Criminology theories on Jeffery Dahmer


Serial killers and sexual psychopaths are uncommon and for the individuals who do take part in such exercises, it is trusted that there must be a major issue with them and they are undoubtedly crazy. This research paper is based on Jeffry Dahmer, his choices in life and the method of crimes he committed. In my research paper, I will explore and establish the relationship between two criminological theories and Jeffrey’s criminal behavior, life, and personality. I will be able to demonstrate that Jeffrey’s life and criminal personality was all due to social control and psychological theories of criminology. I will seek to establish whether Jeffrey’s personality imbalances and social life influenced his life course. From my previous studies and research, I will be able to further studies on the validity of the two theories with respect to Jeffrey’s life on the impact of social life and psychological state of human mind in criminology

My research will further seek to answer the following questions:

  1. Was Jeffrey’s social life the problem or was it his psychological imbalances or both the cause of his venture into crime?
  2. What were the reasons behind his methods of murder and rape?
  3. What method in choice theory best describes him?
  4. What method in trait theory best describes him?
  5. What method in the social process theory best describes him?


In spite of the fact that Jeffrey Dahmer initially pled his case as far as craziness, he was discovered normally after being condemned to the 15 terms of life detainment. It is troublesome for standard society to understand the twistedness engaged with such fierce and brutal murders and considerably further, to understand what and how a man can pick up from perpetrating these offensive violations.

There are different measures of contrasting data and research on account of Dahmer, some contending a scope of mental sicknesses and mental conditions while others deciding on an instance of plain rational soundness and the ability of killing involving choice. Similarly, his childhood is talked about in an assortment of structures, some settling on a childhood of trouble, others differing and trusting he was an ordinary solid child who coincidentally took the wrong way.

Utilizing both Borderline Personality Disorder and the Pervasive Developmental Disorder, a plenitude of proof has announced Dahmer enduring correspondence issues, especially socially. In the case of starting in his childhood or early pre-adulthood, it seemed to play with his feelings at feeling like a consistent recluse, subsequently his explanations behind playing up and affronting expert figures, for example, instructors at an early age. A few psychopaths have been accounted for to have clear correspondence and social skills, finish with shallow appeal and knowledge which clashes Dahmer’s identity from various perspectives.

The beginning of his interest with perished creatures ought to have started a worry with any parent, a strange and stressing movement for any child to be keen on. Furthermore, his gathering of street kill, damaging the creatures to research their bones and interior structures and setting creature heads on a stake, ought to have rung enough alerts to warrant some type of early intercession. There is a plenitude of confirmation this is an early attribute of such irritating behavior, some of the time exacerbated by demonstrations of pyromania, shoplifting, and battling, which give off an impression of being missing from Dahmer’s childhood history.

Dahmer’s dread of dismissal and loneliness moved toward becoming supplemented with the organization of carcasses he had killed, appreciating the transitory passionate satisfaction. Irritatingly enough, he would gather their heads and bodies for a considerable length of time at once, in spite of the quick stench and also, ceaselessly shot the cadavers. This was potentially a sign of Dahmer making the most of his energy and control over the casualties and a demonstration of imparting a place of worship in his home.


In the 1980s and 1990s, there emerged a notorious serial killer and sex offender monster by the name of Jeffrey Dahmer. His name and actions dreaded masses across all states. He used to torture, rape and dismember his victims. His childhood life was ruined by psychological problems and he ended up acquiring social skills that would be admired by many. Having been ignored all his early life, he developed queer fantasies of cadavers. Unfortunately, even in his adulthood, his psychosocial status quo never changed but rather worsened.

Jeffery’s early life

Jeffrey was the son of Joyce Annette and Lionel Herbert Dahmer, born on May 21st, 1960 in West Allis. Jeffrey’s mother, Joyce Annette, gave birth to him after nine months of problematic pregnancy. Joyce pregnancy period was frequent with morning sickness and muscle cramps that made her survive on prescription drugs. Joyce and Lionel were normal fundamental American citizens and so was Jeffrey. Firstly, Jeffrey was loved dearly by both parents to extent that they had a record book where they recorded all their son’s early life events and changes in life. Jeffrey parents were both working, his father; an analytical chemist worked for long hours whereas her mother was a teletype machine instructor (Miller et al. 2009). Jeffrey definitely didn’t have a strong family both since both parents were working long hours to earn a living and support their son.

Joyce Annette had a difficult life living together with Lionel’s parents, her in-laws. Dahmer had to move to a place of her own in East Milwaukee. Jeffrey developed hernia complications at the age of four and had to undergo a life-saving operation. This marked the beginning of her psychological and personality change. As time went by, Jeffrey started to be isolated and less communicative.

In mid-1966, Jeffrey’s parents moved to Bath, Ohio since his father Lionel had been awarded a scholarship to further his chemistry studies. This time, Jeffrey mother, Joyce Annette, was pregnant. They lived in a house in the middle of the forested area which made Jeffrey more isolated as the parents went to work. In December 1966, Jeffrey’s brother David was born. This is the time Jeffrey was entering the first-grade school. Further, Jeffrey was tortured emotionally due to frequent marital differences occurred now and then (Miller et al, 2009)

The family marital problems worsened when Jeffrey’s younger brother suffered from colic, a medical condition with severe pain in the abdomen caused by wind or obstruction in the intestines and suffered especially by babies. At the age of eight, it is alleged that Jeffrey had reached out to children’s probation officer with claims that he had been sexually defiled by his neighbor. The officer did nothing to help her and as a result, his psychological condition worsened.

Even after joining the school, Jeffrey wasn’t social. He used to spend much of his time conducting experiments on dead insects and animals. This could have been facilitated by his early exposure to the world of chemist since his father was a chemist hence his behavior of dead animals experiments.

Later he joined Revere High School and his loneliness never reduced. He would try to join his friends in games but he couldn’t fit. He was too shy and even though he worked at the school newspaper, he was still unable to make friends with schoolmates. This forced him to engage in antisocial behavior just as in social control theory. Since he didn’t do well in class and the fact that his grades were just average, Jeffrey developed an alcoholism behavior. All his classmates and neighbors remember Jeffrey as an ashy boy that lived a lonely life and psychologically affected environment (Fitzgerald, 2005)

Unfortunately, at the age of eighteen, his parents separated and divorced. His mother went with his younger brother, David while Jeffrey was left with his father Lionel (Dahmer, 1994). The divorce was another setback to Jeffrey since he was unable to establish where her mother lived with his younger brother. He was fortunate to graduate from high school and he joined Ohio State University. At the university, he was unable to still to socialize but rather used most of her free time in alcohol drinking and even skipped most classes. Most of his classmates feared him and even avoided him. The national honor society director had taken an image of him at the university that was later used during her trial for psychiatric examination.

Jeffrey wouldn’t survive for long at the university and just dropped from the university after only two semesters. It is at this time in 1978 that his monster side started emerging after he murdered Steven Hicks (Davis, 1991). Jeffry father didn’t bother to understand him but after his dropping out from the university, he gave Jeffry an ultimatum to get a job or join the military. Jeffrey joined the military in 1979 and was sent on a mission to Germany. Due to psychological and emotional problems, Jeffrey advanced his alcoholism until he was discharged from the military in 1981 after serving for only two years (Silva et al, 2002)

He was given a ticket that he would use to go to any part of the country that he wished to and since he was afraid of his father, Jeffrey ended up at Miami Beach in Florida. He acquired a small casual occupation at a medical facility in Florida but was also fired due to alcoholism. It is at this time that he went back to West Allis to live with his grandmother in 1982. Alcoholism worsened and he was severally arrested for a drunk and disorderly charge. At one time his grandmother found stolen 357 Magnum and Mannequin in his closet and Jeffrey was arrested again in 1982 and also in 1986 for unmannered and indecent exposure.

His grandmother wouldn’t tolerate Jeffrey’s behavior she kicked her out on her home in the summer of 1988, (Miller et al, 2009) Jeffrey moved Milwaukee where he worked at Ambrosia Chocolate factory. Within 48 hours after he moved, he dragged and sexually defiled a thirteen years old boy. He was arrested and sentenced to five years probation remand in 1991 where he was registered as a sexual offender. Thereafter, Jeffrey began a string of miraculous and complicated murders, (Davis, 1991). He was charged with 15 counts of first-degree murder and Jeffrey was convicted to 15 years life imprisonment and was moved to Columbia Correctional Institution in Portage Wisconsin. Jeffrey was attacked severally by fellow inmates until the worse of all the attacks occurred in 1994 when fellow inmates attached Jeffrey with a bar and he succumbed to the head Trauma, (Schwartz, 1992)

Criminology theories on Jeffery Dahmer

Trait and choice criminology theories act as opposite ends of the theoretical spectrum at times. Choice criminology theory establishes that an offender makes a decision to commit a crime after considering personal needs/factors, for example, need for money and food, revenge and entertainment, and circumstantial/situational factors (i.e.,  how well a target is protected and the efficiency of the local police force). If the risks of crime are more than the proceeds from crime, the person may decide to forego the crime. No one would want to commit a crime yet he knows very well that he will be caught when proceeds from crime are less than the risk involved.

Reasonable choice scholars see wrongdoing as both offense-and guilty party in particular. Offense-particular is that the wrongdoer will respond specifically to the attributes of an individual criminal act. In the event that it is, in reality, a guilty party wrongdoing then that implies that culprits are not robots who participate in unthinking, unplanned random demonstrations of introverted behavior. The part that best portrays Jeffery Dahmer would need to be offense-particular since he was the sort of individual who was continually thinking about how he needed to kill individuals that he carried home with him. Dahmer was working in the daytime and during the evening he would go to bars and get young fellows. This sort of choice theory that speaks to him is he was extremely educated he recognized what he was doing and how he would do it.

Trait hypothesis is that biological (genetic) cosmetics controls human behavior; it takes after that it ought to likewise be in charge of deciding if a man picks law-damaging or conventional behavior. Or maybe, every wrongdoer is viewed as special, physically and mentally; thusly, there must be distinctive clarifications for every individual’s behavior. Indeed, even the most dedicated attribute scholars perceive situations conditions in inconvenience internal city zones may affect solitary behavior.

Since not all human are conceived with level with potential to learn and accomplish (equipotential), the mix of physical qualities and the earth produces singular behavior designs. The impact of harming chemical and biological contaminants may start before birth if the moms eating regimen either needs or have an abundance of imperative supplements, (for example, manganese) that may later reason developmental issues in her posterity. By being open to such materials the result when the infant is conceived is likely the child will acquire certain attributes from the mother they will pretty much be discouraged.

They will either develop a propensity like their mom or more awful. Specialists demonstrate that over the top admission of specific metals, for example, iron and manganese might be connected to neurological dysfunctions, for example, scholarly hindrance and consideration deficiency hyperactivity issue (ADHD). Research demonstrates that relentless variation from the norm in the way the brain processes glucose (sugar) can be connected to withdrawn behaviors, for example, substance manhandle. The characteristic hypothesis that takes after Dahmer would need to be biosocial hypothesis since he was an overwhelming drinking. His hormones were overwhelming impact so that is the thing that drove him to look for thrills he needed to dependably kill young fellows and engage in sexual relations with their body.

The reason is that the lawbreakers take in the techniques and attitudes of wrongdoing from close and private associations with criminal companions; wrongdoing is an educated behavior under the social process theory. Differential Association Theory is frequently viewed as the prevalent U.S. criminologists; Sutherland first set forth his theory in his 1939 content Principles of Criminologists. Sutherlands inquire about on office wrongdoing, proficient burglary, and knowledge drove him to question the idea that wrongdoing was an element of the deficiency of individuals in the lower classes. Criminal behavior is found out this announcement separates Sutherland’s theory from earlier endeavors to order criminal behavior as an inalienable normal for offenders.

Learning is a result of associations that criminal behavior is found out as a side-effect of cooperating with others. Sutherland trusted people don’t begin damaging the law essentially by living in a Criminogenic domain or by showing individual qualities, for example, low IQ or family issues, related with guiltiness; Learning criminal behavior that includes gaining the techniques of carrying out the wrongdoing. Perceptions of the legal code impact thought processes and drives is the particular course of intentions and drives is found out from perceptions of different parts of the legal code as being positive or horrible. The social procedure theory that best clarifies Dahmer is the differential association theory since it clarifies how criminal behavior is found out and Dahmer did gain from grabbing dead creatures and does analyze them. He was exceptionally inquisitive on how they were he even adapted a few techniques while he was killing individuals. He would discover better approaches to figure out how to kill individuals and how he did it. Dahmer would attempt to understand by performing investigates his casualties to check whether he can protect their childhood always with the goal that they would remain youthful until the end of time.


The theory that was helpful in clarifying the wrongdoing was social process theory in light of the fact that Dahmer adapted new techniques and how he understands. He was extremely shrewd when it came to killing and how he would draw them to his home. He knew what to state in the event that he was suspected he was a smooth talker. Notwithstanding when one of his casualties was attempting to escape and raced to the cops he would persuade them despite the fact that he was a pedophile on post-trial supervision. Dahmer express numerous characteristics as to his decisions he made and how he learned distinctive methods for his killing strategy.

The thought of social control theory and mental theory is that everybody has the capacity to carry out a wrongdoing and this could be exceptionally very much impacted by their mental perspective. Jeffrey Dahmer was a strongly agitated child who experienced childhood in a domain dismissing him fuelling his loneliness. As a grown-up, his insecurity just heightened. This has uncovered that parental childhood is of central significance in a child’s development of social skills. As observed with Jeffrey Dahmer he didn’t get that socialization bond be it with his parent or other individuals throughout his life. Completely through his childhood, Jeffrey Dahmer was disregarded and developed a method for seeing himself as an untouchable, rejected by society.

This loneliness and feeling of dismissal developed to the point that it irritated his impulse to carry out the tremendous wrongdoings of murder, necrophilia, and savagery. As observed from his life story he didn’t have cozy connections that could have stopped him from perpetrating the wrongdoing as the social control theory recommends. In his loneliness Jeffrey filled that void with dismembering creatures, a behavior later found in his wrongdoings. It would thus be able to be presumed that creation and sustaining of social bonds are exceptionally basic in childhood socialization and in the development of stable mental perspective.

To entirety up my decision, I trust that the marginal identity disorder plays the most essential mental part of Dahmer’s passionate and mental security. A key quality of this disorder is flimsiness, which could clarify why Dahmer occasionally killed a casualty and this fluctuated throughout the years with more casualties towards the finish of his profession. The reality he encountered an absence of relational connections implied he could substitute his cozy wants with cadavers, until the point when he was fulfilled without anybody appreciating his suspicious behavior. It is hard to analyze something concrete by using the assets and reports on his past behavior yet understanding conceivable mental hypotheses could empower the development of a mental treatment to future guilty parties.


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