Who is the Victim.

Who is the Victim? Violence stands to be a potent threat to the society in the sense that violent behavior tends to be a precursor to some of the most heinous crimes and social ills. That is why since times immemorial, scholars, academicians and experts have tried to extend and propound varied theories to explain the violent behavior. Psychological and biochemical tend to be two salient approaches towards explaining violent behavior that differ in their approach and perspective. In a pragmatic context, psychological theories of violent behavior extend a more credible explanation for violent behavior and crime.

Psychological theories of violent behavior tend to be an assortment of theories affiliated to the discipline of psychology that analyze the individual and social aspects of a person’s psychology to explain any predilection towards violence. For instance, psychoanalytic theory of violent behavior takes into consideration varied intrapsychic processes associated with a person like unconscious conflicts, sexuality, defenses, anger and tendencies to account for and explain any violent behavior (Adler & Denmark, 1995). Behavioral theory revolves around the prominent learning processes in the life of a person like past experiences, rewards and punishments and stimulus to sought out a valid explanation for engaging in violent behavior (Adler & Denmark, 1995). In addition, psychological theories also tend to delve over varied other factors like important personality processes like antisocial predilections, lack of emotional depth, sociopath or psychopath temperament, and the accompanying intellectual processes like a low IQ, poor decision making abilities and poor school performance to arrive at any conclusive explanation for a violent behavior (Adler & Denmark, 1995).

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In contrast, biochemical theories of violent behavior take an entirely different approach towards explaining a violent temperament. The crux of the biochemical theories of violent behavior is that people are moved to violence owing to varied biochemical disturbances and imbalances in their body which influence their brains and move them to engage in violence (Raine, 1993). Some biochemical theories suggest that the abundance of male sex hormone testosterone is directly linked to violent and aggressive behavior (Raine, 1993). Some other biochemical theories of violent behavior hold that there exist many biochemical precursors of violent behavior like nutritional deficiencies, environmental contaminators and poor eating habits (Raine, 1993).

In a practical and commonsensical context, the psychological theories of violent behavior stand to be more credible predictors of crime. The premise of the biochemical theories that violent behavior could be traced to biochemical excesses, deficiencies or influences could not be extended and generalized to all instances of violent behavior and crime. The behavior and actions of individuals do get influenced by biochemical factors. However, it is only in rare instances that biochemical factors move a person to violent behavior and crime. In contrast, violence and crime to a great extent tend to be learned behaviors, and their reasons could quiet realistically be traced to the inner motivations and the outer social environment of a criminal.

Conclusively speaking, the psychological theories of violent behavior stand to be more pragmatic and believable as compared to the biochemical theories of aggression.


Adler, Leonore Loeb & Denmark, Florence L. (1995). Violence and the Prevention of

Violence. Westport, CT: Praeger.

Raine, Adrian. (1993). The Psychopathology of Crime. San Diego, CA: Academic Press.

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