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Evolutionary Behavioral Genetics of Violent Crime

Part of the Evolutionary Psychology book series (EVOLPSYCH)

Abstract

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.

Keywords

  • Crime
  • Genetics
  • Heritability
  • Interactions
  • Violence

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Beaver, K., Nedelec, J., Schwartz, J., Connolly, E. (2014). Evolutionary Behavioral Genetics of Violent Crime. In: Shackelford, T., Hansen, R. (eds) The Evolution of Violence. Evolutionary Psychology. Springer, New York, NY. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-9314-3_7

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