Friday, September 6, 2019

Trait Theories Behind Larceny Essay Example for Free

Trait Theories Behind Larceny Essay Larceny is an offense which pervades social classes. This crime is not committed only by the poor but even also the middle and upper class members of society. This paper will try to explain the causation theory behind larceny using and combining the biosocial trait theory, the nature-versus-nurture theory, and the differential association theory.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   Larceny is the unlawful taking and carrying away of the property of another, with intent to deprive the owner of its use or to appropriate it to the use of the perpetrator or of someone else. Larceny, as will be discussed in this paper, will include theft and embezzlement.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   The BioSocial Trait Theory tells us that a crime is controlled by biological conditions determined at birth, and that environmental, and social conditions work in concert to produce human behavior (Siegel, 2006).   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   The Nature Theory suggests that criminal behavior is linked to low intelligence while the Nurture Theory suggests that intelligence must be viewed as partly biological but primarily sociological, meaning, people do not commit crimes because they have low IQs. Instead, environmental stimulation from parents, relatives, social contacts, schools, peer groups, and innumerable others create a child’s IQ level and that low IQs result from an environment that also encourages delinquent and criminal behavior (id).   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   The Differential Association Theory suggests that skills and motives conducive to crime are learned as a result of contacts with pro-crime values, attitudes, and definitions and other patterns of criminal behavior (id). In short, criminal behavior is learned. Combining the Theories   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   Each of the three theories mentioned above, more or less, explains why larceny may be committed. However, each one, standing alone, may not be sufficient to explain every act of larceny.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   For example, the BioSocial Theory explains that larceny is committed because of a need. This may explain why a person in dire financial straits may be inclined to commit thievery. However, this does not explain why people from the upper class society commit embezzlement, like rich corporate stockholders who transfer the corporations money to their own bank accounts.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   The nature-versus-nurture explains that larceny is linked to persons with low IQs. This is not necessarily true because white-collar crimes, such as professional theft, are committed by very smart people with college or MBA degrees.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   The Differential Association Theory explains that criminal tendencies toward larceny is learned by association and assimilation. Perhaps this is partly true. However, larceny has been committed by people who come from very law-abiding families and by people who associate with law-abiding peers. There have been thieveries committed between and among members of the same religious groups.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   Now, all these theories, though sufficient for certain cases, may be insufficient for other cases. A combination of all three may explain almost all, if not all, of the cases of larceny. Perhaps, from a different point of view, a combination of all these theories of causation will more concretely explain why people commit larceny. In fact, in reality, larceny may not have been committed because of just one factor but by a multitude of them. The more theories of causation behind a single crime of larceny, the better we see why a person is motivated to commit such crime.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   For example, a treasurer of a corporation appropriates funds of the corporation and deposits it in his own bank account. He is rich, intelligent, well-educated and trustworthy but still he commits it. This is a case when the theories cannot explain the causation behind the commission of larceny. Perhaps the explanation is the contribution of all three causation theories to the commission of larceny in this case.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   Partly, the BioSocial Theory may explain that his genetic makeup is such that he has a propensity to commit the crime. It is in his blood, his desire to acquire more. Perhaps he wants to a quick way to get rich because he wants to retire at an early age but he does not commit a crime to do it because he has been well educated otherwise or is afraid of the punishment. Partly too, the Nature-versus-Nurture Theory may contribute to the explanation that though he may have a high degree of education, he has been raised by a father who is a thief or a corrupt government official. He was raised by money acquired by extra-legal means. The environment in which he was raised taught him that corruption is alright. And partly too, the Differential Association Theory contributes to the explanation by assimilating the criminal behavior he has acquired from his parent. He has already learned that corruption is an acceptable virtue as long as one provides for the family.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   Each of these factors, standing alone, may not be sufficient to convince him to commit larceny because his criminal propensity may be deterred by his knowledge of the punishment for the crime or just by his desire to live as a law-abiding citizen. However, when all these factors concur, his motivation to commit larceny will be greater. He knows that if his father was able to get away with corruption, perhaps he may also be as lucky even though all his conscience shouts otherwise. He knows that he knows enough on how to get away with it because his father may have unconsciously taught him the tricks. Having all these factors present is enough to succumb to the temptation to commit larceny. References Siegel, Larry J. Criminology 9th ed. Thomson/Wadsworth: 2006.

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