What Makes a Serial Killer
How it works
In the essay author LaDonna Beaty discusses the causes of serial killers. Early naive experts proposed all serial killers shared similar grotesque physical characteristics. Today we know there are no definitive physical characteristics shared among all serial killers besides that they are most commonly white males between the ages of twenty-five and thirty-five and are oftentimes physically attractive and highly ambitious. There are many theories about how people become serial killers. One such theory proposes that our violent society is responsible.
Violence in our culture is oftentimes seen as acceptable and in some circumstances preferable.
Children, for instance, are exposed to cartoon violence frequently. It is believed that after so much exposure to violence they become desensitized to it and begin to see it a acceptable behavior. Aggressive behavior at an early age is common among most serial killers. Another theory suggests family life has a huge impact on people becoming murderers. They oftentimes have no good male role models, move frequently, receive little nurturing, and experience psychological or even physical abuse all at a young age.
In contrast, one theory renounces the premise that a serial killer is a lost, lonely, abused child. Stating that the child was rejected by his family but only after exhibiting defiant and threatening behavior time and time again. The parent gives the child the distance they crave to maintain peace in the household. It also disputes the claim that violence on media affects a child’s brain and can turn them into killers. Consequently, the effect of mental disturbance cannot be ignored. While most serial killers have histories of mental illness; due to the stringent requirement of the mental health care system oftentime these criminals are not hospitalized. Furthermore, recent studies have been considering the genetics of serial killers. Scientists have studied the effects of the limbic system and electric impulses in the temporal lobe of the brain.
They have shown that temporal lobe epilepsy has been linked to aggression, paranoia, and antisocial behavior. Other biological factors such as levels of testosterone, neurotransmitters, and patterns and other trace minerals are also under analysis. Moreover, a noted common trait among serial killers is the heavy consumption of alcohol. It is unclear whether this correlation is caused by external factors or acts as a stimulus that causes certain behavior. Whether alcoholism is inherited from the biological parent or is a learned behavior is under debate. Alcohol is known to intensify depression and anxiety, which can lead to irrational feelings and actions.