Harvard Anthropologist embarked on a study that took him 12 years. He compared approximately 13, 873 men prisoners in around 10 states and used a random sample of around 3, 023 normal men picked from the population in a bid to search for one or more differences in physical features. Earnest’s results were published in ‘American Crime and Man’.
According to his book, the criminal behavior is caused by ‘degeneration’ or ‘biological inferiority. He also shared in Cesare’s views that unattractiveness and criminal behavior are connected. He linked the following features to criminals; protruding ears, narrow jaws, rounded shoulders, pointy chins, drooping eyelids and small facial feature. By around 1930 the views of biological researchers were losing popularity since most criminologists argued that criminal behavior is influenced only by social factors. Many researches were ridiculed and especially Hooton’s.
Most of their findings were described as funny and meant to cause laughter. To think that criminal behavior is linked to biological factors was ridiculous and inferior way of thinking. This is because biological researchers differentiated non-criminals from criminals only through biological factors. Many sociologists treated the findings of biological researchers with a lot of doubt especially the connection between unattractiveness and criminal behavior. The general strain and theories of self-derogation are the only ones which can explain that kind of relationship.
Improvements on the Research. Other theories have also come up to establish the cause of criminal behaviors. For example, self derogatory theory which asserts that most peers are laughed at and thereby lose self-esteem and motivation to conform. The general theory about strain claims that there has been interactions which are not warranted and cause frustration, depression and anger. Sociologists have however come to save this wanting situations, by delinking biological qualities with criminal behaviors. The findings prompted other comprehensive studies.
The earlier findings were a backward way of thinking and should not be relied on. It should be noted that criminal behaviors are cause by external factors and specifically social factors. The earlier findings should have involved social factors such as the environment in which a person lives, the economic factors, such as sources of livelihood, the social structures and the peer group. Psychological factors should have also been included in the findings in order to come up with comprehensive results and reliable ones.
The other factor that should have been considered is the culture of the person as well as their beliefs and values. In some cultural settings, if the motive of the killing is acceptable to their beliefs he cannot be considered to have committed a criminal act. This may happen if a person kills to protect his/her properties if their culture demands that one should do anything to protect what they own. Another factor that should have been considered is religious factors. There are some religious which act aggressively because their religion allows them to behave in such a manner.
They may destroy other people’s properties set up bomb explosions in order to protect their faith. When addressing criminal behavior, the degree of tolerance of certain acts in the society should also be put into consideration. For instance, it is important to establish why some cults abuse drugs and they have incorporated drug trafficking to become a way of life. Engaging in criminal behavior is also not enough, it is important to establish the motive of the killings, robberies and also what drove a person into drugs if the society in which he/she lives in does not condone such acts. Conclusion
The topic of criminal behavior can improve our understanding on the real causes of violent acts which is evident from the experiences people have had. To understand the issues regarding criminal behavior the best sources of evidence are the experiences that people have gone through, written them down, narrated them on TV shows or made self-confessions. This has improved people’s understanding of criminal behavior and the means which can be employed to control the behavior. Guidance and counseling lessons being offered have also made it possible for people to understand the relationship between drugs and some forms of criminal behavior.
The youth are therefore well informed and enlightened regarding the issue of drugs and criminal behavior. They have an understanding regarding consequences of drug trafficking and the health implications it can have on them. Special classes therefore should be designed to teach the youth about criminal behavior. If the classes are not part of the coursework, they can be part of extra-curricular activities only that they should be made compulsory for all students. During the classes reformed and rehabilitated criminals can be invited to address them so that the lessons can have lasting impressions on the students.
In addition, they should also be taken to rehabilitation centers to have a one on one with those who have been implicated in acts of violence. The lessons should be designed for all students both in junior classes as well as senior classes. The only differences, in junior classes the lessons should be a bit shallow so that the students do not yet confused. However at senior levels, the lessons should be comprehensive and should not leave any doubt in the students’ mind. References: Einstadter, W & Henry, S (1995) Criminology Theory: An Analysis of it