The Biological Basis of Aggravated Assault

The biological basis of behavior is a hot topic for psychologists and biologists in equal proportions. There have always been arguments as to whether humans and non-human primates can attribute their various behaviors to nature or nurture (Myers, 2013). However, biologists have always remained optimistic that a huge portion of our behaviors is down to our chemical makeup and complex neuro-scientific forces. At birth, the human brain has over 100 billion neurons that form over 1000 synapses each (Brain, 2018). Over time, a majority of them are lost with the few remaining a cocktail of their genetics and experiences from the point of conception. This paper focuses on how the biological basis of behavior plays a role in aggravated assault, a form of aggression.

One of the biological foundations of behavior is genetics. Since the 1960s, there have been research connecting males with an extra Y gene with aggression. Male XYYs were thought to be more aggressive though further analyses did not result in a conclusive finding (Brain, 2018). The problem with establishing if such genetic makeup contributes to social aggression lay in the rarity of such individuals, making it difficult to assemble a meaningful sample for study. However, scientists remain confident that there is a genetic component of aggression given that such violence tends to run in families. As such, it can be concluded that aggravated assault may be genetically linked. A perpetrator of such a crime is likely to have a history of them in their family line. Elsewhere, the amygdale part of the brain has previously demonstrated correlation with aggression. Tests on animals have shown that the section controls behaviors of fear and aggression. In the past, Charles Whitman, who killed several people at the University of Texas was found to have a tumor pressing his amygdale (Brain, 2018). Therefore, there are both genetic and brain mediators to aggressive behavior like aggravated assault.

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Brain, C. (2018). The Biological Basis of Aggression. BrainHQ. Retrieved from on 10th January 2018

Myers, D. (2013). Psychology. 10 th ed. Worth Publishers.

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