Molecular Genetics and Crime

Authored by: John Paul Wright , Kristan Moore , Jamie Newsome

The Ashgate Research Companion to Biosocial Theories of Crime

Print publication date:  November  2011
Online publication date:  April  2016

Print ISBN: 9781409408437
eBook ISBN: 9781315612768
Adobe ISBN: 9781317044055

10.4324/9781315612768.ch5

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Abstract

Recent technological advances, including the mapping of the human genome, have helped to introduce neuroscience and genetics to a broad audience. Not a day goes by anymore where new insights are not made into the inner-workings of genes and their sometimes subtle, and sometimes not so subtle, influence on human conduct. These insights have informed virtually every aspect of human study, even the study of criminal behavior. The role of genes in the creation and maintenance of antisocial behavior was once subject only to logical theorizing, at best, or to open speculation, at worse. This has changed. Today, scholars have available to them direct measures of candidate genes and they have the computational power to test for associations between thousands of genes and a variety of behavioral outcomes. Still, for the most part this knowledge remains locked away in esoteric scientific journals or in specialized academic texts—materials the average criminology student may never see.

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