Lower Heart Rate in Adolescent Boys Partly Explains Gender Gap in Crime

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Olivia Choy Ph.D. candidate in Criminology Department of Criminology, University of Pennsylvania University of Pennsylvania

Olivia Choy

Olivia Choy
Ph.D. candidate in Criminology
Department of Criminology, University of Pennsylvania
University of Pennsylvania

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The higher rate of offending among males compared to females is a well-documented phenomenon. However, little is known about what accounts for this gender difference. As males have been found to have significantly lower heart rates than females and lower resting heart rates have been associated with higher levels of offending, we tested whether low heart rate may partly account for the gender gap in crime.

Resting heart rate at age 11 accounted for 5.4% to 17.1% of the gender difference in crime at age 23.

MedicalResearch.com: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Response: This study is the first to document that lower heart rates in males at age 11 partly explain their higher rates of crime in adulthood.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: One broad implication of this study is to encourage more rigorous tests of other constructs, whether social or non-social, that may account for the higher levels of male crime, in longitudinal studies.

MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: More generally, this study highlights the importance of incorporating biological variables into explanatory frameworks for the social and demographic causes of crime. This can lead to a more complete understanding of the etiology of criminal behavior.  

MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.

Citation:

CHOY, O., RAINE, A., VENABLES, P. H. and FARRINGTON, D. P. (2017), EXPLAINING THE GENDER GAP IN CRIME: THE ROLE OF HEART RATE. Criminology, 55: 465–487. doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12138

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