Serial Killers: Biology or Upbringing?

Topics: Frontal lobe, Brain, Prefrontal cortex Pages: 6 (2281 words) Published: February 3, 2011
Nikole Walden
English IV
Mr. Russell
1 November 2010
Serial Killers: Biology or Upbringing?
As people in today's society, we are constantly being bombarded with the crazy actions that mankind is capable of. We watch the news and hear about murders, or even read a book about a mysterious killer. As we go through these pieces of reality, one can't help but be struck by the thought--what causes a person to act so violently? There have been many studies done to try and find an answer. For a crime such as serial killing, there are two thoughts. The first idea is that serial killing is caused by an abnormality in the frontal lobe of the brain. The other is that serial killers are bred by circumstance which means they have certain genes that make them prone to becoming a killer. With some analysis, the evidence for both theories can serve to prove that serial killers are genetically different. Serial killers have been named many different names over the years by experts. “In the 19th century, psychopathology was considered to be ‘moral insanity’” (Scott, par. 2). Moral insanity is when ones emotions are damaged, causing them to be carried away by furious instinct. That shows why experts would consider calling serial killers morally insane. “Current experts call serial killers a biological disaster” (Scott, par. 2). This means they are born into this world already marked as a disaster. A former psychologist says there are two types, “They are known as ‘Antisocial personality disorder’ or ‘Social pathology’” (Scott, par. 2). Antisocial personality disorder killers usually do not interact with people which can be their reason for becoming a killer. Social pathology killers are disorganized in the world which makes them uneasy and more tempted to becoming a serial killer. These names can simply describe every type of serial killer in the world. The most serial killings have occurred in California. According to Michael Stone who has a Ph.D. in psychology, “California leads in the US with the most Serial Homicide cases that have occurred” (Stone 293). Another true statement that Michael has stated is, “The USA has 76% of the world’s serial killers” (Stone 293). This is showing that if the USA has 76% of the world’s serial killers, than California has more than half. This is an important thing that Michael Stone has found out. Getting to the bottom of why these serial killers kill can help solve the massive amounts of serial killing not only in California, but in the United States as well. It has been said that, “Europe in second, has 17%. England has produced 28% of the European total of serial killings” (Stone 293). Not only is the Untied States being threatened by massive amounts of Serial Homicides, but so is Europe. Looking at these numbers and percentages can be frightening that’s why understanding serial killers can possibly get rid of this problem. Most of the serial killers in the Untied States are males. Michael Stone has also came to find this out, “Less than 1% of female population are psychopaths and between 3-5% of men are psychopaths” (Scott, par. 3). Men are more likely to have an antisocial personality disorder or social pathology disorder. Men are genuinely stronger than women which can be another reason why there are more men serial killers than women. “…massive amounts of the frontal lobotomy’s done in the 40’s and 50’s, has been shown to factor into about 64% of male murders housed on death row right now in the United States” (“A Look Inside Serial Killers,” par. 3). Frontal lobotomy was a form of psychosurgery to check the brain for abnormalities. So due to the abnormal frontal lobe section of the brain, males have struck out in violence and the United States is leading 64% on death row. Thus, another frightening situation that should be stopped. “Most serial killers are males under 50” (Scott, par. 8). This is probably because with age, the brain begins to...

Cited: “A Look inside Serial Killers.” Crime. 21, Sept. 2010 <
“Brain Injury in Serial Killers.” 21, Sept. 2010 <
Raine, Adrian. “Functional families, Dysfunctional brains.” Science Daily. 21, Sept. 2010
Scott, Shirley, Lynn. “What makes serial killers tick?” Psychopaths? 21, Sept. 2010 <http://>
Stone, Michael. The ANATOMY of EVIL. New York: Prometheus Books, 2009.
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