Ectomorph Mesomorph Endomorph Figure 1.2: Sheldon\'s body types with mesomorphs identified as the most likely criminals Although Sheldon\'s work was criticized on methodological and subjective grounds - because he rated his subjects\' body types himself, and assumed correlation was linked to causality - his theories were supported by Glueck and Glueck (1956). They found that 60% of their sample of delinquents were mesomorphs, while only 31 % of their non-delinquent sample were, and Cortes and Gatti (1972) found in a sample of 100 delinquents that 57% were geomorphic, compared with 19% of controls. While these findings support the view that delinquents are likely to be muscular and fit, it remains unclear what the exact association might be between crimes and crime. Boys tend to admire others who mature Theme Link to Perspectives and Issues (individual differences) Following in the Ancient Greek tradition of physiognomy - judging people\'s character by studying their faces - William Sheldon (1942) suggested that there were three somatotypes with distinctive personality characteristics: Endomorphs who are soft, round, comfort-loving, sentimental, tolerant and sociable while prone to depression. Ectomorphs who are slender, fragile, sensitive, intellectual, solitary, restrained, and prone to schizophrenia. Mesomorphs who are muscular, athletic, active, energetic, risk-takers, dominant and Prone to delinquency. early and are muscular and physically agile. The status these boys acquire can often only be maintained by taking risks, becoming involved in ever more daring and anti-social acts and increasing their chances of apprehension. This might explain their over- representation in delinquent samples, though crime is also associated with high testosterone levels (Hartl et al., 1982). We all tend to develop beliefs about what \'criminals\' look like and this can determine our reactions to such people. Bull and McAlpine (1998) were able to demonstrate that these facial stereotypes can influence judgments of guilt, and clearly the stereotypes are often reinforced by media representations since casting editors tend to choose the same actors to portray villains. Could it be that we are not very nice to people whom we consider unattractive, and that over time these individuals begin to lose faith in themselves and act to fit their stereotype? Masters and Greaves (1969) surveyed the incidence of facial ?The criminal by nature has a feeble cranial capacity, a heavy and developed jaw, projecting (eye) ridges, an abnormal and asymmetrical cranium ... projecting ears, frequently a crooked or flat nose. Criminals are subject to color blindness, left-handedness is common, their muscular force is feeble.? Theme Link to Perspectives and Issues (social psychology) Dion, Berscheid and Walster (1972) found that people attributed more positive qualities to attractive people than to unattractive people. They were shown photographs and asked to rate people\'s personality characteristics on the basis of pictures alone. Their very favourable ratings of attractive people demonstrated the what-is-beautiful-is-also good stereotype, whereby a halo effect seems to operate and assumptions are made on the basis of physical attributes alone. The stereotype seems to operate across a range of settings including the courtroom. Stewart (1980) found that judges were less likely to imprison attractive defendants than unattractive defendants, while Downs and Lyons (1991) showed that judges imposed lower fines on attractive defendants. Lombroso (1911) went so far as to suggest that the distinctive appearance of criminals was very similar to lower animals such as chimps, and that female offenders were biologically more like men than women. But, in spite of the obvious criticism and lack of political correctness, could Lombroso have had something? Maybe we can rule out the possibility of genetic transmission, for as Rowe (1990) says: \'No responsible geneticist would argue that a specific gene exists for crime, as specific genes may be identified for Huntington\'s disease or eye color\' (p. 122) but we are now much more aware of the power of the media and its role in perpetuating stereotypes and self-fulfilling prophecies. If someone appears to fit our image of a \'criminal\' do we assume the worst, and thereby create a social reality? Stereotypes certainly still appear to be exerting their influence. For instance, Lombroso suggested that the presence of tattoos was a good indicator of criminality; a recent study indicated that children were significantly more likely to pair a negative attribute with a drawing of a man with tattoos than one of a man without tattoos (Durkin and Houghton, 2000). Theme Link to Methodology Lombroso\'s theories can be criticized on methodological grounds - for instance, he did not use a proper control group, often relying on large groups of soldiers, and his criminal samples contained large numbers of the mentally disturbed. One of the most important criticisms of Lombroso\'s theory was that he failed to recognize that correlation does not imply causality. Simply because his criminal subjects shared a significant number of physical anomalies does not mean that this made them criminal. It could be that poverty and deprivation produced the physical defects he noted, rather than them being the result of genetic transmission. In later years Lombroso modified his thinking on criminality and was more prepared to accept that the environment can influence the onset of criminal behaviour. The 1960s saw the emergence of a new explanation of violent crime in terms of chromosomes and an identifiable genetic abnormality - the XYY syndrome. We all have 46 chromosomes in pairs, one of which determines our sex - XX for females, and XY for males. There is a variety of chromosomal abnormalities, one of which involves the presence of an extra Y chromosome in males, and is usually linked to above average height and low intelligence. The incidence of this condition in the general population is about 0.1 %, but Price et al. (1966) found that 28% of the men in a Scottish State Hospital for the criminally insane were XYY. The assumption was that individuals with an extra Y chromosome must somehow be \'super males\' and therefore more inclined towards violence, hence their over-representation in prisons and special hospitals (Jarvik et al., 1973). The XYY defense was used in some criminal trials, and suggestions were made that mass screening be carried out to detect these individuals at an early age, in order to take preventative action.