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You wake up excited, thrilled. All your hard work is finally going to pay off. The year’s of studying, staying up late, exams and stress is finally going to be worthwhile. Today is the day you’ve been waiting for. There’s nothing holding you back, so you walk through those doors confident, back straight and head held high, your breathing heightened out of anticipation. You receive a letter, cold air will your lungs as you invalid you rip apart the smooth envelope to reveal a frayed paper. Your eyes trace along the words on the paper. Your smile now becomes a frown. The words roll off your tongue saying, ” Unfortunately we are unable to offer you a position due to issues found in your genes”. Companies now believe you’re a criminal, all because of a gene? Something that you can’t control. Despite your crystal clean record, you have been denied. You’re thought to have the mind of a vicious killer, an evil cold-hearted emotionless criminal. You have been denied a job, an opportunity at life. You’ve been denied a future and a career all because of a gene? Something that isn’t in your hands. Is being born a criminal even possible? Is this the future? Is this the new world?
Being born a criminal has been a theory since the late 70s. Dr Cesare Lombroso studied the phenotype of criminals and tried to perceive a pattern through criminals. Lombroso was entitled the father of scientific criminology, he based his studies in Turin. Lombroso was the first supposed person to suggest criminals being ”physically similar”. He foolishly believed that you would be able to differentiate criminals by looking at their features, ”A criminal’s ears are often of large size. The nose of frequently upturned… In murders, it is often aquiline like the beak of prey”. His imbecilic theory was soon busted by a more skilled scientist. British neurologist Professor Adraine Raine conducted the first scanning study of murders in California.
Thus a new theory was created but this time it was backed up by science, but can we believe it? Prof Adraine saw patterns in many violent individuals and made a link with a certain gene called the Amygdala. The Amygdala controls our emotions. Therefore people containing higher levels of amygdala are more prone to rage and anger compared to those with average levels of amygdala. This proves that Lombroso’s theory was a nuisance and that biological factors were more important than physical resemblance for criminality. Later on, another biological reason was linked to crime ”testosterone levels”. This was argued by many researchers about the effect of testosterone levels, some argue that testosterone levels do not trigger violence. So the everlasting question had still yet to be answered, ”can you be born a criminal?” are there such genes you can be born with.
If there is such a gene that makes you a criminal, how many of us have it? Do you have it? Professor of psychiatry Jim Fallon became intrigued by this theory and wanted to see how many of us have it. Consequently, he got himself genetically tested and discovered that he contained a very high level of genes linked to psychopathic behaviour. Does this mean that we should lock him up out of suspicion? Is that moral? But Jim isn’t a murderer – he’s a respected professor. To this knowledge, the professor claimed, ‘People with far less dangerous genetics become killers and are psychopaths than what I have. I have almost all of them’. Prof Jim then came up with a new theory, ‘If you have the high-risk form of the gene and you were abused early on in life, your chances of a life of crime are much higher. 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, but under certain environmental conditions there is a big difference’. Fallon came to a conclusion that having a genetic decency towards violence, together with an abusive childhood is a killer combination. After his research, he concluded that murderers are both born and made. But this was yet again another theory that could be debunked. The question had still not been answered
A case linking to violence has been studied before. Two young boys Mario and Nini were bullied neglected throughout their childhood life. They then started joining gangs and getting involved with criminal activities as teens. It has been claimed that none of them contain any violent genes yet have been prone towards crime, because of what? By looking upon their upbringing any clever person would realise it’s their childhood of neglect may lead them to find new ways to feel like they fit in. When Mario and Nini were asked as to why they wanted to join gangs their response was that they wanted to feel as if they are part of a family this links to the neglect they experienced by peers growing up. Some critics are that’s they may contain they gene and should’ve been restricted from an early age. Is that what the world would come to? Locking up children out of suspicion.
From further research that is where we will be heading. Locke ing and killing newborn babies out of suspicion of what they may become. Will that not make us the criminals? If this theory of genes containing murderous emotions is proven a new caliphate will begin. In this new world, you will not be able to do anything without being genetically tested. Why would someone want to hire you it you contain the supposed potential of being a danger to society. This will begin a new form of discrimination, Genetic discrimination. People will segregate according to those with more appealing genes. Insurance companies will raise your annual payment if your genes tells you that you’re more likely to die. Genetically modifying your unborn baby to match the perfection standards put by society will be normal. In this new world, you will be transparent everyone will know everything about you. That is, If criminals are born, which they are not. They are made.
Research shows that more than 50% of the population contains genes linked to violence. Which means you reading this have a very high chance of containing one and probably do. This proves that people may have the genes but not all people act on it. You’re upbringing definitely affects the outcome of you as a person. Children are born with minds that are made to mould and a troubled past my face them with difficulties. Yet this does not give the right to anyone to charge anyone containing the gene. To lock them in a room and throw away the key or flip the switch on an electric chair. You can’t estimate what someone may become. Your genes may make you more prone to aggression but definitely not, in any case, make you a criminal. Thus answering the question that no one is born a criminal.
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