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For example, in the s Italian Criminologist Cesare Lombroso argued that criminals could be identified by the shape of their skull. His theory has largely been discredited and unaccepted.

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Another biological theory has to do with abnormalities in sex chromosomes. Criminals male have an extra Y chromosome which makes them excessively aggressive. There is however no real proof that these males are especially violent. There is no clear conclusive evidence that genetics is the main cause of crime. Genetics may predispose some individuals towards criminal activity. Recently, however, there is an increasing acceptance that biological factors do contribute to criminality; the only problem is to what extent.

A study by Sarnoff Mednick of several thousand boys in Demark between and showed that boys with criminal biological parents and non-criminal adoptive parents were more likely to have records than those with non-criminal biological parents and criminal adopting parents. Low IQ as a cause of criminality? The feebleminded may be unable to cope with complex social conditions and meet up to expectations.

He argued that if early childhood socialisation did not occur normally, the superego will be defective and the individual would not develop normal moral standards. He believed that very violent crimes are due to mental problems. Psychopaths total failure of the superego to develop ; there are however only a small number of criminals who are psychotic. Psychological theories can explain some aspects of crime, though due to the many types of criminal behaviour, it is unrealistic to suppose that all criminals share some common set of traits.

Personality Theories Certain personality types more prone to crime. For instance, the extrovert. These theories again do not explain for all cases of crime. Should acts of hate be criminalized? What acts should be considered hate crimes? Added punishment for these crimes has the potential to deter these acts. While some hate crimes may be isolated incidents, many are perpetuated by groups of people sometimes organizations whose goal is intimidation.

Stronger penalties would destabilize such movements.

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All forms of violent crime, whether they are murders, rapes, or beatings are an expression of hatred toward another human being. To add more punishment to a crime because it represents a particular kind of hate is to unfairly distinguish between different violent acts and trivialize those violent acts that do not appear to be motivated by hate. Such a distinction is also very hard to assess in a trial; there is a danger of unjustly branding someone as bigoted and punishing them excessively, e.

The fear of hate crimes significantly infringes upon the ability of minority groups to live a normal life. Their freedom of expression and group association is limited when they fear such expression, or simply being in public, puts their lives at risk. The government has an obligation to protect minority groups from persecution to ensure that they may be full and productive members of society.


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Hate crimes legislation may actually do more to chill free speech and association than the threat of the acts themselves. Such legislation essentially penalizes the thoughts, emotions, or motives behind an act. The act itself, if illegal, would already be worthy of punishment. Such policies set a precedent for punishing individuals who hold beliefs the government, or the majority of people do not believe. The potential exists for such precedents to later be used against the very minority interests the government seeks to protect in the present.

Policies opposing hate crimes have the potential to reshape negative societal attitudes, breaking down stereotypes and building understanding. Often people who hold racist views, or are committed to other ideologies of hate, are unwilling or unable to change their views. Moreover, the people who actually commit violent hate crimes may only represent a minority of those with feelings of hatred. Hate crime laws may actually make people who perceive themselves to be in the majority feel threatened, increasing their feelings of hate. International law, including various conventions related to the protection of human rights, would suggest a need for action by states to better ensure the safety of minority groups.

There is still substantial disagreement world wide about what constitutes a "human right". These differences are often culturally connected. Each state should be left to itself to decide what protections are appropriate for its people. Hate crimes policies, for certain countries namely the United States and the United Kingdom are critical to demonstrating moral consistency with regard to human rights.

Some nations routinely criticize other nations for human rights abuses or their failure to curb sectarian violence. To avoid hypocrisy these countries should make every attempt to afford their own minority groups the same protection they would want other governments to provide minorities in their countries. Generally speaking the types of hate crimes perpetuated in these countries do not rise to the severity of human rights abuses and sectarian violence observed in the countries routinely criticized. Moreover, these hate crimes are generally individual acts, or the acts of fringe groups and do not represent the view or policies of their respective governments.

In the countries routinely accused of major human rights violations there is often government support or tacit acceptance of these acts. Education system The institutional arrangements used in providing education in a country.

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In Singapore there are ten years of formal education, starting at age six in primary one. At the end of six years the child proceeds to secondary school for a further four or five years. The more successful continue with pre-university in preparation for tertiary education. See also 'Specialisation' and 'Streaming'. Equality in education One of the issues faced by many education systems is whether girls are given the same opportunities as boys.


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There is evidence in many countries that girls are under-represented in vocational and higher education as compared to boys, and also in the higher levels of corporate management Women are over-represented in semi-skilled and relatively manual tasks sales assistants, etc. In Singapore there is no sexual bias in education, with both boys or girls being taught the same syllabus. A number of factors have been suggested as affecting the educational progress of girls in many countries.

Parental socialisation Parents may sometimes expect boys and girls to have different interests and play different games at home. This may affect their later preference for subjects such as science and technology as compared to boys.

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Some would argue that the different outcomes for girls and boys in education and the workplace are compatible with equality. Both sexes are seen as of equal status but the role of the woman is seen here as being different to that of the man. Women have a more specialised and equally valued task in the home and in child-rearing, and the fact that they select certain subjects and careers is seen as consistent with their different role. Others would argue that girls are trapped into under-achieving at school and in later life by social values which cause them to avoid subjects and careers for which they are actually well-suited.

The reasons why many argue that it is an important subject include the following: You can only understand the present if you understand the past Many of the problems in the world today can only be understood in a historical context, i. History can often help us appreciate more fully the importance of certain ideals and groups of people. When we learn the 'cost' to earlier generations of providing us with much of what he have today, our respect for older people and for the values they struggled to preserve, is often increased.

A sense of national identity and common interest can, in this view, be important in cementing together the members of a nation. History is an academic subject in its own right, teaching us to examine evidence and to establish cause and effect.

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We can learn to think logically by studying History as much as by studying any academic subject. Critics who hold the view that there is too much emphasis on history in the curriculum often mention the following: History can sometimes be used for 'unworthy' ends, e. History spends too much time looking at the past and not enough time looking at the present. History is a subject that does not have the 'academic rigour' of science or technology. Specialisation This refers to the progressive concentration on particular courses as the child moves through school.

At the end of secondary two in Singapore children begin to specialise in a science, commerce, technical or an arts stream. This specialisation continues further in post-secondary and tertiary education.

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Streaming This refers to children being placed in similar-ability groups within a school. Streaming was introduced in Singapore in and was aimed at maximising the child's potential by providing different groups with different course to allow them to learn at their own pace. At the end of primary four streaming places pupils in three different kinds of classes. Advantages claimed for streaming include: Children receive the correct level of teaching for their ability. The whole class can be taught at the same pace.

In mixed ability classes, often the teacher has to teach more slowly to those with learning difficulties. Disadvantages claimed by those who oppose streaming include: If children are labelled as slow learners by being put in a lower stream class, they become slow learners self-fulfilling expectations! The sense of failure of children may be heightened by being placed in a lower-stream class, leading to behavioural problems. Teachers may make less effort with lower-stream classes.

Vocational education This is education geared in some way towards the needs of industry and of the future occupational profile of society. In many countries there is a debate whether more school subjects should be introduced which are 'vocational' in content.