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Nature Vs Nurture Serial Killers

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Sandra Watson
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Many people believe that the actions of a serial killer are
simply too shocking to be excused for bad upbringing and
cultural influences. Such behaviour is therefore argued to
be caused by an abnormality or evil gene which leads to
violent killing behaviour (Brown, 2003).
It is argued that serial killers act remarkably different to
their siblings. Mrsclemens (2018) notes that Ted Bundy’s
mum noticed that her son Ted acted in a bizarre way from
a young age. One night she saw Ted sneaking off into his
teenage aunt’s room placing knives under her covers. He
stood and grinned.
Bad seeds are said to blossom in bad environments and there’s
lots of research which suggests that genetics to play a part in
violent and murderous behaviour (Mrsclemens, 2018). There are
6 potential biological aspects which determine whether
someone is a serial killer. These include extra chromosomes,
heavy metals, brain defects, high levels of testosterone, sensory
deprivation and absence of fear (Pokel, 2000).
High levels of testosterone results
in behaviour which is more
aggressive (Morana, Stone and
Abdalla-filho, 2006).
Johnson and Becker (1997)
conducted a study on 9 clinical
cases of 14-18 year olds who often
fantasized of being a serial killer.
The study found that these males
did in fact have higher testosterone
levels than average.
One disadvantage with this study
though is that the results don’t
actually prove anything. It would be
a good idea to conduct a follow up
study in around 50 years time to
see if any of the participants went
on to be serial killers.

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Nature Vs Nurture Serial Killers

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