steepholm (steepholm) wrote,
steepholm
steepholm

Criminal Types

Remember ASBOs in the Womb? Now comes the scientific justification. According to Joanna Nicholas, interviewed on this morning's Today programme, children from abusive homes are more or less criminals from the time they're born, because they have quite different brains from the rest of us.

The exchange comes 1:56 into the programme:

Joanna Nicholas: What people need to understand is that if a child is born in a house where there is domestic abuse, even before that child's born the make-up of their brain will be completely different from a child where there is---
John Humphrys [interested]: Really?
Joanna Nicholas: Yes, totally different. And how that manifests itself is, as that child grows up it has a lack of what we call victim empathy, so a complete emotional numbness. They have no understanding of the damage they're doing to other people, and when you talk to people who work in youth offending they say exactly this.

Now, Joanna Nicholas is a social worker, not a radio professional (still less a scientist), but this didn't sound like a slip of the tongue to me. If it really is the common belief of people who work in youth offending that all children born in abusive households become sociopaths in utero, then wtf!? Ben Goldacre, thou shouldst be living at this hour!

Oh right, thou art.

Edited: for clarity: 14.42
Tags: current affairs
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