The essence of this topic is to explain in details what criminology entails, the study, methodology, etiology, scope amongst others, it also describes why crime is committed, who defines or determines crime and what constitutes crime. The topic covers various schools of thoughts on the reasons why people commit crime and gives an in-depth analysis into this various theories of criminology. The major concern is to limit the reasons for crime within sociological and psychological concept as it relates to crime committed by gender groups, the relativity of crime within different races/ethnics and religion base on theories and hypotheses using analytical data to give an empirical truism and lay to rest the contending argument as to born criminal, personality disorder and the overall effect of society; In relation to sociological and psychological prism towards molding a criminal.

Title Page
Approval Page
Table of Contents
List of Tables
Statement of Problem
Aims and Objectives
1.3 Scope of Study
1.4 Limitation
1.5 Methodology
1.6 Nature and Scope of Criminology
1.7 Etiology of Crime
1.8 Theories of Criminology
Sociological Theories of Crime
Chicago School
Differential Association Theory
Anomie Theory
Social Control Theory
Psychological Concept of Crime
Pre-Scientific Psychological views
Modern/Contemporary Psychological view
Psychoanalytical Theory
Moral Development
Biological Theory
Twin Bio-genetic study
Neurological abnormality/Theory
Personality Theory
Mental Disorder and crime
Diversity and Crime
Gender and Crime
Socio-Psychological Analysis of Gender and Crime
Race and Crime
Socio-Psychological analysis of Race and Crime
Religion and Crime
Socio-Psychological Analysis of Religion and Crime
Crime Typology in Nigeria
Legal-based Typology
Police based Typology
Situation-based Typology


Criminology, in its simplest meaning is the study of crime and criminal behaviour. It is an interdisciplinary field of study in which various aspects of human behaviour are involved in analyzing why a particular behaviour is referred to as criminal. It relates on who defines behaviour as criminal and why; what determines or predisposes individuals into committing crime and juvenile delinquency; and the necessary steps to curbing criminal behaviour.
Its concept consists of various theories and how sociological and psychological concept from both societal point of view and internalized biological hereditary mold of a criminal. It went further to state the sociological theories of crime ranging from Chicago school, differential, Anomie and Social control theory in respect of human behaviour in relation to crime. The psychological concept of crime gives an elaborate explanation from scientific approach of human interaction based on genetic make up as sole responsibility in determining criminal propensity among human beings especially, i.e. relation to race and gender; other forms as the psychoanalytical theory which deals majorly with moral development occasioned from a physiological component.
Moreso, the biological concept which is intrinsically intertwined with both genetic and hormonal structure such as from data study, neurological abnormality in reference to brain makeup and levels of serotonin and other chemical imbalance, nerve structure or neuron-transmitter, the personality theory and how groups of individual suffering from mental disorder affects crime population as a whole. Giving an analytical approach as to how socio-psychological concept of crime in relation to Gender, race and religion are affected by this concept and how various theories, hypotheses and theses contributed to this while trying to give an objective reason void of sentiment as to why certain category of gender, race and religion are more proportionally represented in crime than the other, from a socio-psychological point of view of criminology.
The term criminology analysis not only the concept of crime, but the inherent attitude which pre-dispose individuals to crime and how society shape this attitude in criminals. If and when the antecedent of why and how people commit crime are understood then the problem of crime and its victimization would be drastically reduced by focusing on the root source, be it sociologically or psychologically incline.
The aim of this topic is to critically analyze the concept of crime, theory of ‘born criminal’ and relate the nature of crime, its causes and evaluate the effects on society as a whole both as a contributing factor to crime and as its victim. Its objective is to educate, give a vivid insight into an in-depth nature of crime not only in penological theories of punishment or rehabilitation mechanism but to deal directly with the remote causes of crime and how best to solve them. Moreso, to understand why certain individuals within gender, religion or race/ethnic bracket are more pre-disposed to crime than others within a sociological or psychological makeup.

The scope of study is to mirror the overall effects of socio-psychology on gender, race/ethnic and religion within a criminologically defined value system and their corresponding interaction with each other.
The various factors limiting against this subject arise majorly from the dearth of criminologist expert in Nigeria to give an insight from a Nigerian point of view beside most criminologists are foreign trained with no works that essentially covers a Nigerian perspective. Another limitation is the poor record facility of the Nigeria police, lack of basic information on victims, lack of forensic or scientific experts on genetic or biological know-how, no report study, unwillingness by securities and medical practitioners to give data on victims based on confidential relationship. Moreso, most criminals or crimes are not grouped along gender, religion or ethnic nationality when computing statistics except for issues on incarceration or death row which are gender sensitive. Furthermore, moral and religious claims have made it hard for major scientific breakthrough to make public the reports which makes DNA study enables scientist determine behavioural tendencies of individuals along race, gender outside sociological factors and the subjective nature of most socio-psychological thesis, theories and hypothesis in application to crime.
The method of approach to this topic is analytical/descriptive through a tabular representation of data and careful chronological arranged sequential order of criminology, its scope of study as it relates to socio-psychological effects of gender, race and religion.
The concept has no universal acceptable definition like law and philosophy as what constitutes crime in itself is variable from one society to another. As an academic discipline, criminology encompasses such disciplines as law, sociology, psychology, psychiatry, medicine, economics, political science, geography, biology, chemistry, history, public administration and anthropology.
Criminology’s main focus as a specialized field of study, academic and professional is enumerated as follows:
To introduce the key conceptual and substantive issues involved in the study of crime and justice.
To define the concept of crime and describe the historical development of the criminal law and criminology.
To study criminal behaviour as it relates to several varieties of crime.
To explore the causes of crime and their remedy.
To understand crime as a historical, social and political development.
To compare the theories of crime, and explore alternative strategies to understanding crime as a phenomenon.
To obtain familiarity with the motive, causes, reasons and correlates of crime.
To increase our appreciation of the various theories of crime, how they have changed over time, their impact on social policy, and the extent to which they are supported by empirical data.
To increase our appreciation of both formal and informal processes of social control, as well as their influence on crime and criminals.
To apply crime theories to current events.
To connect academic knowledge to real-world experiences through research.
In defining criminology, various researchers in the field have adopted a number of approaches. Sykes defines what he calls “modern criminology” as the study of social origins of criminal law, the administration of criminal justice, the causes of criminal behaviour, and the prevention and control of crime. In this definition, the emphasis is on the functions of law and the efficacy of the administration of justice in the prevention and control of crime.
For Sutherland and Cressey, criminology is the “body of knowledge regarding delinquency and crime as social phenomena”. According to them, criminology includes within its scope… the process of making laws, of breaking laws, and the reacting to the breaking of law”. In their conclusion, “criminology consists of the sociology of law, criminal etiology and penology”.
However, Taff and England provide both the broad and narrow definitions of criminology. In the broad definition, criminology is the study “…. which includes all the subject matter necessary to the understanding and prevention of crimes and to the development of law, together with the punishment or treatment of delinquents and criminals. The narrow definition emphasizes the explanation of criminal behaviour in terms of why people behave the way they do. It is an attempt to answer the question “why and how do individuals become criminals?”
In a more simple definition, Mannheim defines criminology as the study of crime and punishment which takes three forms: the descriptive, the casual, and the normative. The descriptive form involves the observation and collection of facts about crime and criminals; the casual form is the interpretation of the observed facts which can be used to search for the causes of crime, an aspect referred to as etiology; and the normative form aimed at the discovery of what he calls “universally scientific laws and conformities or trends”.
Reckless who laced his definition with the concept of victimology defines criminology in terms of an understanding of delinquent and criminal behaviour within the operation of the criminal justice system. According to him:
The first mentioned concern, namely the study of involvement has two aspects:
1(a) the study of the ‘doer’, and
The study of the ‘doer’s’ behaviour, including the human victim.
The second mentioned concern deals with:
2(a) The input of persons into the criminal justice system at all points of complaint to arrest, to court action, to probation, to institutionalization, and to parole; and
The output or products of the criminal justice system of its several points of exodus…
Criminology also includes the relation of crime and deviance to law and social values… patterns of criminal careers, organized crime and white collar crime the history, and trends of punishment.
Haskell and Yablonsky define criminology in its scientific nature in relation to the study of crime and criminals. For them, criminology involves the analyses of the nature and extent of crime; the causes of crime and criminality; the development of criminal law and the administration of justice; the characteristic and the treatment of the criminal; patterns of criminality; and the impact of crime on social change.
In conclusion, criminology is the study of crime, criminals and the punishment of criminals. It involves the criminal justice system as a whole; the function of crime, criminals, victims vis-à-vis victimology, the justice system vis-à-vis the court, police, society, institute, correctional facilities, prison, penological theories as it relates to sentencing, death penalties and other forms of deferent, the effects on the society, the criminals and the trends in keeping them in check as well as the biological/psychological reasons for “recidivism”. In a nutshell, it is the scientific study of crime and criminal behaviour, investigating the nature and extent of crime, the possible explanations to criminal behaviour, including juvenile delinquency; the functions of criminal law; the study and rehabilitation of the victims of crime; and the strategies for prevention and control of crime. The main motive being a comprehensive study of the individual and society, in an attempt to provide an answer as to why and how people commit crime.
It is lucidly delineated in positive determinism that “every act had a cause”. What then is the cause of crime? What triggers criminal behaviour? Is crime simply a normal or natural phenomenon that occurs in all societies, as the Durkheimian sociology indicated? Or, are criminals the products of their innate constitution or a genetic factor? In other words, are criminals born in accordance with the Lambrosian theory? Why are there gender differences in certain crimes, especially the violent ones? Why are crimes more in inner cities or urban centres than in rural or suburban areas? Why is it that while some people commit crimes, others do not? Why is crime more pronounced among certain population groups than others? Is criminal behaviour influenced by either the psychological, physiological, social or environmental predisposition of the individual? Or, is it a combination of all these factors? Why are some people violent and others are not? These are some of the questions to be addressed. However, it is imperative to define what a crime is, before attempting to answer the above questions.
What is Crime?
It is difficult to present a universal definition of crime. The reasons are obvious, but foremost is the fact that acts defined as criminal vary with time and space. An act may be a crime in one society but not in another. Likewise, an act defined as a crime at one time may not be at another. In some cases, even if same or similar acts are defined as crimes in different societies, the gravity or seriousness to which each society views the act may be different. In addition, there are conflicting views on the definition of crime among jurists and social scientists, mostly bordering on ethical and ideological orientation.
On the definition of crime, a United Nations Research institute observed that:
Crime in the sense of a breach of a legal prohibition is a universal concept, but what actually constitutes a crime and how seriously it should be regarded, varies enormously from one society to another. Perceptions of crime are not determined by any objective indicator of the degree of injury or damage but by cultural values and power relations.

In a strict legal definition, however, a crime is a violation of the criminal law, which is subsequently followed by legal punishment. In criminal law, a crime is an act of omission, which attracts sanctions, such as fine, imprisonment, or even death.
A crime in law consists of two basic elements, the actus reus and the mens rea. The actus reus is the physical element or the guilty act, and it requires proof. Where there is no actus reus, there is no crime. It includes all the elements in the definition of the crime with the exception of the mental element. The actus reus could be made up of conduct, its consequences and the circumstances in which the conduct takes place.
Criminologists are very much concerned with all potentially criminal behaviour, but not only in the strict legal sense. The definition of crime among criminologists will therefore recognize factors such as value system, norms and religious attitudes in a given culture. Crime is therefore a reflection of cultural legal system, a violation of the rules agreed to be respected by all members of the society, and upon which the rest members of the society mete sanctions upon those guilty of the violation. It is for this same reasons that the legal system views crime as a public and moral wrong. It is public wrong because “crimes are wrongs which the judges have held, or parliament has from time to time laid down, and are sufficiently injurious to the public to warrant the application of criminal procedure to deal with them. Likewise, it is a moral wrong because, according to Lord Devlin:
There is a public morality which is an essential part of the bondage which keeps society together and that society may use the criminal law to preserve morality in the same way that it uses it to preserve anything else that is essential to its existence.

Criminal law is therefore seen to be concerned with public wrongs, or wrongs against society. Such wrongs involve acts of physical violence, such as murder and rape; infringement of property rights, such as theft, fraud and burglary; and crimes against health, morals, and public safety, such as prostitution, gambling, drug abuse, homosexuality, and so on.
Crime and Its Causes
All theories of criminal behaviour attempts to address the question why people commit crime on the assumption that such a course of action is inexplicable, therefore criminals are somehow different from the rest of society; and that there might be single cause of criminal behaviour. However, criminal behaviour cannot be explained by a single factor, because human behaviour is a complex interaction between genetic, environmental, social, psychological and cultural factors. In the first instance, there are many different types of crimes committed by different types of people at different times, in different places, and under different circumstances.
Any attempt therefore to find fixed

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