Authorities have long provided explanations on criminals’ behavior and the factors which affect it.
They have looked into concepts such as socialization, social structure and crime and thought that these things have significant effects on the criminal.Crimes can be explained by different theories of socialization. Livesey explains that arrangements are needed so that people can fit into existing patterns of behavior needed for them to behave in society (n.d.). This is socialization.
Through this, individuals can internalize the society’s basic values. According to modern sociologists, socialization is very important in shaping human behavior (Berger, 2006).According to the functionalist perspective, a person learns to behave in a society and behaves in a manner that is pre-defined by social structures. These social structures exist before any individual.Through the socialization process, individuals adapt cultural values. However, it also limits people’s horizon, perception of potential courses of action and so forth. For instance, deviation does not happen to people because they are irrational or bad. Deviation happens due to social pressure which limits their choices of action.
This probably explains Jerry Brudos, one of the serial killers of our time. He was born in South Dakota. He grew up with a mother who dominated and dictated her son. Then the whole family moved to California when he was young.
He started having a fetish for women’s spiked high heel shoes. Once he stole his sister’s shoes and hid them in his room so he could look at them from time to time (KEVO, 2006-2007). His shoe fetish worsened as it turned into fantasies that would give him sexual arousal.He kept on having fantasies about dominating women and keeping them in a freezer and placing them in positions that would satisfy him. His family again moved to Portland, Oregon where he committed most of his crimes.
Here in Oregon he graduated from high school. After graduation he enlisted in the army, but was discharged when he told his psychiatrist about his dream of a woman sneaking into his room at night.Brudos seemed to have a normal life after he was discharged from the army. When he was let out, he became an electronics technician. Then he met his future wife who was 17 and they got married and had two children.
However, his relationship with his wife faltered when she was shocked to see him wearing women’s underwear. Brudos thought that she did not understand his need to wear women’s underwear. They remained married and she went along with Brudos’ wants. It was reported that he also forced his wife to walk around the house naked and he took pictures of her which joined his other collection of photographs (Ramsland, 2007).Having a domineering and dictatorial mother has, in one way or another, caused Brudos’ behavior.
Ramsland (2007) reports that his mother did not want another boy because she already has two. His mother treated him with “criticism and disdain.” She had wanted to have a girl. If Brudos knew this, this might explain his sense of self. As he grew up, he resorted to fantasizing.Ramsland (2007) adds that at one time, Brudos’ mother caught him wearing the spike-heeled shoes he found in a dump.
He was told that those shoes were wicked. His mother’s strong reaction and being upset must have told young Brudos that “there was something about those shoes that was deliciously forbidden.” He not only collected shoes, but also female underwear. Touching these things gave him sexual feelings that he could not explain.Directly correlated consequences account for why certain actions are repeated (Himebauch, Kuhls, Thornton & French, n.d.).
Brudos kept on breaking in to steal shoes and underwear because it gave him satisfaction. Later on, he became violent by knocking down girls and stealing their shoes. He even dug a hole in a hill side where he could keep girls as his sex slaves (Montaldo, 2007).Brudos was admitted to the Oregon State Hospital for accosting a girl when he was 17. There doctors found out that Brudos’ deep hatred for his mother and revenge against women were the root causes for his sexual fantasies. When he was older, he became a serial killer, rapist, torturer and necrophiliac (Montaldo, 2007).According to Durkheim’s contribution to the functional theory of socialization, a high level of criminal behavior is disruptive (or dysfunctional) because it weakens the moral order in society. Durkheim also explains that when social norms lose their hold over individual behavior, it becomes dangerous.
This is a process called anomie. He also says that too high a kevel of criminal behavior weakens the collective conscience and produce anomie.Brudos’ turn into being a serial killer could have been avoided even when he was young.
A look into the past life of serial killers would show that at one point or another, problems stemmed from their own family when they were young. These problems could include physical abuse by any family member, molestation, being ignored by significant other or, in Jerry Brudos’ case, hatred as a result by his mother’s treatment to him.In Jerry Brudos’ situation, it is too late to make any changes. His bad turn to criminal behavior could have been avoided if his mother did not treat him with disdain just because he didn’t turn out to be a girl.
Moreover, children should be treated with care as they are very vulnerable to the outside factors affecting their behavior. Otherwise, these children may go the wrong path and develop an outlook toward criminal behavior.The Canadian Council on Social Development (n.d.) reports that social forces that affect crime are age, gender and social exclusion. The link between these forces and crime is very strong.
The report says that most crimes are committed against youths and that youths are also the offenders. Moreover, women were usually the victims and males the aggressors. In social exclusion, a person lacks a sense of belongingness, acceptance and recognition.
The report also says that those who are excluded socially are more vulnerable.