Key findings from biosocial research and what they mean for the future of criminology

Authored by: Kevin M. Beaver , Eric J. Connolly

The Routledge International Handbook of Biosocial Criminology

Print publication date:  December  2014
Online publication date:  December  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415722131
eBook ISBN: 9781315858449
Adobe ISBN: 9781317936749

10.4324/9781315858449.ch4

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Abstract

During the past ten years there has been an explosion of published biosocial criminological research. This body of research has focused on examining the genetic and environmental contributions to virtually every behavior, trait, and environment that is of interest to criminologists. Overall, the findings of these studies, which are summarized in other chapters in this volume, consistently show that genetic factors account for a significant amount of variation in virtually every criminogenic measure. These estimates obviously vary across studies depending on sample characteristics, the outcome under investigation, and other research design factors. However, the end result of this emerging body of empirical research is that, compared with a decade ago, there is now a better understanding of the biosocial foundations to a wide range of antisocial behaviors. In addition, the rate at which biosocial research is being produced has been quite impressive. Within a relatively short period, biosocial studies has gone from being nonexistent to commonplace in some criminology journals. By every indication, the rate at which such research is being produced is not slowing down; if anything, this area of research is continuing to grow at an exponential rate. The growth of biosocial research is due, in part, to biosocial criminologists being among some of the most productive scholars, the intense interest among new graduate students in biosocial research, and the availability of datasets that allow genetically informed analyses to be conducted.

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