Sample Research Paper on The Genetic Science of CSI

The Genetic Science of CSI


In the animal kingdom, acts of aggression are essential for survival because they help the animals obtain food, protect their territory and also gain access to mates. The forms of aggressive behavior in animals are favored by the process of natural selection, due to the fact that they facilitate the reproduction of genes in such aggressive animals. In human beings, acts of aggression may also exist as a result of the consequences of reproduction that aggressive behavior had on ancestors. Behavioral genetics tends to explain the contributory roles of genetics and the environment to observed variations in behaviors of human beings. Just like any other science, behavioral science assumes that all-natural occurrences have scientific explanations explaining the causes behind their occurrences. However, it lays its focus on the relationship between variations in genetics and variations in behavior among individuals in a population.

The concept of behavioral genetics has been introduced into the field of criminology to help with solving crimes. It has been used as part of exculpatory evidence, in reinforcing any pre-existing legal defenses, and also in alleviating evidence during sentencing. This paper seeks to answer the question of whether behavioral genetic information should be admissible for sentencing (Farahany & Coleman, 2006).

Should Behavioral Genetic Information Be Admissible for Sentencing?

In my view, behavioral genetic information should not be admissible in the sentencing of a person who has been accused of criminal activity. My argument is based on the fact that numerous observations by researchers have shown that genetics of behavior does not in any way support the aspect that actions of human beings are as a result of their genetic makeup. The nature of studies carried out that have been carried out as well as the scientific results that have been achieved both represent a conflict that would put the person being convicted in a disadvantaged situation, were such information used to determine their sentence.

In addition, behavioral genetics does not necessarily offer an explanation as to the relationship that exists between the genetic profile of the individual and their behavior. It also does not offer an explanation behind the reasons why a person acts in a particular way. In other words, the causes of the particular behavior are not explained by the science, whose studies tend to lean towards generating a population statistic about the relationship between behavioral variation and genetic variation in a population. This is referred to as an estimate of “heritability.” Due to the fact that the statistic relates to a population, this heritability may diverge in terms of culture, environment, and age of the entire population being represented by the study. To further disregard this, the connection between the differences in genetic composition and the variation in behavior in the population does not expressly translate into an explanation as to the causes of the behavior at hand (Baker, Tuvblad & Raine, 2010).

To further expound on my argument against the use of behavioral genetic information in sentencing, I believe that as much as genetic variations may provide insight into the reasons behind an individual acting the way they do, these differences do not represent the entire story or scenario. Studies in criminal and antisocial behavior have reported the estimates of heritability to range between 0.12 and 0.62. This means that from the entire population used in the study, genetic variations only correlated with between 12 and 62 percent of the variations that had been observed in criminal or antisocial behavior for the specific populace. Therefore, genetic differences theory was unable to account for 38 percent to 88 percent of the observed behavioral variation in the populace (Farahany & Coleman, 2006).

The observations should be reason enough to depict that evidence sourced from behavioral genetics should not be introduced in criminal cases. In summary, behavior is not deterministic, estimates of heritability do not refer to individuals but rather relate to population differences, and variations in genetics do not solely explain differences in behavior amongst individual persons.


Baker, L.A., Tuvblad, C. & Raine, A. (2010). Genetics and Crime. Retrieved on 5th April 2014 from

Farahany, N.A. & Coleman, J.E. (2006). Genetics and Responsibility: To Know the Criminal from the Crime. Law and Contemporary Problems. 69; 115-165.