Crime in Biological, Social, and Moral Contexts

Crime in Biological, Social, and Moral Contexts

by Lee Ellis, Harry Hoffman


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Illustrating the diversity and richness of biosocial theory, this contributor volume introduces numerous new views on the biological and social causes of criminality and pro/antisociality. From the biosocial perspective, criminal behavior becomes part of a behavioral continuum which may theoretically include basic moral reasoning and altruism. Contributors from diverse fields outline basic assumptions of the biosocial perspective. They examine various evolutionary, genetic, and neurochemical aspects of criminality; and push the limits of current knowledge to the outer edges of biosocial theorizing. This volume is intended to inform social scientists, particularly criminologists, of recent developments in biosocial approaches to the study of pro/antisociality and criminality.

It is the intent of the editors to give readers of this book a clear picture of the biosocial approach to the study of pro/antisociality. Emphasizing the interdisciplinary nature of this field, contributors were selected from diverse academic backgrounds. The volume contains seventeen chapters and is organized in four sections. The first section conceptualizes the field, identifies behavioral and demographic variables correlated with criminality, and discusses the degree to which experts currently subscribe to the biosocial perspective. Section Two examines the contribution of evolutionary and genetic factors to variations in criminality. Section Three focuses on how brain functioning relates to pro/antisociality. The final section extends the theoretical limits of existing knowledge, illustrating the potential of this approach to social science.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780275930035
Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date: 10/17/1990
Pages: 344
Product dimensions: 6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.81(d)
Lexile: 1460L (what's this?)

About the Author

LEE ELLIS is Professor and HARRY HOFFMAN is Assistant Professor, both in the Departments of Sociology and Criminal Justice at Minot State University, North Dakota. The senior editor recently published Theories of Rape and is currently editing a book on biosocial approaches to social stratification (Praeger, forthcoming).

Table of Contents

The Concept of Pro/Antisociality and the Biosocial Perspective


Conceptualizing Criminal Behavior from a Biosocial Perspective

Universal Behavioral and Demographic Correlates of Criminal behavior

Contemporary Criminologists on Causes and Theories of Crime

Evolutionary and Genetic Aspects of Criminality

The Evolution of Violent Criminal Behavior and its Nonlegal Equivalent

The Evolution of Collective Counterstrategies to Crime

Courtship Disorder: Voyeurism, Exhibitionism, Tocheurism, and the Preferential Rape Pattern

International Crime Rates and Evolutionary Theory

Inherited Dispositions Toward Learning Delinquent and Criminal Behavior

On Possible Genetic Bases of Race Differences in Criminality

Neurochemical Aspects of Pro/Antisociality

Hormonal Correlates of Sexual Aggression

Androgens, Brain Functioning, and Criminality

Neurological Bases of Crime, Psychopathy, and Aggression

The Role of Sensory Stimulation in Criminal Behavior

Neurological Links Between Substance Abuse and Crime

Biosocial Theorizing in the Area of Pro/Antisociality

Evolutionary and Neurological Roots of Prosocial Behavior

Risk, Crime, and Neurophysiologic Highs


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