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Cesare Lombroso

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Kate Rockliff

on 29 August 2014

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Transcript of Cesare Lombroso

The Female Offender
The Female Offender, by Cesare Lombroso, was the first modern criminological text to focus on the woman as a criminal.
Lombroso sets out to profile the characteristics—the physical and moral attributes—of the female born criminal that distinguish the depraved female
criminal type from the occasional criminal and normal woman.
Lombroso's analysis, however, relies on his argument that women are morally weaker, and inferior to men.
The normal woman, who typically avoids crime and partakes in normative female roles, still has the potential to commit crime due to the inferior morality in all women.
For this reason, although the born female criminal is rare, when she is found she is worse than her male counterpart in depravity.
Biological traits of born criminal
- unusual size or shape of the head,
- strange eyes,
- facial asymmetry,
- extended jaw and jaw bone,
- too big or too small ears,
- full lips leaned forward,
- abnormal teeths,
- wrinkled skin,
- nose curled up; thief's have a flat nose and murderers have a beak nose,
- too long, too small or flat chin,
- too long arms.
According to Lombroso, persons who have five or more biological traits are born criminals.
Beside physical traits Lombroso introduces some other traits of born criminal:
1) hypersensitivity on the pain and touch,
2) use of special criminal slang,
3) grotesque expression of thoughts,
4) tattoos,
Bibliography
Theories
Lombroso beilieved there was a relationship between criminal psychopathology and physical or constitutional defects.
His chief contention was the existence of a hereditary, or atavistic, class of criminals who are in effect biological throwbacks to a more primitive stage of human evolution.
Lombroso contended that such criminals exhibit a higher percentage of physical and mental anomalies than do non-criminals. Among these anomalies were various unusual skull sizes and asymmetries of the facial bones.
Lombroso tried to reform the Italian penal system, and he encouraged more humane and constructive treatment of convicts.
The Born Criminal
Lombroso performed hundreds of post mortem examinations on criminals during the late 19th century.
He noticed that many of these criminals shared some of the same physical characteristics. Lombroso compiled a list of these characteristics which included receding hairline, forehead wrinkles, bumpy face, broad noses, fleshy lips, sloping shoulders, long arms and pointy fingers.
Lombroso associated these stigmata with primitive man. This condition was called {atavism}.
According to Lombroso, the "born criminal" descended from a "degenerate family with frequent cases of insanity, deafness, syphilis, epilepsy and alcoholism among its members."
Background
Lombroso was born in Verona, Italy, on 6 November 1835.
He studied literature, linguistics, and archeology at the universities of Padua, Vienna, and Paris, but changed his plans and became an army surgeon in 1859.
He became professor of forensic medicine and hygiene at Turin in 1878
Lombroso later became professor of psychiatry (1896) and criminal anthropology (1906) at the same university.
He died in Turin in 1909.
Cesare Lombroso
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cesare_Lombroso
http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/346759/Cesare-Lombroso
http://crimestudy.blogspot.co.uk/2011/04/lombrosos-theory-of-crime.html
http://www.crimelibrary.com/criminal_mind/psychology/crime_motivation/4.html
http://www.sagepub.com/schram/study/materials/reference/90851_11.2r.pdf
Full transcript