Behavioral Genetics and Crime, in Context

20 Pages Posted: 9 May 2007

See all articles by Owen D. Jones

Owen D. Jones

Vanderbilt University - Law School & Dept. of Biological Sciences


This Article provides an introduction to some of the key issues at the intersection of behavioral genetics and crime.

It provides, among other things, an overview of the emerging points of consensus, scientifically, on what behavioral genetics can and cannot tell us about criminal behavior. It also discusses a variety of important implications (as well as complexities) of attempting to use insights of behavioral genetics in legal contexts.

Keywords: genetics, behavioral genetics, DNA, neuroscience, law, crime, behavior, biology, evolution, violence, Landrigan, free will, responsibility, behavioral biology, parity principle, behavioral ecology, predispositions

JEL Classification: K00, K14, K42, K40

Suggested Citation

Jones, Owen D., Behavioral Genetics and Crime, in Context. Law and Contemporary Problems, Vol. 69, pp. 81-100, 2006, Available at SSRN:

Owen D. Jones (Contact Author)

Vanderbilt University - Law School & Dept. of Biological Sciences ( email )

131 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203-1181
United States


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