Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: November 23, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412959193 | Print ISBN: 9781412959186 | Online ISBN: 9781412959193| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Ellis, Lee: Evolutionary Neuroandrogenic Theory
Lee Ellis's evolutionary neuroandrogenic theory (ENA) aims to explain why males exhibit a higher prevalence of competitive/victimizing behaviors than females. As the name implies, there are two main components to ENA theory: (1) an evolutionary component and (2) a neuroandrogenic component. The evolutionary component attempts to explain why individuals commit crimes, specifically why males tend to commit crimes at higher rates than females, regardless of geographical location. The neuroandrogenic component, on the other hand, focuses on explaining how the male's brain promotes criminal behaviors, especially during the teenage years. Or put another way, ENA theory examines (1) how competitive/victimizing behaviors have been naturally selected over time in the evolutionary process, and (2) how androgens, such as testosterone, influence aspects of brain functioning, which tend to promote competitive/victimizing behaviors. Behaviors that are deemed competitive and victimizing are viewed on a continuous scale, with one extreme consisting of crude forms of The ...