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Age-old question: Are ‘criminals’ born or made?

Age-old question: Are ‘criminals’ born or made?

Born Criminals?

We are discussing the age-old question: are ‘criminals’ born or made? This debate wages in all areas of the discipline and serves as one of the oldest questions of criminological theory. This week, we begin by taking a look at the “nature” side of the argument, through biological, psychological, and biosocial theories.

There are so many interesting debates and discussions to be had within the nature side, but I am particularly interested in what it all means in the end: If we buy into this argument, that people are born criminal, or genetically predisposed (hardwired) toward deviance/crime, then what can/should be done to control crime? We can see the proposed ‘solutions’ in our histories and current climate: profiling, cognitive-behavioral therapies, forced sterilization, etc.

Utilizing the lectures, readings, and application materials posted in this week’s Module (attached and listed below), I would like you to critically weigh in on the debate, paying particular attention to the implications of these theories for research, practice, policy, and treatment of individuals who may be deemed “born criminal.”

Remember, this is a graduate seminar that necessitates critical, logical, reasoned, and respectful debate and discussion. You are the future leaders in this field and this requires you to have an informed and educated opinion on these issues. Don’t sell yourself and all of us short by choosing not to engage!

Post your initial response by 11:59 pm on Thursday and a follow-up response by Sunday, 11:59 pm. Please remember that the forum closes on Sundays at midnight so get your posts in!

Online Resources:

Sterilized Behind Bars – New TYT & CIR Documentary




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