It is interesting that a person can be born with certain genes that make them more prone to challenging disorders. For example bi-polar disorder, schizophrenia, and depression obviously can be obtained due to a person’s environment, but the fact that they can arise due to someone’s genetic material is truly astonishing. In addition to gaining certain genes that trigger social disorders, humans are also susceptible to inheriting traits that make them aggressive, manipulative, and impulsive (Broader and Marrow. These raids can be closely related with psychopaths which is the term many would coin directly with serial killers. The NCSC (National Center for Crisis Management) suggests that although “we are all classified the same as human, we each are unequally different in our genetic makeup… We as humans, though similar in our biological and biochemical composition, are absolutely unique; and, especially that each biochemical composition has a pattern and distribution all its own” (“Serial Killers: Nature vs… Nurture. ) It is true and well accepted that each individual is their own person and so this life further complicates the ability of criminologists and social behavior psychologists to determine why people act out in the way that they do, more specifically why serial killers do. The nature of an individual therefore, is imperative to that individual’s wellbeing. Unfortunately, however, this is not a part of life that can be controlled. Dry. Helen Morrison, a psychiatrist based in Chicago, Illinois, is widely known for studying the genetic make-up of serial killers.
Morrison is most well known for her work with John Gay in which she eloped to conduct an autopsy in order to study Cay’s brain. Although there were no notable findings in Gays brain that concluded he would be predestined to be a serial killer, Morrison believed the answer to finding their motives (serial killers) laid within the brain due to a genetic defect. This genetic defect was epigenetic change, where a gene is not faulty due to heredity however it is an inactive gene with the potential to change. With her disappointment in Cay’s deceased brain, Morrison next big step was to implement electrodes within live serial killers brains.
The law unfortunately wouldn’t allow Morrison to do so and she believed this was a major mistake. Implementing these electrodes in the brain, like many doctors do on patients with psychological disorders, would measure any abnormalities within the brain. Thus, Morrison would have been closer to discovering what makes serial killers genetically different (Winch, Graham). Living in the 21 SST century, it would seem as if society has made major advancements in technology, and although there is evidence in genes that prove certain abnormalities, it is also rue that environmental circumstance plays a role in how people act.
Nature has predestined individuals to be a certain way but it is also true that these individuals are not required to channel those traits unless they are somehow triggered, a prime example of epigenetic change suggested by Dry. Morrison. So even though a humans genetic material reflects their mannerisms, these mannerisms do not have to arise (although they still can) until they are activated by other factors. These other factors occur outside of the genetic material and they are known as environmental factors, or the return of the individual.
Psychology by Huckleberry states, “It’s now known that environmental factors influence which of the many genes we inherit are actually switched on, or activated” (305. ) And Bernard Brown had once said that “genes are not destiny. There are many places along the gene-behavior pathway where genetic expression can be regulated. ” Basically most psychologists have agreed that nature and nurture both play significant roles on the development of an organism and that both are dependent on each other to further that development.
So, not only are serial killers bred by heredity, but in addition by circumstance. Those who turn to violence in their adulthood, such as in the cases of serial killers, often experienced abusive and neglectful childhoods. It is from these horrifying past experiences that a serial killers draws his/her own violence, which is, in turn, inflicted upon the killer’s victims (Nurturing a Serial Killer). According to the Societal Consequences of Child Abuse, 40% of children who were faced with abuse are more likely to be arrested for violent crimes.