We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
About those "two tracks" to psychopathy. I suppose I should be grateful that they acknowledge that there is one entirely or almost entirely hardwired track (whether genetic or prenatal). But the claim that the other cases are caused by bad environments - poverty, abuse - could also be just as hardwired. Parents carrying genes for psychopathy, violence, and lack of empathy are likely to live in bad places, be violent, and lack nurturing warmth toward even their children. Yet it doesn't have to be that environment that makes the kid a psychopath - it could be the original genes (and again, prenatal effects which could have genetic or environmental origin). We live in a culture where even the conservatives leap to the conclusion that environment is the main driver, we just think it's dads and firm discipline instead of poverty and uncaring attitudes.
The genetic inheritance of kids in bad neighborhoods is sometimes worse than average, right? Not always, but the average would be lower.
Assistant Village Idiot
I think that the article conflates psychopathy with conduct disorder. I have worked as a therapist with teen boys who had both an axis I diagnosis and a criminal offense. Many of my clients had behaviors and backgrounds as described in the article. However, not all (not even most) were psychopathic. Severe abuse leads to emotional numbness (not a technical term but hopefully descriptive of what I saw). A lot of these kids had the bad environment, physical ailments related to abuse/neglect, and a significant mental illness. Although these behaviors appear indicative of psychopathy, it isn't necessarily the reason/cause of the behavior. A final note on psychopathy; according to Hare, not all psychopaths are violent. When working with children you need to look at the whole picture. The difficulty with that is very often nobody on the team knows exactly what happened to the child prior to them entering care. If we are lucky, sometimes the child will tell us, but not always. It is amazing how much abused children will protect and defend an abusive parent and/or minimize their own experience of abuse.
It is quite possible and probable that many psychopaths live lives without any or much criminal or anti-social behavior. It is also possible and probable that there are people who would not be diagnosed as psychopaths either before or after they committed crimes, violence or other serious bad behavior. There are too many factors involved to be able to confidently predict future behavior OR to explain past behavior.
A common comment/joke in the neighborhood where I grew up was that a troubled youth or tough guy was likely to either be a cop or a criminal. It is not unreasonable to extend this logic to say that someone is likely to be a successful businessman or a criminal. The end result can and often is determined by a youth having a good or a bad influence in their life. This won't (necessarily) make a psychopath into a normal person but it can and often does convince one to focus their energies in legal and moral paths.
Yes, psychopaths are only about 1% of the population, and not all are violent. Conduct disorder does seem to be along a continuum, which is part of how the patient and their families rationalise the behavior. It's sorta normal boy behavior. Except it isn't, if you get a good look.
Assistant Village Idiot
AND, who shall determine this condition exists in an individual boy? The feminist psychologist who was allowed to pass through her education without serious academic accomplishment? Or, perhaps it is the divorced mother with three kids who is now a "social worker/therapist". You know the one that hates all white males! No, no, no. In the city of Seattle alone there was a "hushed up scandal" several years ago. Twelve hundred licenses to practice were questioned because of the local diploma mills. Oh well-- yeah you betcha I sure want those gals making the determination about young boys! What this country needs is more men like the Dallas 600.
Not more psychiatrists/psychologists/mental health practitioners, etc.
You have made a point that I think needs to be expanded. That is are all college degrees equal? Should a degree in Chicano Studies qualify you for any job where a degree is one of the requirements? Should a degree in Women's studies qualify you to be a teacher? Should these many commonly referred to as "hate studies" degrees even be offered by colleges? It is embarrassing that your college, the one you attended for four years and got your bachelors at, offers degrees in lesbianism or some other bizarre fake diploma. I get the degrees in English Lit even though it seems a little bit of a stretch to consider it to be worth it's own degree program. But a degree in African American studies?
What saddens me even more is we all know 'why' these degrees are offered. Not because there is a crying need for these graduates or because experts in the field have discovered great knowledge and wisdom in the field. No! These degrees are offered simply because without them we could not enroll and graduate the specific identity groups without them. It is tacit admission that the lesbians, African Americans and Chicano's could not successfully complete a degree in Math, English Lit, History, biology, science, etc. We have these "basket weaving" degrees simply because the basket weavers among us are unable or unwilling to study real subjects but yet we can't have a college that seems to exclude the stupid and other under represented groups. Is this what we want our higher education to look like?