For adolescent crime victims, genetic factors play lead role

This is Assistant Professor Kevin M. Beaver of the Florida State University College of Criminology and Criminal Justice.TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Genes trump environment as the primary reason that some adolescents are more likely than others to be victimized by crime, according to groundbreaking research led by distinguished criminologist Kevin M. Beaver of The Florida State University.

The study is believed to be the first to probe the genetic basis of victimization.

"Victimization can appear to be a purely environmental phenomenon, in which people are randomly victimized for reasons that have nothing to do with their genes," said Beaver, an assistant professor in FSU’s nationally top-10-ranked College of Criminology and Criminal Justice. "However, because we know that genetically influenced traits such as low self control affect delinquent behavior, and delinquents, particularly violent ones, tend to associate with antisocial peers, I had reasons to suspect that genetic factors could influence the odds of someone becoming a victim of crime, and these formed the basis of our study."

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