The act of crime is a global phenomenon with various explanations. Some believe genetics play a role, while others emphasize social influence. Lombroso and Sheldon’s micro-criminological theories were once considered credible but modern research challenges them. Crime can be seen as a positive contribution to society in an epidemiological context, according to Durkheim. However, too much crime leads to social instability or anomie. In contrast, Marxism views capitalism as criminal, suggesting global society is in a constant state of anomie. The debate on whether people are born or made into criminals continues. Genetic heredity or environmental influences are considered significant factors in the creation of criminal behavior. Despite controversy, there is evidence supporting the idea of inherited criminal tendencies. Lombroso’s theories, while attempting to reduce or prevent crime through biological determinism, have lost significance over time.Although Lombroso’s theories of criminality being a hereditary trait may seem short-sighted (Mannheim, 1965), research has demonstrated that shared physical characteristics frequently contribute to the understanding of genetic criminal behavior, as Lombroso argued.
This passage does not argue that people are born destined to commit crimes, but rather suggests that there is an inherent inclination towards criminal behaviors, which can be influenced by societal factors. When considering the causes of criminal behavior based on genetics and social influences, multiple factors must be considered. For instance, even a mentally healthy individual who is non-aggressive may succumb to peer pressure and engage in recreational drug use.
Lippincott Williams & Wilkins (2005) states that “Psychoactive drug abuse typically arises from a combination of low self-esteem, peer pressure, inadequate coping skills, and curiosity.” This implies that even occasional drug use can lead to addiction due to various social influences. Consequently, individuals may turn to further criminal activities as a means of financially supporting their addiction.