A person’s physical characteristics are a result of their parent’s genetic codes. While that fact is clear, it is unsure what molds a person’s behavior, intelligence, and personality traits. Some scientists believe the environment that surrounds us shapes these factors. In addition, there are others that believe that abstract traits are encoded in our DNA. The origins of the long-lasting argument of nature versus nurture can be traced back as early as thirteenth century France. Ever since, the nature versus nurture concept has been debated among a variety of issues. One issue more specifically than others, violent behavior.
Every human being has the capability of expressing aggressive behavior. While it is an unavoidable part of human development that is easier for some to exhibit than others, it is no less dangerous than a loaded gun in the hands of the wrong person. Violent behavior is not only affecting adults, it is affecting children as well. What causes a person to be violent towards others? Are people born that way or do they learn it from their environment? This is a question that has been debated between psychologists for years and it seems that there is no definite answer for the time being, but both sides believe that genetics and environment play a role, and I believe so as well.
If a person is seen exhibiting aggressive behavior then that person is immediately labeled as unfriendly or having a bad attitude. However, that is not always the case. Although it is rare, there is a mental disorder called Intermittent Explosive Disorder. This illness is characterized by impulsive acts of aggression, as opposed to those that plan violent acts. The French psychiatrist, Esquirol, describes IED as partial insanity related to senseless impulsive acts. Esquirol further states that the unmotivated violent acts were a result from involuntary impulses. People with this disorder have trouble controlling their anger and their behavior is sometimes out of proportion to the event or incident that triggered the outburst. Recent findings suggest that IED possibly results from abnormalities in the areas of the brain that control behavioral arousal and inhibition. Studies indicate that impulsive aggression is linked to abnormal brain mechanisms in a system that inhibits muscular movement, or more commonly known as motor activity. This system is known as the serotoninergic system, which is directed by serotonin. Serotonin is a brain chemical that controls behavioral inhibition. Intermittent Explosive Disorder is most commonly found in males.
Parents have a responsibility to raise their children to become an asset to society. Nurturing them, guiding them, and protecting them should be of the utmost importance. Many children grow up to become to become well known and respected by their parents and peers. However, there are many children that fall to the wayside as well. When a child has to grow up in a home that contains domestic violence, that impressionable child may become desensitized to this abuse and is more likely to repeat the same cycle of abuse. Living in a bad neighborhood can have its negative affects as well, especially among people in their pre-teen or teen years. It is not uncommon to hear that the only reason a person joined a gang was because that person wasn’t offered acceptance in the home so he or she left to find it elsewhere.
Violence has infiltrated all forms of media, ranging from the radio to television. These days the younger generation is infatuated with the idea of becoming like their role models. Unfortunately, all their role models aren’t good examples to follow after. Most teenagers think that to get ahead in life is to resort to violence. In addition, there are some movies and music that sends subliminal messages that say it is okay to sell drugs to generate revenue and to participate in other illegal activities.
A person can be born with uncontrollable violent tendencies due to uncontrollable circumstances such as mental disorders. Also, a negative environment can stimulate violence in people as well. Although, these factors seem to be too robust to control, we can however regulate treatments for any relevant disorders with a simple visit to the doctor and by maintaining a positive lifestyle in the home.