A Bio-Social Review to Mitigate the Punishment of Unwanted Acts


  • Armin Alimardani Islamic Azad University
  • Ali M. Ardekani The National Institute of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology
  • Leila R. Astany Islamic Azad University




Crime, antisocial behavior, punishment, genetics, sociology.


Commitment of crime and exhibition of antisocial behavior have been considered as negative acts from early times of human civilization. Recent scientific advances have identified contributions of biological and sociological (environmental factors) factors in forming a maladaptive behavior. Generally, it is accepted by many scholars that punishing a wrongdoer, who has committed a crime owing to genetic predispositions and environmental elements, is not effective and forms of treatments should be replaced to avoid repeating a crime. Moreover, by identifying genetic deficiencies in an individual, an antisocial behavior could be potentially predicted and prevented before it comes to pass. On a whole, genetic and environmental factors, sometimes solely and some other times collaboratively, lead a person to act against society norms. In summary, this body of literature offers examples that explain factors which contribute to committing crimes and approaches which inhibit antisocial behavior. With regard to these aims, we suggest that punishment of criminals who are predisposed genetically in the same manner as other delinquencies is not justifiable and a reduction of punishment should be applied to such individuals. Moreover, by eliminating each of negative elements which contribute to antisocial behavior or crime, we can be more certain that the offender will not repeat antisocial acts after being released.

Author Biographies

Armin Alimardani, Islamic Azad University

Criminal Law and Criminolog

Ali M. Ardekani, The National Institute of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology

Engineering and Biotechnology

Leila R. Astany, Islamic Azad University

Criminal Law and Criminology


Alimardani, Armin, 2012, “The Necessity of Identification of Semi-responsible Criminals Class and Proper Penal Policy against Them.” M.A dissertation, department of law, Azad University of Damghan, Iran
Alimardani, Armin and Mohammad H. Abbaszadeh. 2014. “Penal Responsibility Concept Based on Determinism, Compatibility and Free Will Within New Researches”, Rahyaft-e-Hoghoghi Journal, Iran, In press
Alper, Joseph S. 1998. “Genes, Free Will, and Criminal Responsibility”. Social Science & Medicine, 46(12): 1599-1611.
Alquist, Jessica L., Sarah E. Ainsworth, and Roy F. Baumeister. 2013. “Determined to Conform: Disbelief in Free Will Increases Conformity”. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 49(1): 80-86.
Baker, Catherine. 2004. Behavioral Genetics., Wash. DC: Am. Assoc. Adv. Sci
Barber, Nigel. 2008. “Evolutionary Social Science: A New Approach to Violent Crime”. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 13(3), 237-250.
Barber, Nigel. 2009. “From Steroids to Nation States: An Integrated Evolutionary Approach to Violent Crime”. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 14(5): 415-422.
Barnes, J. C., and Brian B. Boutwell. 2012. “On the Relationship of Past to Future Involvement in Crime and Delinquency: A Behavior Genetic Analysis”. Journal of Criminal Justice, 40(1): 94-102.
Baxendale, Sarah, Donna Cross, and Robyn Johnston. 2012. “A Review of The Evidence on the Relationship Between Gender and Adolescents' Involvement in Violent Behavior.” Aggression and Violent Behavior, 17(4): 297-310.
Beaver, Kevin M., John Paul Wright, Matt DeLisi, and Michael G. Vaughn. 2008. “Genetic Influences on the Stability of Low Self-control: Results from a Longitudinal Sample of Twins”. Journal of Criminal Justice, 36(6): 478-485.
Beaver, Kevin M., John Paul Wright, and Michael O. Maume. 2008. “The Effect of School Classroom Characteristics on Low Self-control: A Multilevel Analysis.” Journal of Criminal Justice, 36(2): 174-181.
Benton, David. 2007. “The Impact of Diet on Anti-Social, Violent and Criminal Behaviour.” Neurosci Biobehav Rev, 31(5): 752-774.
Bezdjian, Serena, Laura A. Baker, and Catherine Tuvblad. 2011. “Genetic and Environmental Influences on Impulsivity: A Meta-analysis of Twin, Family and Adoption Studies.” Clinical Psychology Rev, 31(7): 1209-1223.
Bifulco, A., Schimmenti, A., Jacobs, C., Bunn, A., & Rusu, A. C. (2014). Risk Factors and Psychological Outcomes of Bullying Victimization: A Community-based Study. Child Indicators Research, 7(3), 633-648
Bjorklund, David F. 2006. “Mother Knows Best: Epigenetic Inheritance, Maternal Effects, and the Evolution of Human Intelligence.” Developmental Review, 26(2), 213-242.
Blazei, Ryan W., William G. Iacono, and Robert F. Krueger. 2006. “Intergenerational Transmission of Antisocial Behavior: How Do Kids Become Antisocial Aults?” Applied and Preventive Psychology, 11(4): 230-253.
Bosse, Tibor, Charlotte Gerritsen, and Jan Treur. 2011. “On the Relation Between Cognitive and Biological Modelling of Criminal Behaviour”. Computers in Human Behavior, 27(5): 1593-1611.
Buss, David M. 2006. The Murderer Next Door: Why the Mind Is Designed to Kill. Penguin.
Carnagey, Nicholas L., Craig A. Anderson, and Brad J. Bushman. 2007. “The Effect of Video Game Violence on Physiological Desensitization to Real-life Violence”. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 43(3): 489-496.
Chichinadze, Konstantin, Nodar Chichinadze, and Ann Lazarashvili. 2011. “Hormonal and Neurochemical Mechanisms of Aggression and a New Classification of Aggressive Behavior”. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 16(6): 461-471.
Church II, Wesley T., Jeremiah W. Jaggers, and Julie K. Taylor . 2012. “Neighborhood, Poverty, and Negative Behavior: An Examination of Differential Association and Social Control Theory”. Children and Youth Services Review, 34(5): 1035-1041.
Conrod, Patricia J., Natalie Castellanos-Ryan, and John Strang. 2010. “Brief, Personality-targeted Coping Skills Interventions and Survival as a Non-drug User Over a 2-year Period During Adolescence”. Archives of General Psychiatry, 67(1): 85-93
de Almeida, Rosa MM, Pier Francesco Ferrari, Stefano Parmigiani, and Klaus A. Miczek. 2005. Escalated Aggressive Behavior: Dopamine, Serotonin and GABA. Eur J Pharmacol, 526(1-3): 51-64.
DeLisi, Matt. 2012. “Genetics: L'Enfant Terrible of Criminology”. Journal of Criminal Justice, 40(6): 515-516.
DeLisi, Matt, Kevin M. Beaver, John Paul Wright, and Michael G. Vaughn. 2008. “The Etiology of Criminal Onset: The Enduring Salience of Nature and Nurture”. Journal of Criminal Justice, 36(3): 217-223.
Eme, Robert. 2013. “MAOA and Male Antisocial Behavior: A Review”. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 18(3): 395-398.
Farahany, Nita A., and James E. Coleman. 2006. “Genetics and Responsibility: to Know the Criminal from the Crime”. Law and Contemporary Problems, 69: 115-164
Farisco, M., and C. Petrini. C. 2012. “The Impact of Neuroscience and Genetics on the Law: A Recent Italian Case”. Neuroethics, 5(3): 317-319.
Ferguson, Christopher J., and Kevin M. Beaver. 2009. “Natural Born Killers: The Genetic Origins of Extreme Violence”. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 14(5): 286-294.
Ferguson, Christopher J., and John Kilburn. 2009. “The Public Health Risks of Media Violence: A Meta-analytic Review”. The Journal of pediatrics, 154(5): 759-763.
Fine, Cordelia, and Jeanette Kennett. 2004. “Mental Impairment, Moral Understanding and Criminal Responsibility: Psychopathy and the Purposes of Punishment”. Int J Law Psychiatry, 27(5): 425-443.
Funk, Jeanne B. 2005. “Children's Exposure to Violent Video Games and Desensitization to Violence”. Child Adolesc Psychiatr Clin N Am, 14(3): 387-404.
Garnefski, Nadia, and Sjoukje Okma. 1996. “Addiction-risk and Aggressive/Criminal Behaviour in Adolescence: Influence of Family, School and Peers”. Journal of Adolescence Adolesc, 19(6): 503-512.
Gleason, Erin D., Matthew J. Fuxjager, Temitayo O. Oyegbile, and Catherine A. Marler. 2009. Testosterone Release and Social Context: When it Occurs and Why. Front Neuroendocrinol, 30(4): 460-469.
Glenn, Andrea L., and Adrian Raine. 2009. “Psychopathy and Instrumental Aggression: Evolutionary, Neurobiological, and Legal Perspectives”. International journal of law and psychiatry, 32(4), 253-258.
Hallett, Mark. 2007. “Volitional Control of Movement: the Physiology of Free Will”. Clin Neurophysiol, 118(6): 1179-1192.
Halász, József, Máté Tóth, Imre Kalló, Zsolt Liposits, and József Haller. 2006. “The Activation of Prefrontal Cortical Neurons in Aggression--A Double Labeling Study”. Behavioural brain research, 175(1), 166-175
Haynes, Erin N., Aimin Chen, Patrick Ryan, Paul Succop, John Wright, and Kim N. Dietrich. 2011. “Exposure to Airborne Metals and Particulate Matter and Risk for Youth Adjudicated for Criminal Activity”. Environ Res, 111(8): 1243-1248.
Henggeler, Scott W., Sonja K. Schoenwald, Charles M. Borduin, Melisa D. Rowland, and Phillippe B. Cunningham. 1998, Multisystemic Treatment of Antisocial Behavior in Children and Adolescents. Guilford Press.
Henggeler, Scott W., Sonja K. Schoenwald, Charles M. Borduin, Melisa D. Rowland, and Phillippe B. Cunningham. 2009. Multisystemic Therapy for Antisocial Behavior in Children and Adolescents. Guilford Press.
Humphreys, Janice, and Jacquelyn Campbell. 2011. Family Violence and Nursing Practice. Springer Publishing Company.
Kaye, David H. 2006. “Behavioral Genetics Research and Criminal DNA Databases”. Law and Contemporary Problems, 69(1/2): 259-299.
Klevens, Joanne, José William Martínez, Brenda Le, Carlos Rojas, Adriana Duque, and Rafael Tovar. 2009. “Evaluation of Two Interventions to Reduce Aggressive and Antisocial Behavior in First and Second Graders in a Resource-poor Setting”. International Journal of Educational Research, 48(5): 307-319.
LaPrairie L. Jamie, Julia C. Schechter, Brittany A. Robinson and Patricia A. Brennan. 2011. “Perinatal Risk Factors in the Development of Aggression and Violence.” Pp. 215-253, Vol 75, Advances in Genetics, edited by R. Huber, D. L. Bannasch and P. Brennan. In: Academic Press
Libet, Benjamin. 1985. “Unconscious Crebral Initiative and the Role of Conscious Will in Voluntary Action”, Pp 529?539, Neurophysiology of Consciousness, Birkhäuser Boston.
Liu, Jianghong. 2011. “Early Health Risk Factors for Violence: Conceptualization, Review of the Evidence, and Implications”. Aggressive Violent Behaviour, 16(1): 63-73.
Macions, John J, Ken Plummer. 2007, Sociology: A Global Introduction. Prentice Hall Europe :Granite Hill Publishers.
Manuck, Stephen B., Anna L. Marsland, Janine D. Flory, Adam Gorka, Robert E. Ferrell, and Ahmad R. Hariri. 2010. “Salivary Testosterone and a Trinucleotide (CAG) Length Polymorphism in the Androgen Receptor Gene Predict Amygdala Reactivity in Men”. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 35(1): 94-104.
Miller, Laurence. 2013. “Psychological Evaluations in the Criminal Justice System: Basic Principles and Best Practices”. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 18(1): 83-91.
Montoya, Alonso, Bruce H. Price, Matthew Menear, and Martin Lepage. 2006. “Brain Imaging and Cognitive Dysfunctions in Huntington's Disease”. Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, 31(1): 21.
Morgado, Alice Murteira, and Maria da Luz Vale-Dias. 2013. “The Antisocial Phenomenon in Adolescence: What Is Literature Telling us?” Aggression and Violent Behavior. 18(4): 436-443
Morse, Stephen J. 2011. “Genetics and Criminal Responsibility”. Trends in cognitive sciences, 15(9): 378-380.
Morse, Stephen J., and Morris B. Hoffman. 2007. “The Uneasy Entente Between Legal Insanity and Mens Rea: Beyond Clark v. Arizona”. The Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, 1071-1149.
Myers, Richard H. 2004. “Huntington's Disease Genetics”. NeuroRx, 1(2): 255-262.
National Center for Microscopy and Imaging Research. Instrumental in Huntington’s Disease Breakthrough. 2011. Retrieved July20, 2013 (http://ncmir.ucsd.edu/research/highlights/ 2011_huntingtons.shtm)
Nevin, Rick. 2007. “Understanding International Crime Trends: the Legacy of Preschool Lead Exposure”. Environ Res, 104(3): 315-336.
Pagani, Linda S. 2013. “Environmental Tobacco Smoke Exposure and Brain Development: The Case of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder”. Neurosci Biobehav Review.
Poduska, Jeanne M., Sheppard G. Kellam, Wei Wang, C. Hendricks Brown, Nicholas S. Ialongo, and Peter Toyinbo. 2008. “Impact of the Good Behavior Game, a Universal Classroom-based Behavior Intervention, on Young Adult Service Use for Problems with Emotions, Behavior, or Drugs or Alcohol”. Drug Alcohol Depend, 95 Suppl 1: S29-44.
Rocque, Michael, Brandon C. Welsh, and Adrian Raine. 2012. “Biosocial Criminology and Modern Crime Prevention”. Journal of Criminal Justice, 40(4): 306-312.
Schraft, C. V., Kosson, D. S., & McBride, C. K. (2013). Exposure to Violence within Home and Community Environments and Psychopathic Tendencies in Detained Adolescents. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 40(9), 1027–1043
Schilling, Catrina M., Anthony Walsh, and Ilhong Yun. 2011. “ADHD and Criminality: A Primer on the Genetic, Neurobiological, Evolutionary, and Treatment Literature for Criminologists”. Journal of Criminal Justice, 39(1): 3-11.
Schimmenti, A., Passanisi, A., Pace, U., Manzella, S., Di Carlo, G., & Caretti, V. 2014. The Relationship Between Attachment and Psychopathy: A Study with a Sample of Violent Offenders. Current Psychology, 33(3), 256-270.
Shepard, Kathryn N., Vasiliki Michopoulos, Donna J. Toufexis, and Mark E. Wilson. 2009. “Genetic, Epigenetic and Environmental Impact on Sex Differences in Social Behavior”. Physiol Behav, 97(2), 157-170.
Siegel, Allan, and John Douard. 2011.”Who's Flying the Plane: Serotonin Levels, Aggression and Free Will”. Int J Law Psychiatry, 34(1): 20-29.
Steinert, Tilman, and Richard Whittington. 2013. “A Bio-psycho-social Model of Violence Related to Mental Health Problems”. Int J Law Psychiatry, 36(2): 168-175.
Susman, Elizabeth J. 2006. “Psychobiology of Persistent Antisocial Behavior: Stress, Early Vulnerabilities and the Attenuation Hypothesis”. Neurosci Biobehav Rev, 30(3): 376-389.
Turkheimer, Eric. 2000. “Three Laws of Behavior Genetics and What They Mean”. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 9(5): 160-164.
Turner, Michael G., Crista M. Livecchi, Kevin M. Beaver, and Jeb Booth. 2011. “Moving Beyond the Socialization Hypothesis: The Effects of Maternal Smoking During Pregnancy on the Development of Self-control”. Journal of Criminal Justice, 39(2): 120-127.
Umukoro, Solomon, Aderemi C. Aladeokin, and Anthony T. Eduviere. 2013. “Aggressive Behavior: A Comprehensive Review of Its Neurochemical Mechanisms and Management”. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 18(2): 195-203.
Vaughn, Michael G., Matt DeLisi, Kevin M. Beaver, and John Paul Wright. 2009. “DAT1 and 5HTT are Associated with Pathological Criminal Behavior in a Nationally Representative Sample of Youth”. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 36(11): 1113-1124.
Victoroff, Jeff. 2009. “Aggression, Science, and Law: The Origins Framework. Introduction”. International journal of law and psychiatry, 32(4): 189-197.
Vucetic, Z., Totoki, K., Schoch, H., Whitaker, K. W., Hill-Smith, T., Lucki, I., & Reyes, T. M. 2010. Early Life Protein Restriction Alters Dopamine Circuitry. Neuroscience, 168(2): 359-370.
Walsh, William J., Laura B. Glab, and Mary L. Haakenson. 2004. “Reduced Violent Behavior Following Biochemical Therapy”. Physiol Behav, 82(5): 835-839.
World Health Organization. Child Maltreatment. (N.d.). Retrieved July30. 2013, from (http://www.who.int/topics/child_ abuse/en/)
Widom, Cathy Spatz, and Linda M. Brzustowicz. 2006. “MAOA and the “Cycle of Violence:” Childhood Abuse and Neglect, MAOA Genotype, and Risk for Violent and Antisocial Behavior”. Biological psychiatry, 60(7): 684-689.
Wikipedia. Dopamine. 2013. Retrieved August 25. 2013 from (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dopamine)
Wu, Tong, and J. C. Barnes. 2013. “Two Dopamine Receptor Genes (DRD2 and DRD4) Predict Psychopathic Personality Traits in a Sample of American Adults”. Journal of Criminal Justice, 41(3): 188-195.
Yildirim, Bari? O., and Jan JL Derksen. 2012. “A Review on the Relationship Between Testosterone and Life-course Persistent Antisocial Behavior”. Psychiatry research. 200(2-3): 984-1010.




How to Cite

Alimardani, A., Ardekani, A. M., & Astany, L. R. (2014). A Bio-Social Review to Mitigate the Punishment of Unwanted Acts. International Journal of Criminology and Sociology, 3, 348–359. https://doi.org/10.6000/1929-4409.2014.03.30