Published 11 Apr 2017

In recent times, there has been much dispute on what psychopathy is. However, the best definition of psychopathy is that it is a mental disorder, which is associated with interpersonal, affective and behavioral abnormalities. People with this disorder show incapacity for egocentricity, impulsivity and chronic violation of legal, moral and social norms. Psychopaths are found in all places and among all the population. However, their number is large among the prison and jail population. The causes of this problem are not well known however, there are psychological, biological and sociological explanations, which have been proposed. In clinical observations, Cognitive neuroscience offers a neurophysiological explanation that psychopaths have a deficit in emotional understanding and depth. It is hypothesized that dysfunction of the brain leads to psychopathy despite the fact that there has been no justification of this hypothesis.

Psychopaths show the following abnormal behaviors. Pathological lying, no sense of guilt, manipulating and conning behaviors, grandiose sense of self worth, promiscuity, parasitic, violation of probation, marital relationships that are short and others. The most common symptoms of this disorder is that psychopaths violates the norms of the society without even some slight sense of regret or guilt. They are pleased with whatever they do even though they may be criminal behaviours.They expose a character of fearlessness in whatever they do. There are the primary psychopaths who do not show response to punishment, stress or disapproval. They are able to inhibit their antisocial impulses in many times. Words tend to have very different meaning in the way they do to us. They tend not to follow any plan in life and they are not able to experience genuine emotion. There are the secondary psychopaths who tend to be risk takers but react to stress and also have a feeling of guilt out of their actions. They tend to expose themselves to more stress than the normal people, which they are also more vulnerable to than an average person. Therefore, it is important to be able to able to differentiate those people who undertake criminal activities because of being psychopaths. This will help the law enforcement agencies be able to handle them and be treated differently to other criminals.

Psychopathy will help to identify them so that they can be given the appropriate treatment in their rehabilitation. Psychopathy would also help therapists understands well the kind of therapy they can give to a person who has characters of being psychopath. Primary and secondary psychopaths should be treated differently from normal criminals because of their unique traits that lead them to engage in criminal behaviors. Psychopaths tend not to understand their behaviors so psychopathy helps a therapist to make them realize their behaviors and the consequences so that they can change for good.

One becomes a sexual offender if one engages in acts, which are considered as sexual abuse or engaging in behaviors, which the government in the law statues considers to be against the norms of the society. One becomes a sex offender by engaging in sex crimes, which are the violence. A person can be convicted as a sexual offender in many ways. Many find themselves termed as sex offenders for if one engages in rape such as statutory rape, spousal rape, incest, having sex with animals, have sex with a child. A child is termed by the law as anybody who is under the age of eighteen years of age. Other crimes include violation of social taboos, for example, incest, sodomy, indecent exposure or exhibitionism. However, this depends of the law of the state, which governs the acts, which are considered as sexual crime. There are also other laws, which aim at protecting children from sex exposure. They are the age consent laws, which protect children from being exposed to pornography. Anyone who engages in the behaviors is also termed as a sex offender.

There are some personality disorders that are associated with criminal behaviors. The disorders have become important in diagnosis with criminal behavior. These disorders are seen when a person is a child. The three most common personality disorders related to criminal behaviors include attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, conduct disorder, and opposite defiance disorder. Opposite defiance, disorder is usually characterized by noncompliance, irritability, argumentativeness. The characters start showing when one is a child. When a child grows old the characters change to become worse. They engage in criminal behaviors such as stealing, lying, becomes aggressive, vandalism and other crimes. Attention deficit hyperactive disorder is usually related with a person being unable to have attention focused on one thing. Hyperactivity and inattention are related to presentation of behaviors, which are antisocial. According to studies, it has also been evidenced that children who are diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactive disorder are not able to learn from their experiences or behaviors. If children who suffer from this disorder are not diagnosed, they have high chances of developing criminal behaviors or antisocial behaviors in future. Conduct disorder on the other hand is characterized by violation of rules and norms of the society by an individual.

This mostly results as a result of failure to have diagnosis of opposite defiance disorder or attention deficit hyperactive disorder. This may also lead to development of antisocial personality disorder, which is characterized by disregard of for the rights of other peoplel, by the individual with this disorder. This disorder is also associated with increased probability of criminal behavior. It is therefore, for the disorders to be diagnosed at early age to prevent development of criminal behaviors in future.

Work cited

  • Millon Theodore & Davis Roger. Psychopathy: antisocial, criminal, and violent behavior Guilford Press, 2002 pg 197-198
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