Criminology Assignment


Answer 1

The government can control the content of television shows by puttingup laws which restrict the audience to particular age-matchedprograms (Blevins, 2011). The government cannot control or limitamount of weekly violence in television shows because it would be aninfringement to the liberties of television networks and cableproviders as well as the motion picture companies and their actors oractresses. Limiting weekly violence would be a violation of rights tofree media and entertainment. The content can, however, be controlledin a better manner by ensuring parents protect their children fromprograms that are likely to trigger or enhance juvenile delinquenciesby blocking particular programs that are violent or sexual in nature(Blevins, 2011).

This is possible only if the government ensures that the televisionmanufacturers fit in inbuilt software that can allow parents to blockcertain programs (Blevins, 2011). Such software include the V-chipdeveloped by the television programs and facilitate coding ofprograms such that it becomes easier for parents to scroll throughthe unwanted films, channels and songs and block them.

The government can also control the content by ensuring that the TVprograms are labeled according to age-specific suitability such as G,PG, PG-14 and MA. G means that the program is suitable for generalviewing PG means parental guidance is advised for children underspecific age like 7 years PG-14 means the program is only suitableto 14 years and MA means the program is only suitable for adults.Advocating for certain programs to be aired during the late nightwhen the juveniles are asleep is another limitation standard.

News programming should be exempted from such labeling but newsbroadcasters should warn of any videos or graphic pictures that showmurder, death or violent acts. News should be reported the way theyare but violent scenes should not be shown in full or for a lengthyperiod of time but instead they should be shown in brief (Blevins,2011). Sporting violence during matches should also be shown in briefin a manner that does not encourage or glorify violence or revengetendencies and the government should be willing to implement suchairing limitations.

Answer 2

Crimes of obedience are acts carried out by a person or group,responding to orders given by an authority that are either illegal orgoes against the norms of the larger society (Post &amp Panis,2011). Crimes of obedience can occur in various violent ornon-violent settings such as crimes against humanity, genocide,extrajudicial killings, white-collar crimes and political power abuseamong others (Wofsey, 2015).

The main reference of obedience crimes is the research work done byStanley Milgram in the 1970s. The research pointed out that peoplehad a very strong obedience to orders given by authorities (Post &ampPanis, 2011). The research involved males of between 20 and 50 yearswho acted as teachers and were ordered to administer electric shocksto their confederates (the students) for every question they answeredwrongly in a progressive high voltage. Many of the subjects compliedwith the instructions although they knew they were causing pain tothe confederates.

There are many obedience crimes in the society. Some old crimesinclude the Nuremberg trials where Nazis were tried for war crimes(Post &amp Panis, 2011). Most of them defended themselves pointingout that they were following orders from their superiors. PresidentNixon’s Watergate scandal is another example. Most of theconspirators who were involved in abuse of power and clandestinesurveillance of political opponents asserted that they were underorders from the white house. Chief accountants in a company can beforced to commit fraud through order from the chief executives orcompany owners.

There are a number of reasons why people commit crimes of obedience.They usually have a leverage of committing the crime but passing theresponsibility to authorities instead of themselves (Post &ampPanis, 2011). People also commit these crimes because they take theacts as routine work especially the law enforcement agencies. Crimesof obedience are also committed because the perpetrators do not wantto appear rude, disrespectful and offensive to their superiors orauthority.

People also commit obedience crimes due to entrapment where afterobeying easier commands first, they are compelled to obey muchdifficult ones later on. Lastly, people commit these crimes out ofchoice through blackmail where they stand to lose something orsomeone important if they did not comply.

Answer 3

A psychopath and a sociopath are names used interchangeably becausethey share some common characteristics as antisocial personalitydisorders where the victims have total disregard for social norms,laws, other people’s rights as well as lack of guilt feelings andviolent tendencies (Pemment, 2013). However, they are dissimilar intheir own unique ways.

Sociopaths are usually nervous and agitated. They are impulsive andlack inhibitions in their emotions and thus are liable to emotionaloutbursts (Pemment, 2013). They usually do not have regard forsocietal rules, values and norms. Sociopaths often uneducated andsurvive on societal fringes lacking the capability to work or live ata specific place for a lengthy period of time. Sociopaths are usuallyantisocial with difficulties in making friends but they can formattachments with specific persons or groups (Pemment, 2013).Fromother people’s view point, sociopaths seem disturbed and confused.Sociopaths commit crimes in an up hazard and disorganized manner.These crimes are usually spontaneous and lack any prior planning.

Psychopaths have a characteristic unempathetic personality withoutany emotional attachment or guilt for other people (Pemment, 2013).However, they have a charming and charismatic personality whichappears disarming to people. They use such traits to manipulatepeople and gain their trust. They imitate emotions, though they don’tfeel them, appearing normal to people. Psychopaths are usuallyintelligent and well educated and can maintain jobs and homes forlong times. Psychopaths commit planned, organized and meticulouscrimes. They maintain their cool and temperament and carry out theirviolent or non-violent crimes without leaving any trail (Pemment,2013).

Psychopaths are more dangerous than sociopaths because of theirability to dissociate emotions from their criminal deeds or actions(Pemment, 2013). They are unremorseful and feel no guilt for theiractions. Sociopaths can be rehabilitated because they are a productof “nurture” whereby environment plays a big role such aschildhood abuse or trauma. Psychopaths cannot be rehabilitatedbecause they have genetic defects or underdevelopment on the parts ofbrain which regulate emotions and impulses (Pemment, 2013).

Psychopaths should be treated differently by criminal justice systembecause they are mentally unstable from a genetic standpoint. Theyshould be locked up in much friendlier correctional facilities awayfrom the public but not in maximum prisons because they can easilycontinue their scheming and criminal activities there.

Question 4

XYY theory indicate that males with a genetic aberration where theyhave an added Y chromosome (47, XYY karyotype) instead of the normalkaryotype (46, XY), are more likely to show aggressive and violentbehavior (Akers, 2013). Males with the added Y chromosomes areregarded as “super males” and have been a center of attention bymany psychologists and criminal experts. After various researchespecially in the 1950s and 1960s, XYY males were shown to haveincreased aggressiveness and violent behavior as compared to theirnormal XY counterparts (Wofsey, 2015).

In my view and according to the various research especially the studydone by Alice Theilgaard in 1980s, XYY appear taller, have highertestosterone levels, antisocial, impulsive and sporadicallyaggressive in nature (Akers, 2013). This makes them more violent andis likely to commit crimes earlier than their normal counterparts andget locked up in jail.

In the late 1950s and 1960s, XXY theory gained a lot of attentionsince it is the time when the first XXY male was reported (Akers,2013). In 1961, the first XXY male was Karyo typed by Avery Sandfordand his colleagues in New York after his wife delivered a child withDown’s syndrome. After such discovery many researchers embarked onstudies to verify that males with an added Y chromosome were moreaggressive under the notion that Y defined the male gender which wasmore aggressive than the female gender. Researchers such as PatriciaJacobs carried a study on Scottish inmates in 1965 to verify this newdiscovery. Similar research was carried in the US especially by Priceand Whatmore in 1967, which confirmed that XYY males were more likelyto be aggressive and commit crimes earlier than their counterparts(Akers, 2013).

Question 5

Society and court systems should always intervene in cases wherechildren are witnesses to a violent crime especially family violence.Being a witness is very terrifying and intimidating not only toadults but also to children. The court system should therefore, avoidany victimization of the children and meet their needs in anage-appropriate manner (Shireman, 2015). Being sensitive to theirfeelings makes the experience less traumatic and relieving henceincreasing chances of a successful prosecution and litigation. Courtofficers handling such cases should be well trained to handleforensic interviewing, recognition of injuries sustained anddevelopmental milestones of children.

The society should be involved by reporting any childhood abuse orcriminal activities directed to children to the authorities(Shireman, 2015). They should desist from any forms of victimizationand take serious steps of protecting the children involved in suchordeals. The society should also be willing to give adequateinformation concerning the welfare of such children to theauthorities or legal systems to ensure that they are protected fromfuture repetition of such violent acts.

Children who witness crimes and other violent acts at a tender ageare prone to juvenile delinquency, aggressive and violent behaviorsand adult criminality. Various studies has shown that children whoare abused and neglected at an early age increases their likelihoodof being arrested as a juvenile or as an adult criminal by 53% and38% respectively (Shireman, 2015). Such criminal witnessing alsoplaces the child in an increased risk of drug and substance abuse,mental disorders and suicide (Wofsey, 2015). Society and criminaljustice should therefore, intervene to save these children fromnegative impacts of aggressive behavior, decreased self-esteem andfoiled character. The earlier these children are located, the earlierthey can be counseled thus preventing future violent tendencies.


Akers, R. L. (2013). Criminological theories: Introduction andevaluation. New York: Routledge.

Blevins, J. L. (2011). Applying the US Safe Harbor Policy toTelevision Violence. Journal of Children and Media, 5 (01),37-52

Pemment, J. (2013). Psychopathy versus sociopathy: Why thedistinction has become crucial. Aggression and Violent Behavior,18 (5), 458-461

Post, J. M., &amp Panis, L. K. (2011). Crimes of obedience:“Groupthink” at abu ghraib. International journal of grouppsychotherapy, 61 (1), 48-66

Shireman, J. F. (2015). Critical issues in child welfare.Washington DC: Columbia University Press.

Wofsey, S. (2015). Criminology: Theories and Concepts. NewYork: Kendall Hunt Publishing