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Causation of Crime Essay

The two theories I chose to compare and contrast are the Trait and Choice theories. These two theories explain why people commit crimes but differ in reasoning. I found that the main difference in between the two is that the choice theory states that if people want to commit a crime they will if the benefits outweighs the punishment. The trait theory differs because it deals with testosterone and whether or not people with lower IQ’s are more liable to commit crimes. When looking at the two theories you will see that the first theory is more straightforward and the second one leans more towards taking the blame away from the individual and placing it their traits. I like the fact that the choice theory states that if a person is going to commit a crime they are going to do it. Not only does this theory cover the fact that the person committing the crime weighs his or her options but might also do it out of enjoyment of act.

The trait theory takes the responsibility away from the individual and places it on traits such as testosterone. I feel that this theory allows people to commit crimes and later on say that it was due to producing too much testosterone or use their IQ as an excuse to escape the fact that they committed a crime. Making the person accept responsibility for their actions it what should happen and the choice theory seems to lean more towards that as opposed to the trait theory. I would associate the guns and crime trend to the choice theory. The reason for this is because most people who commit crimes with guns already have the intention to use it.

This means that they already made up their minds and have chosen to commit the crime. For instance gang crimes that involve guns, these individuals use guns, in their minds, to gain territory or even for retaliation. In a ten year span that covers 1997 -2007 there were 650 homicides (Krueger, 2007), this means that 650 times the people have made the conscious choice to kill someone. Out of those numbers, 290 of them have been by shootings (Krueger, 2007). That is some real food for thought when you add the choice theory into the equation.

Gutierrez, K. (2007). Albuquerque metro area saw 54 homicides in 2007. Scripps Newspaper Group. Retrieved from:

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