Nature or Nurture: is Violence in our Genes?

Published: 2021-08-18 22:40:07
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Category: Biology

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When babies are born, they have no ability to walk or talk. They have not yet been exposed to the cruelty of the world. They do not have a grasp of the behaviors of other people around them and their brains are not filled with memories or consumed with the violence in our society. People are born innocent until life turns them violent.
During the development stage into adulthood, children are exposed to violence through social media, television, and movies. At this age, they begin to absorb the behaviors of people, specifically adults and start to imitate these behaviors. There was a study on aggression led by Albert Bandura showing children mimic the behaviors of adults. The experiment was focused on preschool-age children. The study divided the children into a group observing aggressive adult behaviors toward the bobo dolls, a group observing nonaggressive behavior toward the bobo dolls, and a group without any behavior models of adults. In the group with models showing aggression, the preschool-age children made more aggressive responses than in the groups observing non-aggressive models. In addition, the media and movies exposures violent and aggressive behaviors for children to mimic. Being exposed to cruelty leads to children thinking that aggression is acceptable. According to the article What Makes a Serial Killer? by La Donna Beaty, “murders are the product of our violent society”. Beaty explains, “some experts feel that children demonstrate increasingly aggressive behavior with each violent act they view and become so accustomed to violence that these acts seem normal”. The article agrees with the study done on the bobo dolls and how children mimic behaviors exposed to them.
After the exposure of violence in our society through behaviors of others, media, and movies, people believe that it is alright to have aggression toward others. When an event happens causing anger to build up, people have the mindset that hurting others even killing others is okay. People with the mindset of hurting or even killing others can face an event in which they snap and kill someone. In A Jury of Her Peers by Susan Glaspell, Mrs. Wright, also known as Minnie Foster, used to be a happy person until she married John Wright. Mr. Wright was a very aggressive man. After being abused by her husband, Minnie killed him in his sleep with a rope. This action was fostered by societal norms accepting this behavior.
After someone commits homicide, they experience adrenaline. Mr. Brooks commented during the movie, killing is an “addiction”. He treats his killings as addiction and he even goes to an AA meeting for alcoholics to control his killings. After people kill, they have the adrenaline rush because some killings started from wanting revenge. Fulfilling revenge through killing can convince people that killing is an addiction because the feeling of adrenaline rushing in after they are satisfied with the revenge.
People are born innocent until they are exposed to the different cruelty caused by others in the world. The violence publicized on the news, media, movies and behaviors of others leads people to think that it is alright to kill. The cycle of violence occur as people are exposed to the behaviors of aggression.

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