Psychopathy: The Understanding Of Psychopaths
The relation between psychopathy and biology truly remains a mystery yet still holds a vital link to understanding the biological basis of psychopathy. Biology is the science of life focusing on structure, function, growth, origin, evolution, and distribution of living organisms. The definition of psychopathy is a personality disorder defined by a constellation of affective and behavioral symptoms.
Psychopathy refers to a more serious disorder linked to genetic traits (William Hirstein). It is recognized as the most dangerous of all antisocial personality disorders because of the way psychopaths dissociate emotionally from their actions, regardless of how terrible those actions may be (Scott A. Bonn). Psychopaths have no conscious compared to a sociopath. Sociopaths have a slight sense of “right and wrong” whereas a psychopath has no sense of guilt unless caught in the moment and mimics emotion to avoid being “caught” (Ali Venosa). Another key difference is in their behaviors is the ability a psychopath has in blending in. Psychopathy in victims share traits such violent history or an experience that may have resulted in depression.
As humans, everyone transfers messages and experiences differently. John Hinckley Jr. suffered from depression and obsessive tendencies throughout his life (John Hinckley Jr. Biography). He quit college in 1976 and moved to California where he aspired to be a songwriter, but it never worked out. After moving back to his parent’s home in Colorado, Hinckley Jr. grew a fascination for a 1976 film featuring Robert De Niro and Jodie Foster; the movie is called Taxi Driver. The film is about a cab driver who wants to save a young prostitute and stalks a presidential candidate. Soon Hinckley’s fascination for the film, Taxi Driver, grew into an obsession for the actress Jodie Foster and an opportunity. Charles Whitman is another example of a “normal American” who in time revealed psychopathic tendencies. Whitman was born on June 24, 1941, in Lake Worth, Florida. He grew up with a strict father who had a violent temper. He also served as a Marine and then enrolled in the University of Texas studying architecture (Charles Whitman Biography). Whitman experienced boot camp in South Carolina, earning him a sharpshooter ranking, and served at Cuba’s Guantanamo Navy Base for more than a year (Charles Whitman Biography).
Andrea Yates is an example that fell victim to the effects of psychopathic tendencies. Andrea Yates was a mother of five children, who murdered her children. Andrea was a stellar student and class valedictorian. She married in 1993 to Rusty Yates, who was a follower of a preacher Michael Peter Woroniecki. The Woroniecki’s condemned the Yates for their hypocritical Christian lifestyle; he said that the Yate’s children were doomed due to their parent’s sins (Andrea Yates Biography).
In 1999, Yates was treated for postpartum depression and psychosis illnesses that ran in her family. Andrea Yates psychopathic stage was triggered by paranoia after the birth of her children. With substantial evidence of biology plays a key role in explaining the offender’s criminality. John Hinckley, Andrea Yates, Charles Whitman and all played victim to psychopathy and all shared similar traits exposing genetic and physiological evidence that supports the notion of biology being an important key to understanding psychopathy. John Hinckley already had a history of depression and was known at some point to be taking psychiatric treatment. Charles Whitman grew up in an abusive home with a cruel father; not only did that environment play a role in his development but the influence and effects his father had contributed to Charles Whitman’s future behavior. This helps support behaviors that align with behaviors indicative of a psychopathic individual.