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The Next Generation of Criminological Research: Genes, Brains, and Behavior

J.C. Barnes, Ph.D.- Associate Professor, University of Cincinnati

Presented: September 24, 2015

ABSTRACT: Criminology, as a discipline, has traditionally eschewed the notion that biological influences play a role in the development of antisocial/criminal behavior.  Indeed, as recently as last year, a leading criminology journal published a paper that made a call to “end” certain types biosocial research.  Yet, despite a steady procession of criticism, biosocial researchers have continued to investigate the factors—biological and social—that affect behavioral development.  As a direct result of these research efforts, two points are now clear: 1) genetic influences play a role in the etiology of antisocial behavior; and 2) genetic influences are mediated by the brain.  These two points lead naturally to an important question: what can scholars do with this information?  This issue will be considered from an empirical and a philosophical vantage point en route to a discussion of what the next generation of criminological research must look like. 

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