Low Self-Control and Criminal Behavior

Low Self-Control and Criminal Behavior

The relationship between low self-control and criminal behaviors has elicited mixed reactions among scholars. Several articles have been published to provide further insight into the theory of crime. In this discussion, a critical review of the article A Matter of Low Self-Control?Exploring Differences Between Child Pornography Possessors and Child Pornography Producers/ Distributers Using Self-Control Theory by Shelly, et al. develops its argument from past literature review to build a case for the validity of the theory. The original source, in this case, is Akers, 1991 ‘Self-control as a General Theory of Crime. A basic definition of the theory of crime in the article is derived from Gottfredson and Hirschi’s (1990). According to the article, people are rational and will always commit crime after estimating the expected consequences against rewards. In that respect, Shelly et al. offer a critical development of the Akers (1991) initial position that the desire to solve an immediate need override the consequences of one’s actions.

The concept of self-control shows a close relationship with the vulnerability of an individual to commit a crime. The article emphasizes that self-control is a tool that measures individual ability to restrain from undertaking an activity considering the negative consequences it will yield. Shelly et al. (2014) argue that self-control is a function of criminal behavior. In fact, the article provides another perspective and an example of deviant behavior that can help determine if self-control and theory of crime possess inseparable meaning. An example of cyber-criminals, Child pornography producers, distributors, and possessors all indicate different self-control. In fact, Shelly et al. (2014) focus on Akers (1991) who affirms that self-discipline is similar to the theory of crime. Further reading of the article shows an attempt to determine the level of self-control from the position taken by each offender in production, distribution, and consumption of Child pornography.

Moral deviance shows that individual producing Child pornography must have had past problem with drugs, violence or aggression. In other words, the article exhibits close connection with Akers’ (1991) argument. The emerging scholarly concerns in this topic are the issue of tautology between self-control and crime. Shelly et al. use the initial article to ascertain the theoretical relevance and validity of the role of self-control and crime. The article provides a better explanation reinforced by past literature and affirms the position of Akers (1991) in as far as how crime and self-control are related.

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