More on the Biology of Crime

Repost from the old site.

This subject is absolutely deadly for progressives because there is a fear that an examination into the biology of crime will tend to focus on race. As is, in the US, Blacks, Hispanics, Amerindians and Polynesians have crime rates, 8, 3, 2 and 2 times higher than Whites, respectively. Asians have crime rates 5 times lower than Whites.

Leaving aside race for a moment, it is reasonable to pry into the extra-racial aspects of crime. For the moment, let us look at testosterone and MAO-A levels.

MAO-A inhibits the production of catecholamines, in particular serotonin. Persons low in MAO-A tend to be low in serotonin.

Persons low in serotonin have elevated rates of impulsive violent behavior, including homicidal and suicidal attempts and successes. These studies have been done on successful suicides and impulsively violent criminals behind bars. Serotonin is an inhibitory chemical. It follows that low levels of an inhibitory chemical would make a person less inhibited in some ways.

A UK study on abused children found that those who had good MAO-A levels did not develop antisocial behavioral problems. Those who had low MAO-A levels did become antisocial. In this way, chemical levels in the brain interacted with negative environmental effects to either promote or inhibit antisocial behavior. It’s clear that abuse alone is not enough to cause antisocial behavior de novo.

In Aggression: The Testosterone-Serotonin Link , Berger et al attempted to synthesize studies showing links between low serotonin and high testosterone to better explain the enigma of criminal behavior. With regard to testosterone, they noted that results indicated a positive correlation in boys between testosterone levels and serious aggression in social situations, but no correlation with playful aggression.

This is interesting. Boys with normative testosterone can be quite aggressive in play, but they are able to turn it off and keep from going over the edge into actual serious aggression. High-testosterone boys were aggressive in both play and in serious aggression.

A study of 4,462 men revealed that the overall picture among the high-testosterone men is one of delinquency, substance abuse and a tendency toward excess aggressive behavior. This is the classic picture of the teenage delinquent, gang member, etc.

These men have more trouble with people like teachers while they are growing up, have more sexual partners, are more likely to show disciplinary problems during their military service and to have used “hard” drugs, particularly if they had a poor education and low incomes.

As we can see, poor educational outcome and low income serve as additive effects for high-testosterone men who display antisocial or sociopathic tendencies.

Measurements of testosterone saliva levels in 692 adult male prisoners showed that inmates who committed violent or sexual crimes had higher testosterone levels than inmates who were incarcerated for property crimes or drug abuse. Therefore, theft and drug abuse is not necessarily related to high testosterone. Anyone can be a thief or a doper, but not anyone can be a rapist or commit violent assaults.

This study also showed that inmates with higher testosterone levels violated more prison rules, especially those involving overt confrontation.

When salivary testosterone levels of young adult delinquents were compared with levels of a group of college students, matched for age, gender and race, the delinquent subjects had higher testosterone levels than the student controls, a finding that was true for both male and female subjects. It is interesting that even female young adult delinquents tend to have higher testosterone levels.

It can thus be concluded that high testosterone levels play a role in some criminal behavior.

In a previous post, I suggested that interventions to lower testosterone may be one avenue with which to attack testosterone-driven crime and antisocial behaviors.

These interventions would involve Black females taking a drug to lower the testosterone of their fetus 20%. Or giving the same drug to their young sons with the same effect. Or, offering it to young Black males (or any males really) who display repeated antisocial behavior, have gotten into serious trouble due to this behavior, want to change, but can’t seem to. All of these interventions would have to be strictly voluntary.

To avoid the racial screeching, we could also offer to White prisoners who perhaps had gotten tired of offending, wanted to clean up, but felt prisoner to their urges.

Commenters have noted with horror the possibility of messing with the sex drives of Black males, but a 20% reduction would lower Black testosterone down only to the White male level. White males seem to be awfully horny last time I checked.

Now for the racial angle. Yes, Blacks do have higher testosterone than Whites. And Asians have the lowest levels of all. Precisely as we might expect from the crime findings.

Hmmm.

References

Birger M, Swartz M, Cohen D, Alesh Y, Grishpan C, Kotelr M. 2003. Aggression: the Testosterone-Serotonin Link. Israel Med Assoc J 5: 653-658.

11 Comments

Filed under Amerindians, Asians, Biology, Blacks, Criminology, Hispanics, Oceanians, Polynesians, Race/Ethnicity, Reposts From The Old Site, Science, Sociology, Whites

11 responses to “More on the Biology of Crime

  1. tulio

    I’m not an expert on this subject, but isn’t testosterone level influenced by stimulus as well? I read once that a man’s T level drops if he is holding a baby. T level can also shoot up simply by watching the Superbowl, which is why there’s a spike of wife batterings on Superbowl Sunday. Listening to aggressive music like punk rock can cause T levels to spike. Working out at the gym can do it too.

    What about all these environmental influences that play into T levels?

  2. Alan

    Bob:

    you wrote:
    “In a previous post, I suggested that interventions to lower testosterone may be one avenue with which to attack testosterone-driven crime and antisocial behaviors”

    In that previous post, you wrote:
    “Of course, in our insane PC anti-racist society, such interventions are banned now and forevermore as ‘racist.'”

    Such interventions, IMO, SHOULD be banned now and forevermore, IF they are directed at a particular race.

    On the other hand, if they are directed at a clearly-measurable biomolecule with putative or actual effects on behavior — such as testosterone — that’s different. That would be a much less-objectionable approach, for obvious reasons. White people as well can have high testosterone levels and deviant behavior related to (predisposed by, perhaps) those high testosterone levels. The problem here — assuming the testosterone/antisocial-behavior connection to be valid — is the TESTOSTERONE, not the subject’s race. And BTW, white people, debateably, have more problems with antisocial behavior than blacks. Note that the economies of the world, as well as the world itself, are being destroyed at a rapid rate, mostly at the hands of whites. Those things I think would qualify as “anti-social”.

    Further, you might be interested to know that interventions to lower testosterone have NOT been banned, but in fact have been embraced to some extent, as treatment (in men) for sexual deviance and sex-related crime. It is called “chemical castration”. Vis:

    http://www.csun.edu/~psy453/crimes_y.htm
    http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/exchange/node/1778
    http://www.altpenis.com/penis_news/chemical_castration.shtml

    ……… now, if “chemical castration” had been presented in a racial frame — as a treatment for BLACKS, specifically — then it would, and it would RIGHTLY, IMO, have precipitated a violent reaction. But it wasn’t. And so it didn’t.

    Last, regarding testosterone and intelligence: before you conclude that lowering testosterone is a good general strategy for increasing low I.Q.s, you might want to review Howard’s papers at anthropogeny.com. It seems that testosterone’s effects on brain development and I.Q. are complex; largely positive, to a point, but with other effects when in excess. Howard attributes the Flynn Effect to rising testosterone levels.

    Vis:

    http://www.anthropogeny.com/Explanation%20of%20the%20Flynn%20Effect.htm
    Explanation of the Flynn Effect

    http://www.anthropogeny.com/Androgens%20in%20Human%20Evolution.htm
    Androgens in Human Evolution. A New Explanation of Human Evolution

    http://www.anthropogeny.com/Original%20Theory%20of%20Human%20Evolution.htm
    Dehydroepiandrosterone, Melatonin, & Testosterone in Human Evolution

    http://www.anthropogeny.com/The%20Secular%20Trend%20and%20Failing%20Schools.htm
    The Secular Trend and Failing Schools

    http://www.anthropogeny.com/The%20Biological%20Basis%20of%20Western%20Civilization.htm
    The Biological Basis of Western Civilization

  3. Alan

    “isn’t testosterone level influenced by stimulus as well? I read once that a man’s T level drops if he is holding a baby. T level can also shoot up simply by watching the Superbowl, which is why there’s a spike of wife batterings on Superbowl Sunday. Listening to aggressive music like punk rock can cause T levels to spike. Working out at the gym can do it too.”

    Yes, lots of things influence T levels. Training hard at the gym (squats, deadlifts) boosts testosterone quite markedly. But so far there’s been no observed relation of hard training to criminal behavior. (Maybe that is forthcoming.)

    One small example: testosterone levels are higher in people who live in crummy, decrepit (“resource limited”) neighborhoods; see below. Now, my guess is that the causal arrow here points in BOTH directions, but more the one than the other: i.e., more that testosterone is elevated by the crumminess and decrepitude (a perfectly understandable, even reasonable response: “things are shitty, competition is likely to be fierce, so need to MAN-UP to cope with it”).

    http://www.sciencedirect.com
    Biological Psychiatry
    Volume 65, Issue 2, 15 January 2009, Pages 116-121
    Prospective Study of the Association Between Abandoned
    Dwellings and Testosterone Level on the Development of
    Behaviors Leading to Cannabis Use Disorder in Boys

    snippits:

    “Elevated testosterone level intermediates the association
    between neighborhood adversity and aggressive socially deviant
    behaviors presaging cannabis use and cannabis use disorder.”

    “Significantly, empirical findings in humans (11) and other
    primates (12) demonstrate that testosterone level is elevated
    in male subjects who are embedded in an environment featured
    by diminished resources and concomitantly greater
    interpersonal competition.”

  4. Alan

    PS: Bob, you might consider chemical castration as a treatment for your publically-confessed pedophilia. With aggressive medical treatment, there’s hope!

    😀

  5. Alan

    Thanks for the welcome, Bob.

    all:
    My smart-ass PS about chemical castration for Bob was intended to follow a longer, previous post (submitted not yet posted) that had details about the procedure. I should wait till I SEE the thing here before assuming…

  6. Steve

    The only study I know of that compared testosterone levels in countries was for over 65’s. The Japanese and Hong Kong males had 16% higher levels of testosterone but they also had a testosterone inhibitor that led to less testosterone acting on their body tissue.

    However, Asian men who lived in America had similar or the same levels of testosterone as American men. Not sure if that means the same absolute levels or the same active levels. It does show how testosterone levels can be affected by diet and environment though.

    Can ones testosterone levels be boosted in response to an aggressive environment? You have to act more aggressive so could your body respond to that need to be more aggressive? You experience fear and you have to be ready to fight. You get adrenaline when you are afraid. Your body provides it so you can survive better. Why not a boost in testosterone?

    Are the delinquent groups more likely than students to lift weights or do other things which boosts testosterone?

    “A UK study on abused children found that those who had good MAO-A levels did not develop antisocial behavioral problems . Those who had low MAO-A levels did become antisocial. In this way, chemical levels in the brain interacted with negative environmental effects to either promote or inhibit antisocial behavior”

    How do we know that those who went on to more positive lives did not have higher MAO-A levels because they were happier? Why assume low MAO-A led to antisocial behaviour rather than a more troubled life leading to MAO-A levels?

  7. Biochem

    “MAO-A inhibits the production of catecholamines, in particular serotonin. Persons low in MAO-A tend to be low in serotonin.”

    First, Serotonin isn’t a Catecholamine.
    Second, MAO is the enzyme that breaks down Serotonin so, low MAO activity would lead to high Serotonin not lower.
    Third,MAO doesn’t inhibit anything, it’s an enzyme that metabolizes – MAO A favors Serotonin, Epi and Histamine. MAO-B favors Dopamine etc…
    Serotonin is the only one that needs MAO alone, as the others can be broken down via COMT enzyme.
    Testosterone & Estrogen inhibit MAO leading to higher circulating nuerotransmitters ,whereas Progesterone speeds up MAO leading to lower levels.
    Higher levels of Serotonin IMO are worse than lower. High levels lead to aggressiveness, Helplessness, aggitation etc…

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