The and chin abnormalities. However, his work

The question of are serial killers born or made was
first looked at by Cesare Lombroso, an Italian criminologist and physician, in
the 19th century. He studied the skulls of criminals and said that they could be
identified by their looks. Lombroso believed that biological
factors were the most important factor for criminality rather than
environmental factors. This means that he thought murderers were born instead
of made as it was down to their features, not how they were raised. He also
thought criminals had primitive features such as large canine teeth, long,
sloping foreheads, large ears and chin abnormalities. However, his work has
since been discredited but he is still referred to as the “father of criminology”
due to the fact that he was the first to try and solve the question are serial
killers born or made. His work has been largely discredited due to the
invention of brain scanning in the 1980s. Brain scanning revolutionised how
brains are viewed and it led to a greater understanding as it was now possible
to see how brains worked. The first scanning study of murderers was carried out in California by
British neuroscientist Prof Adrian Raine and over the course of many years
Raine and his team scanned the brains of numerous murderers and nearly all
showed similar brain patterns. Raine found that there was reduced activity in
the pre-frontal cortex, the area of the brain which controls emotional
impulses, and over activation of the amygdala, the area which generates our
emotions. This lead to Raine suggesting that part of the reason of why they
were murderers was because of childhood trauma. Raine said “Early physical
abuse, amongst other things could have led to the brain damage, which could
have led to him committing this violent act”.  This agrees with the nurture side of the argument
as it was because of how they were raised which is why they turned out to be murderers.
An example of how childhood trauma can lead to someone becoming a murderer is a
man called Donta Page, who was studied by Raine, and he was a man who brutally
murdered a 24-year-old woman when she caught him breaking into her home. Raine found
that as a child Page was beaten daily by his mother who would use electrical
extension cords, shoes, or whatever she could get her hands on and this is why Raine
believes that Page ended up being a murderer.

It has been found that if a person lacks the gene MAOA
they are often violent. MAOA regulates the levels
of neurotransmitters involved in impulse control and this has become known as the
‘warrior gene’. About 30% of men have
this warrior gene, but the gene is only triggered if a person faces trauma in their
childhood. Jim Fallon, professor of psychiatry at the University of California,
discovered he had a surprisingly large number of murderers in his family tree and
as well as this he found he had an awful lot of genes that have been linked to
violent psychopathic behaviour. Despite this Fallon is a professor, not a murderer.
Fallon believes that he didn’t become a psychopath because he had a happy childhood
where he was protected from things like abuse. Fallon has been quoted saying “If
you have the high-risk gene but you weren’t abused, then there really wasn’t
much risk. So just a gene by itself, the variant doesn’t really dramatically
affect behaviour”. This means that it is both nature and nurture why people are
murderers as genetics and a poor upbringing together can lead to someone becoming
a killer.The question of are serial killers born or made was
first looked at by Cesare Lombroso, an Italian criminologist and physician, in
the 19th century. He studied the skulls of criminals and said that they could be
identified by their looks. Lombroso believed that biological
factors were the most important factor for criminality rather than
environmental factors. This means that he thought murderers were born instead
of made as it was down to their features, not how they were raised. He also
thought criminals had primitive features such as large canine teeth, long,
sloping foreheads, large ears and chin abnormalities. However, his work has
since been discredited but he is still referred to as the “father of criminology”
due to the fact that he was the first to try and solve the question are serial
killers born or made. His work has been largely discredited due to the
invention of brain scanning in the 1980s. Brain scanning revolutionised how
brains are viewed and it led to a greater understanding as it was now possible
to see how brains worked. The first scanning study of murderers was carried out in California by
British neuroscientist Prof Adrian Raine and over the course of many years
Raine and his team scanned the brains of numerous murderers and nearly all
showed similar brain patterns. Raine found that there was reduced activity in
the pre-frontal cortex, the area of the brain which controls emotional
impulses, and over activation of the amygdala, the area which generates our
emotions. This lead to Raine suggesting that part of the reason of why they
were murderers was because of childhood trauma. Raine said “Early physical
abuse, amongst other things could have led to the brain damage, which could
have led to him committing this violent act”.  This agrees with the nurture side of the argument
as it was because of how they were raised which is why they turned out to be murderers.
An example of how childhood trauma can lead to someone becoming a murderer is a
man called Donta Page, who was studied by Raine, and he was a man who brutally
murdered a 24-year-old woman when she caught him breaking into her home. Raine found
that as a child Page was beaten daily by his mother who would use electrical
extension cords, shoes, or whatever she could get her hands on and this is why Raine
believes that Page ended up being a murderer.

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It has been found that if a person lacks the gene MAOA
they are often violent. MAOA regulates the levels
of neurotransmitters involved in impulse control and this has become known as the
‘warrior gene’. About 30% of men have
this warrior gene, but the gene is only triggered if a person faces trauma in their
childhood. Jim Fallon, professor of psychiatry at the University of California,
discovered he had a surprisingly large number of murderers in his family tree and
as well as this he found he had an awful lot of genes that have been linked to
violent psychopathic behaviour. Despite this Fallon is a professor, not a murderer.
Fallon believes that he didn’t become a psychopath because he had a happy childhood
where he was protected from things like abuse. Fallon has been quoted saying “If
you have the high-risk gene but you weren’t abused, then there really wasn’t
much risk. So just a gene by itself, the variant doesn’t really dramatically
affect behaviour”. This means that it is both nature and nurture why people are
murderers as genetics and a poor upbringing together can lead to someone becoming
a killer. 

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