Are Serial Killers Born or Created?
We have been looking at the Nature vs Nurture debate in psychology and how it can be applied to Serial Killers. In class we also looked at the ways nature and nurture effected how Colin Jackson and found that it was a combination of the two arguments. I believe that it may be similarly a combination of both sides of the argument that lead a person to becoming a serial killer. The nature argument towards people’s behaviour is that traits such as intelligence, personality, aggression and sexual orientation are encoded in a persons DNA. This would suggest that Identical twins would have the exact same levels of intelligence, personality and aggression. It also suggests that identical twins would both have the same sexual orientation but as we saw in a psychology lesson there were two identical twins where one showed very masculine traits for a male such as playing with toy guns and cars and the other showed very feminine traits like playing with barbies even though they were identical twins which suggests that not everything can be only down to your genetic makeup. The nurture argument is that even though they do believe genetic tendencies exist they do not actually matter in terms of a persons personality etc. This is because they believe that behavioural aspects originate from environmental aspects such as a persons upbringing. Studies done on this have been supportive as they have found cases where identical twins were separated at birth and grew up in different environments and developed very different personalities, intelligence and aggression. At the same time this also goes against the nature theory because it means that they haven’t been affected by only genetics. The opposite end of this argument would suggest that Fraternal Twins would act in exactly the same way and have exactly the same attributes as they will have both been raised in exactly the same environment under the same conditions. In this piece I aim to discuss whether a serial killer becomes a serial killer due to Nature or Nurture or due to a combination of the two.
1. Power & Control
This type of serial killer experiences complete sexual gratification from the domination and humiliation of the victim. This killer is a true sociopath and lives by his own personal set of rules and guidelines. Many of the famous serial killers we have seen in history would fall under his type of serial killer. 2. Visionary
This type of serial killer is compelled by voices or visions they experience and are considered psychotic. These voices and visions compel them to kill certain kinds of people. 3. Mission
This type of serial killer feels a “need” or duty to kill certain types of people or “class” of people such as religious or racial groups or prostitutes. This type of serial killer is not considered psychotic. 4. Hedonistic
This type of serial killer makes a strong connection between personal violence and sexual gratification. This type of killer can also be described as a “lust” or “thrill” killer. This killer receives pleasure from the act and has eroticized the experience. They generally take the time to torture or mutilate their victims. I found this whilst I was doing some research about the serial killers that I have chosen and have tried to use reports of serial killers from a range of these 4 classifications of serial killers in order to make a wider and better rounded summation. I used Crime Library to do my research as I believe it is a reliable source of information on the serial killers and found four case studies that I can use; Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy, Ed Gein and Charles Whitman. Firstly I read Ted Bundy’s page and found that in the early years he was brought up by his grandparents who he was told were his actual parents and his natural mother was his older sister so that it would protect her from being judged as having a child before she was married. For the first...
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