Sexuality and Crime : A Neo-Darwinian Perspective book cover
1st Edition

Sexuality and Crime
A Neo-Darwinian Perspective

  • Available for pre-order on May 26, 2023. Item will ship after June 16, 2023
ISBN 9781032503172
June 16, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge
142 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations

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USD $170.00

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Book Description

Written by one of the leading figures in biosocial criminology and evolutionary psychology, this work explores the tight relationship between criminality and indiscriminate sexuality within the framework of life history theory. The underlying thesis is that traits associated with a strong libido, indiscriminately expressed, are intertwined with traits associated with criminal behavior; that is, excessive interest in sexual adventures pursued in an irresponsible way is undergirded by the same individual short-run hedonistic traits that define criminality. While traditional criminology tends to view sexual and criminal behavior as separate domains, many biosocial criminologists, evolutionary psychologists, neuroscientists, and behavioral and molecular geneticists are not at all surprised that a link exists between criminality and sexuality. Research shows that the statistical relationship between indiscriminate sexuality and criminal behavior is stronger than for most other variables associated with crime, although most studies dealing with this relationship are from outside the dominant environmentalism paradigm of criminology.

Using life history theory as the theoretical umbrella for exploring the relationship between indiscriminate sexuality and criminal behavior, the book explores how and why criminal behavior is related to hypersexuality. Life history theory, which has a long and fruitful history of use among evolutionary biologists who use it to investigate the relationship between mating strategies and the environment among various species of animals (including humans) is particularly suited to understanding how an exclusive focus on mating effort is related to criminal behavior.

This book will be of interest to scholars and students in criminology, psychology, and sociology, and anyone interested in examining the interconnection between biological, psychological, and socio-environmental factors in relation to criminal behavior.

Table of Contents

Chapter One: Bringing Biology Back In


Biosocial Criminology

The Fallacy of Genetic Determinism

Behavior and Tinbergen’s Four Questions

Chapter Two: Behavioral Genetics: Genes and Heritability

From Gene to Protein

The Concept of Heritability

Twin and Adoption Studies

Heritability in Different Environments

Shared and Non-Shared Environment

Gene-Environment Interaction and Gene-Environment Correlation

Chapter Three: Molecular Genetics and Behavior

Genetic Polymorphisms

Quantitative Trait Loci


Dopaminergic Polymorphisms and Criminal and Sexual Behavior

Chapter Four: How Criminal Traits Evolve and Are Retained

Crime is Normal


Cooperation Creates Niches for Cheats

Detecting and Punishing Cheats

Chapter Five: Evolutionary Theories of Crime

Evolutionary Theories of Crime: Past is Prolog

Cheater and Conditional Adaptation Theories

The Gender Ratio Issue

The Age-Crime Curve

Chapter Six: Life History Theory and the Covariance of Sexual and Criminal Traits

The Basics of Life History Theory

Human Life Histories and the K-Factor

Linking Sexuality to Criminal Traits and Behaviors

The Role of the Environmental on Life History Strategies

Chapter Seven: The Human Brain

The Enchanted Loom and Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory

Wiring the Brain: Experience Expected and Experience Dependent Mechanisms

Synaptogenesis as Neural Darwinism


The Serotonergic System

Norepinephrine and Epinephrine

Testosterone and Cortisol

Chapter Eight: The Antisocial Personalities: Psychopaths and Sociopaths

Differentiating Antisocial Personality Disorder, Psychopathy, and Sociopathy

The Psychopathy Checklist-Revised

Evolutionary Considerations

The Neurobiology of Psychopathy

Neurochemistry Associated with Psychopathy


Chapter Nine: The Sex Ratio, Fast Life Histories, and Crime

The Sex Ratio

Crime and the Sex Ratio

The Sex Ratio in the African American Community

The Sex Ratio, Illegitimacy, and Poverty

High Sex Ratios and Crime



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Anthony Walsh is a professor of criminal justice at Boise State University. He has taught biosocial criminology, statistics, and philosophy of law there for 34 years. He received his Ph.D. in criminology from Bowling Green State University in 1983. He worked as a marine, merchant seaman, police officer, and probation officer before entering academia at the age of 44. He is widely published, with 49 books and 150 articles and book chapters on a variety of topics including criminology and biosocial aspects of crime. He was awarded lifetime achievement awards from both the Biosocial Criminology Association and the Biopsychosocial Section of the American Society of Criminology for his research in biosocial criminology. His work has been featured on the Phil Donahue Show, Nova, and Nippon (Japanese) TV.