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.

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