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Missing the RevolutionDarwinism for social scientists$
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Jerome H. Barkow

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195130027

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195130027.001.0001

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Evolutionary Psychology and Criminal Behavior

Evolutionary Psychology and Criminal Behavior

Chapter:
(p.225) 8 Evolutionary Psychology and Criminal Behavior
Source:
Missing the Revolution
Author(s):

Anthony Walsh

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195130027.003.0008

Criminological theories may be complemented and extended by incorporating biosocial concepts into them. Evolutionary psychology emphasizes that individuals pursue their self-interest in a variety of ways that are dependent upon environmental contingencies. It agrees with mainstream sociology that we are social beings who desire to follow social rules, but it does not romanticize us as inherently good beings who only commit bad acts when forced into them by evil social institutions. We are nepotistic reciprocal altruists who know that we can realize our self-interests more often by cooperating (following rules) than by not cooperating, but our very desire to cooperate generates deviance by providing opportunities for non-cooperators. For both evolutionary psychologists and most mainstream criminological theories, the individuals most likely to commit antisocial acts are those who are disadvantaged in the competition for wealth, power, and status, the evolutionary precursors of reproductive success.

Keywords:   criminology, gene/environment correlation), evolutionary psychology, anomie/strain theory, control theory, vertical/compatible integration, sociology, biophobia, behavior genetics, reciprocal altruism

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