AGRESSION ANO VIOLENT CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR
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Criminal behavior is analyzed using a multi/evel interdisciplinary approach. Aggression is the basis of criminal behavior (CB). In .some situations, aggression leads to non adaptative relations with the environment. Specifical/y, aggressive behavior in man is a complex biosocial phenomenon with a potential or actual devastating effect in modern cities. Even when social and environmental factors are important, this importance has been general/y ignored. Clearly, a change of attitude in this respect appears necessary (for example, changing current Iiabilities in our legal system). Actions in preventive, legislative and social attitudes can lead to the implementation of preventive and rehabilitation systems, with a solid scientific basis. In fact, a new ethiological paradigm and model are urgently needed. We propose that since clear-cut biological factors are necessary for CB to occur, they must be identified and incorporated into the legal system and action programs. Specifical/y, gender is a crucial factor. Men commit 10 times more crime in relation to women. Testosterone level and its effects on the nervous system is a variable partly explaining this epidemiological data. Also, the kind of crime committed by men is different from that by women. Aggressive behavior in women has a more verbal character. Biosocial factors, such as low scholarship, low income, low IQ and low verbal control are analyzed. Next, basic neurochemical variables associated with aggressive behavior are analyzed. Dopamine, acting on limbic structures facilitates tjlggressive behavior in animals. Cocaine, amphetamine, apomorphine and catecholamines with dopaminergic action cause more aggression and muricide behavior in rats. This is facilitated by ethanol and benzodiazepines, which appear to impair control of frontal structures, possibly through serotonin effect impairing. Serotonin, acting on 5-HT1 receptors, inhibits aggressive predatory behavior. Dopamine antagonists have a protective effect on predation, whereas serotonin antagonists have a facilitatory effect. Noradrenaline agonists acting on alpha receptors also increase affective aggression. Other systems are also analyzed. Of special importance are the protective effects exerted by progesterone and the facilitatory one of testosterone. They could further act on the mesolimbic dopaminergic system and also on sigma receptors. The neurallevels of steroids, which are affected by stress, produce permanent effects on neural systems if they act in critical periods (perinatal). The morphological correlates of some neurochemical factors are discussed. Final/y, the social and cultural interactions and the biochemical substrate are integrated into a general model, which involves endocrine, biochemica/, biosocial and sociocultural variables. The critical role of language in the modulation of criminal behavior is emphasized.
Este trabajo recibió financiamiento de la Universidad de Chile (Proyecto Q-3064) y de la International Association for Near-Death Studies (Small Grant Program).
Quote ItemRev. Chil., Neuro-Psiquiat.,Vol. 32, p.395-405, 1944