Are criminals born that way, or develop over time?

It is an age old question.
How does a person become a criminal?
Why are so many men criminals?
Why are so many minorities criminals?
What are your thoughts?
  • Criminals are born that way.
    Vote A
  • Criminals become that way over time and circumstances.
    Vote B
  • Some people simply choose crime as a lifestyle
    Vote C
  • It's complicated. I'll explain below.
    Vote D
Select age and gender to cast your vote:
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Most Helpful Guy

  • Some people choose to become criminals and others who are mentally ill and commit heinous acts without being the right state of mind, or get forcibly put into the unfortunate positions, are termed "criminals".

    Society terms a person a "criminal" based on what it thinks is right or wrong. It's all just opinions under the cover of a law.

    If there was a list that had all the criminals known to society, yes, it would most definitely have more men on the list then woman. It's not that men are more capable than woman, but I think it deals with intellect (which both men and women have) and physical strength to force one's self past boundaries to obtain what you want.

    Every ethnic group has it's decent and indecent people in it. Anyone could be a "criminal". If you notice though, the minorities are almost always discriminated against. The education discrimination in San Francisco towards Latinos in the 19th century could be a prime example of discrimination. They were denied educational benefits and were subject to manual labor jobs, getting minimal to live off of. As a result for not being able to afford pleasures in life, they took them forcibly. Unfortunately, the brain heals slowly when compared to the body, and the feels of hate are only slowly lessening with every generation.

    *NOT SAYING ANY SPECIFIC ETHNIC GROUP ARE MAINLY COMPRISED OF CRIMINALS*

    ugh.. need to stop getting distracted from homework..

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Most Helpful Girl

  • No one is born a criminal. It's due to a person's upbringing, usually. In some cases some people aren't mentally stable and are influenced by tv and video games and just repeat what they see. (I'm not at all blaming tv and video games for the violent acts of kids that harm people and commit crimes. The parents are to blame for that because you can tell when a child is troubled mentally and they still choose to not restrict what they see or get them help).

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Have an opinion?

What Guys Said 16

  • First off half of the criminals in the US prison system because of drug possession, so they are not much of criminal. Secondly, most violent criminals are criminals because of their environment, the others are psychopaths. And thirdly, well there is no third reason.

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    • The "crime" is that judges give otherwise perfectly normal teenagers posession charges, for ridiculous spans of time, and expect them to be perfectly productive citizens when they get out. A felony is a felony, but with that on one's record, how the hell are they expected to re-adapt?

      The prison industrial complex is one of the fastest growing industries in the States. It's really sad. George Orwell and the Unibomber were right.

    • Show All
    • I think it may be more than 30%, but less than 50%.
      Way in excess for sure.

  • We create criminals. Genetics plays a factor. Pain, uncertainty, and betrayal exist in this world. When you're developing as a person and you don't have an environment to come back to that has competency, guidance, and love at the end of the day, the world can eat at you. The person makes the choice, however, to regard themselves and their species in a healthy manner. But, you cannot be faulted for defending your life and those of others.

    At the same time, we set the standard for human life. Our society does. American adults consent to law enforcement taking time and resources away from going after heinous crimes that violate a person or property and it's invested in victimless crimes, such as chasing after a plant (cannabis) that has virtually no overdose potential. You can't be in two places at once. And when you make laws that go against scientific basis to protect companies that would loose to a dry, stalky cellulose (hemp) perfect for a range of products/services beneficial for a free market, you're setting yourself up for a society where the value of human life is diminished.

    There never has and there never will be a society without drug use. Freedom of choice is supposed to be a feature of a Republic, which is what the U. S. started out as.
    When you let companies chastise someone for exercising their right to free speech in private conversation, over the Internet, in their home, you start compromising what amendments are in place for our country. Save for defamation, making false statements.

    The definition of a criminal can extend to be violating the misuse of force in the ideals of a tyrannical Plutocracy that's been in the making for the past century. Either your law enforcement can be there to protect the people as it was meant to be, or that tax-funded authority can be wasted on freedom of choice.

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  • All humans are born with a certain chemistry of horomones, and different brain shapes and complexes. It's why some people are naturally better than others at some things. I like to consider myself a thinker, I love to try and wrap my brain around pointless things to figure how they work. I suck at thinking fast, my reaction time and reflexes are terrible. I used to get teased when I was younger about my athletic abilities. don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with my physicality, I work out and I love yoga and pilates. But for some reason, I'm far better at reading than football. This has nothing to do with how I was raised.

    That being said, I have an inferiority complex, I'm insecure and a bit shy, like a lot of people. This comes from my upbringing.

    A criminal isn't born a criminal, a criminal is a criminal only after they've been found guilty of a crime. There's no such thing as a born murderer. Thats pre-crime, which is as unfair as arresting someone for a crime they might commit.

    Everyone has different chemical balances in their brain. And how they are affected by life, detirmines the way that they react mentally. It's the age old Plato v. Aristotle, Nature v. Nurture.

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  • I believe they're made, not born. whether it being due to their surroundings, how they were raised, etc.

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    • Do you think modern society may actually create criminals?
      If so, how so?

    • not just modern, but living as a human being with tough life decisions itself has more than enough potential to create a criminal. there were criminals way before our era and there always will be so long as we have free will.

  • Well, it's causal connections, every effect has its cause however it's much more complicated.

    Some people are born with very low predisposal to empathy and thus are more likely to become criminals. Some are born really poor and have gone through a lot before deciding to do what they are doing. Can we really blame them for being as weak as we are? In the end every case is unique so it's hard to know how they ended up this way.

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  • You've opened up the nature vs nurture can of worms!

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  • For one, a lot of criminals are men because men are brasher, bolder, more brazen than women, quite often. Also, we men have the geniuses and idiots. That is--our IQ distributions are more varied. So when you walk into a room, the smartest person is probably a man, and the dumbest one is also.

    For two, lots of blacks are criminals likely due to how roughly 3/4 black children are born out of wedlock. When both mom AND dad are around, the odds junior will become a criminal shrinks dramatically.

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    • I think you are right.
      If you drive through certain sections of LA, even HWD
      You see all these black males congregating
      Instead of working
      that alone may lead to criminal behavior.

    • Agree... we all need money to live. Either you obtain said money legally, or illegally. Most of us have to work jobs for it, but crime does pay decently, and doesn't require 40 hour work weeks. Hence, so many takers for the criminal path.

    • I have always thought it is more out of desperation.
      they try and try and try
      but are met with failure after failure
      So drugs become commonplace
      And all hope is soon lost.
      So damn sad.

  • I think it's both B and C, so I voted D. Criminals can be a byproduct of their environment, and they can choose crime as a lifestyle. The latter is typically more of someone that is well off committing a crime. Possibly for the thrill. However, some choose to commit crime as a lifestyle because of the environment they they live in or were brought up in. Where being a criminal is an easier way of living than struggling with life by obeying the law. That struggle may be a social struggle or it may be an economical struggle...

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  • i´d say we all have what it takes from the start but it depends on what triggers are pulled to develop in a certain direction.

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  • I feel the majority of criminals, are made due to circumstances.

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    • I think so.
      A black male, in a gang infested neighborhood
      is at such high risk
      It's a wonder any make it out.
      so saad.
      I want them all to know
      all of them
      I care
      And I think man many of you do too.
      :))

    • You're so sweet. :)

  • I think B and C are true. Dr. Eric Berne once said that people receive strokes when growing up (a "stroke" is sign of attention - like a hug or being talked to) and some people, when growing up, only received strokes when they did something bad. For example, a child's parents ignored them, then the child did something bad, and the parents yelled at them, and the child received attention then - albeit negative attention - but attention nonetheless. These children grow up and they commit crime because when they do, society pays attention to them. Specifically, it's the courts that pay (negative) attention to them, but in their minds negative attention is better than no attention at all.

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    • Very interesting!
      Thank you.

    • You should check out Dr. Eric Berne's books "Games People Play" and "What Do You Say After You Say Hello?". Claude Steiner took Berne's ideas further with his 1994 book "Scripts People Live".

  • Criminals, for the most part, are products of their environment.

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  • I have a rap sheet that started when I was eight. Did I choose gang life? Yes. Did I choose to do crime? Yes. I choose to become a criminal. Reasons depends on money, how you were raised, etc. People I roll with were all raised to be hard. We all sell drugs (weed) to make ends meet. When we get good jobs we often try to be legit. Its not that we can't. We believe in a doing a service. We don't harm nobody that don't harm us. Accidents happen, home boys get fucked up and do stupid shit. But we aren't bad people, someday I want to open a business, we all got dreams. And the mentality is to get that dream no matter what.

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  • We develop over time

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  • develop develop

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  • Create enough hunger and there will be criminals

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What Girls Said 8

  • All babies are born pure and kind and wanting to do well. It's how they're raised and what circumstances they find themselves in.

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  • I believe some people are born that way, yet some people change over time. You could be that way yet your surroundings could change you, you could not be born that way yet your surroundings could change you.

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  • Nobody is born a criminal. A baby is too young to be a criminal. Education, or lack of it, our environment and the paths we take through life are the reasons why some end up as criminals.

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  • I think it depends and what kind of crime they are committing. Like if it's stealing or something like that, they just choose to do it. But if they're raping or becoming a mass murderer, then they have some issues.

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  • Depends on mental health ( do they have a mental or social disorder), they could be born with it, or they could slowly develop it in a given environment.

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  • It's really just life experiences and who we choose to be. Look at the columbine kids, totally normal with a well to do family and a normal life. But they chose to hurt people.

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    • So you think this was just a choice?
      No mitigating factors?

    • Nope they just wanted to hurt people and had the power to do it.
      Some criminals do do things for reasons like mental illness or past traumatic experiences

  • In countries where there's poverty or a lack of education, there's more crime. Most people become criminals because of their environment.

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  • One is only a criminal when a law is broken, therefore you cannot be born that way.

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    • I think you want to ask are some people predisposed to a life of crime. This entirely depends on their moral upbringing, the community and society they are a part of and the situations they find themselves in. My dad went to prison for stealing bread once. Yes it was illegal, but does it really make him a bad person?

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