Required Readings

Bartol, C. R., & Bartol, A. (2017). Criminal behavior: A psychological approach (11th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.
Chapter 3, “Origins of Criminal Behavior: Biological Factors” (pp. 59-66, 79-81)
Note: These pages are part of a chapter assigned in Week 1.

Jones, C. (2005). Genetic and environmental influences on criminal behavior. Retrieved from

Buss, D. (2012). The evolutional psychology of crime. Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Criminology Commentary Special Edition, 1(1), 90–98. Retrieved from

Discussion: Criminal Behavior — Inherited or Not?

The idea that criminal behavior may be inherited is vigorously supported by some and heavily criticized by others. Those who support the heritability explanation for criminal behavior point to current research in genetics, suggesting it leans toward the eventual acceptance of this explanation. Those opposed continue to argue that genetics alone will never prove to have a direct link to criminal behavior and that environmental factors play a larger role. Yet, there is evidence that is difficult to ignore that links inherited traits and aggressive behavior, and which shows that environmental factors may actually bolster genetic influences on criminal behavior.
An important aspect of biology, heritability, adds complexity to the topic of criminal behavior and brings an important element to the debate about its causes.

By Day 3

Post your position for or against the heritability (genetic explanation) of criminal behavior. Justify your position using specific examples from the resources or from your research.

Note: Put your position (for or against) in the first line of your post. You will be asked to respond to a colleague who justified the opposite position.

Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the resources.