Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: March 31, 2011 | DOI: 10.4135/9781446200926 | Print ISBN: 9781412920384 | Online ISBN: 9781446200926| Publisher:SAGE Publications LtdAbout this handbook
Chapter 1: Genetics and Crime
Laura A. Baker & Catherine Tuvblad & Adrian Raine
Genetics and crime The idea that inherited genetic predispositions may underlie the risk for engaging in criminal behavior is not exactly new. Perhaps most convincingly, several adoption studies in the 1970s and 1980s provided powerful evidence that having an incarcerated birth parent raised one's own risk of earning a criminal conviction as an adult, even if reared by pro-social, law-abiding – but genetically unrelated – foster parents. This remarkable finding was replicated in adoptive cohorts across cultures, including two Scandinavian studies (Cloninger et al. , 1982; Mednick et al. , 1984) as well as in the United States (Cadoret et al. , 1983). Based on these adoption studies, the genetic effect on criminal outcomes appears important for both sexes, although individual genetic risk is typically more extreme for female than male offenders (Baker et al. , 1989). Heritable influences also differ in these studies according to the type of crimes ...