Violence has been around a very long time. The first record of violence is probably the story of Cain and Abel where Cain had become jealous of his brother Abel and murdered him, thus the first act of violence. No one really knows why people choose a violent road to go down and to commit crimes but there are many theories. Some say it is how they grew up in society and the people they hang around or on the other hand people say they are simply wired from birth to be that way. My paper is a reflection of my opinion on what I think the main cause of violence is and whether or not it is biological or social and what can be done to correct it. In my opinion, I think violence stems from both biological and social stand points. Let’s just focus on the social aspect of violence first and the influences around us. Many people and I speak from experience stereotype certain individuals because of the neighborhood they live in, the color of their skin, or the company they keep. Sometimes these stereotypes can be true. For someone to be socially accepted into a group such as a gang, they have to be tuff and basically a criminal.
As some kind of initiation they need to commit violence whether it’s shooting someone or robbing a store for example. I believe society puts pressures on young adults especially they have to have a certain way of life and the only way they can fit in would be to take what others have by any way necessary. I remember in another criminal justice class study about the social causes of violence and there were three theories that had probable cause. They were the strain theory, social learning theory, and the control theory. With the strain theory it means that peoples’ everyday stress of questions constantly swirling in their minds like,”Where is the next meal going to come from?” or “How will I pay this bill?” makes them seek out violence in order to answer these burning questions because they are an emotional wreck and that is how they feel the need to cope. The social learning theory is just what it states. People learn by what they see others doing hence what I was talking about earlier with gang violence and the bad neighborhoods. It’s kind of like the saying “monkey see, monkey do” in a way.
The last theory is the control theory which means that if you don’t have a strong bond with people in society and your community then you probably will commit a crime most likely. (http://violenceinquiry.wordpress.com/2013/04/18/social-causes-of-violence/) As far as the biological standpoint, I don’t feel that you are simply born to be a serial killer. Something has to have happened to you to make you reach out in a violent way. As Dr. John Monahan, psychologist and professor at the University of Virginia have stated in an article called “The Causes of Violence” he believes also that people don’t become violent because of their family history or being born that way.
He thinks as well as findings by the National Academy of Sciences that different possible conclusions can cause a person to be violent and that there is no real evidence that your “biological markers” are going to make you violent. Things like head injuries, being exposed to lead paint, or even environmental events can play in the role of making you violent. “Many biological factors have been nominated as candidates for causes of violence. Hormones like testosterone, transmitters in the brain like serotonin, and blood abnormalities like hypoglycemia are only a few that have been mentioned.” (http://www.sodahead.com/united-states/the-causes-of-violence/blog-263921/)
People can try to control violence or correct in many ways. Having group therapies, seeing an anger management counselor going to community outreach programs, or even going to jail can make a person reformed. But I don’t feel that you can simply just get rid of violence all together. There is going to be not only biological or social influences but the media plays a big part in the way people act or feel. You can try to suppress violence but it will only blow up in your face.
I don’t really know why someone commits a violent act or what the cause of it is. Through research and other classes, I feel that if I had to pick between biological or social cause that I would pick social. Only because there is just so much information out there on it, that I think other people feel that it is the main cause as well.
Monahan, John, Ph.D., The Causes of Violence, February, 19, 2010 http://www.sodahead.com/united-states/the-causes-of-violence/blog-263921/ http://violenceinquiry.wordpress.com/2013/04/18/social-causes-of-violence/