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Biological Trait Theories

Genetics and Crime

Some trait theorists suggest personality traits may be genetically determined

XYY theory in the 1970s believed to be associated with violent crime in males

Parental Deviance: children inherit criminal tendencies from their criminal parents

Sibling Similarities: The effect appears greatest among same sex siblings

Twin Behavior: identical twins (monozygotic) research suggests criminal tendencies are due to genes and not environment (findings are controversial)

Adoption Studies: research supports a genetic basis for criminality (Mednick)

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