According say that within a person’s genetic makeup,

According to the
U.S. National Library of Medicine, a gene is the most basic physical and
fictional unit of heredity (“What is a Gene,” 2017) and they make us who we are.
A genetic description would say that within a person’s genetic makeup, there
might be crime genes that generate a tendency for crime. There are many debates
around the idea about how a person’s genotype can play a significant role in
the development of your personality, but especially relating to criminality. Research
has been done to show that inherited genetic predispositions may correlate with
the risk of developing criminal behavior. Many believe that the environment
that surrounds you shapes how you are, but can your genes predict your criminal
behavior?

An example of a
possible genetic abnormality leading to criminality would be the XYY karyotype.
It was once thought that males with an extra Y chromosome (XYY males) exhibited
greater criminal behavior and are more prone to aggressive behavior than XY
males. This claim about the XYY karyotype is part of the “Nature vs. Nurture”
debate. The belief that nature, or the biological determinism and inheritance
is more important than the effects of the environment and education was the
basic idea of “eugenics” coined in by Francis Galton (1822-1911). Eugenics is
the set of beliefs and practices which aims at improving the overall genetic
quality of the human population, by discouraging the reproduction of people
with genetic defects or undesirable traits. According to Galton himself,
talent, character, intellect and physical features like height, eye color are
all governed by heredity. Analogously, a tendency to develop criminal behavior,
alcoholism is inherited as well. This concept however is supported by the old
concept that biology is destiny.

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According to
Science Clarified, about 1 in 1000 newborns males with two Y chromosomes other
than just one, is known as the 47, XYY karyotype. This is the result of errors
that occur in the formation of the sperm cells (paternal meiotic
nondisjunction) or when the fertilized egg begins to divide (post fertilization
errors). Unlike many autosomal chromosome irregularities, the XYY karyotype is
not linked with advancing maternal age and advancing paternal age has little to
no effect either. About 80% of males with two Y chromosomes have the 47, XYY
chromosome composition. Even some men diagnosed with XYY, have mosaic
chromosome structures with some of their cells as 46, XY and other are 47, XYY.
During the 70s and 80s, those individuals diagnosed early as fetuses were
associated with criminal behavior leading many parents to abort. As time
passed, induced abortions decreased as further studies discredited the original
claim. Babies born with XYY, are of normal weight and length but as they age
they develop delayed speech development and have certain behavior and learning
problems.

When the XYY
type was discovered, some researchers thought the presence of an extra Y chromosome
would make males more aggressive and prone to developing criminal behavior.
This condition was termed “supermale syndrome.” XYY men have been a main
interest of psychologists and criminologist especially in prison system and
after evaluation of psychological tests, XYY males do exhibit more aggressive
behaviors than XY males. XYY males have a more rigid way of thinking and find
it harder to control oneself, all leading to an aggressive-like behavior. With
higher levels of testosterone, aggression is correlated as a result. XYY males
have aggressive tendencies but don’t necessarily manifest in violent behavior
toward other people. 

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