Evolutionary Behavioral Genetics of Violent Crime

  • Kevin M. BeaverEmail author
  • Joseph L. Nedelec
  • Joseph A. Schwartz
  • Eric J. Connolly
Part of the Evolutionary Psychology book series (EVOLPSYCH)


The goal of this chapter is to provide an overview of the existing literature pertaining to evolutionary behavioral genetics and violent criminal behaviors. In doing so, we provide an introduction to the methodologies that are used to estimate the heritability of violent crime, and we review studies that have estimated the heritability of violent crime. We then offer some background information related to molecular genetics and also examine research that has attempted to isolate the specific genetic polymorphisms that might relate to violent criminal involvement. Finally, we explore the potential role of gene–environment interactions as they relate to the development of violent criminal tendencies and discuss the various explanatory perspectives that are used to explain gene–environment interactions as they relate to crime and violence.


Crime Genetics Heritability Interactions Violence 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kevin M. Beaver
    • 1
    Email author
  • Joseph L. Nedelec
    • 1
  • Joseph A. Schwartz
    • 1
  • Eric J. Connolly
    • 1
  1. 1.College of Criminology and Criminal JusticeFlorida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA

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