Letters; April/May 2007; Scientific American Mind; by Staff Editor; 2 Page(s)
Your coverage of the psychobiological roots of violence in "The Violent Brain," by Daniel Strueber, Monika Lueck and Gerhard Roth, was interesting and compelling. Although their report seems to be accurate, I find problematic the article's near exclusion of a discussion of social factors involved in violence.
Certainly psychobiology can help explain the behaviors of some chronic violent offenders. Yet these extreme cases are rare; it is far more common to find offenders who commit violence as a result of weak bonds to society, goal frustration or other social problems. In fact, the Dunedin study profiled in the article mentions social factors as a likely reason for continued violence among life-course persistent offenders--not psychobiology.