Spring 2022 - CRIM 402 C100
Biological Explanations of Crime (3)
Class Number: 4093
Delivery Method: Distance Education
Course Times + Location:
Exam Times + Location:
Mar 10, 2022
7:00 PM – 8:30 PM
REMOTE LEARNING, Burnaby
Examines possible biological factors that could result in a predisposition towards criminal behavior. These include not only the genetic factors that affect behavior and therefore could potentially predispose towards crime, but also biochemical, neurological, nutritive and accidental effects such as head injuries. This course will look critically at all evidence both for and against any possible biological predispositions for criminogenic behaviors, together with the interaction with the environment. In particular, moral and ethical issues will be considered and debated. Students with credit for CRIM 416 in the summer 2000 or 2001 term may not take this course for further credit.
Courses frequently consider the sociological, psychological, or environmental aspects of crime, but rarely are the equally important possible biological aspects of crime considered. Behaviour is a complex mixture of biology (the genotype), and the environment. Many other biological factors may also affect behaviour including diet, head trauma, etc. There is no single “gene for crime,” and none will ever be found, any more than there can be a single environmental or social reason for crime, but the fear that such a gene could be discovered prevents discussions of the biology of crime. There is, however, considerable evidence that biological factors can have a strong impact on criminogenic behaviour. Biological factors that could predispose a person to criminogenic behaviour will be critically considered, including the empirical evidence and the ethical issues involved. Understanding the biological factors that can predispose an individual to certain undesirable behaviours offers us perhaps the greatest hope for successful treatment.
- Discussions 20%
- Assignments 45%
- Final Exam 35%
Anderson, G. (2020). Biological Influences on Criminal Behavior. 2nd Edition. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press and Simon Fraser University Publications.
Note: access via library
Department Undergraduate Notes:
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Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community. Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html
TEACHING AT SFU IN SPRING 2022
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