As to the law of similarity, Aristotle holds that persons following similar criminal traits come closer and associate themselves into bigger gangs. Again, the beginners learn patterns of their seniors and associate themselves with their criminal activities. The psychological tendency to act in a similar way by observing or imitating the behaviour of others can make persons follow criminality in life.
Likewise, contrast between criminals and non-criminals as to their association and behaviour also leads to strifes and clashes which ultimately aggravate crime. Speaking about the laws of succession in time, Aristotle suggests that human conduct is a phenomenon that persists through unbroken links.
That is to say, various behavioural norms are followed from generation to generation in succession. Though with the change in time and circumstances these patterns may undergo a change, nevertheless, their basic values remain unchanged. Aristotle asserted that criminality is one of such norms which has been continued all over the world from ages though in varying degrees with changes in time and place.
Finally, he stressed that it is the desire for co-existence which causes delinquents to form their associations for helping each other in their criminal pursuits. Evidently, these trends have psychological effect which lends a person into criminality.
Psychological depravity in a person due to his physical defects and incapacities also have an important bearing on criminality. Thus, persons who are deaf, dumb or those who suffer from white spots, eye-squints and other physical deformities meet disgust and ridicule thereby suffer loss of social status hence they tend to commit crimes more frequently.
Likewise, persons with ugly look and dark complexion also tend to behave criminally and mostly indulge in sexual offences because of the inferiority complex in them which makes them think that they are being neglected by fair sex due to hatred and indifference.
This generates in them a feeling that they are out-caste and their dissatisfaction, revengeful attitude towards women and irritation instigates them to resort to criminal acts in an effort to achieve what they could not otherwise get through legitimate means.
Conversely girls with masculine features or offensive complexion are ridiculed not only by the males but also their own womenfolk and therefore, they deviate from their normal ways of life and do not even hesitate to indulge in sexual-crime in an effort to overcome their inferiority complex.
Besides the physical defects, failure in competitions or unsuccess at the examinations and strained marital relations also affect sensitive persons psychologically and they become so desperate that they do not even hesitate to throw themselves into criminality in an attempt to forget their unpleasant experiences with a view to escaping from the realities of life.
Frustration causes emotional disturbance in them and aggression eventually culminates into delinquency. Attempted suicides, alcoholism, assaults, homicides and many similar offences are often the outcome of this psychological trend of criminals who are not bold enough to face the hazards of life.
The problem of securing suitable match for unmarried girls in India has become a social problem these days; with the result girls remain unmarried till a very late age. Consequently, their psychological urges on the one hand and the sense of being a burden on the family on the other, upsets their mental equilibrium and those who cannot resist their passion quite often indulge in prohibited sex exchanges and thus fall an easy prey to sexual criminality.
Another remarkable feature regarding psychology and its relationship with criminality is that males are more prone to criminality than females. The percentage of women delinquency in India and elsewhere is far lower than those of male offenders.
Commenting on this point Sutherland observes, “those variations are probably because of the difference in the social position of the girls and women as compared to boys and men. The girls are brought up and supervised most carefully and taught what must be nice while the boys are taught to be rough and tough and the boy who adopts the behaviour of girls is regarded as ‘sissy’ among his fellow boys and laughed at”.
It appears that this variation in sex ratio in crime is due to the fact that girls and women predominantly play the role of housewives while the male members play the masculine role of supporting and protecting the family. However, it is a different matter, this differentiation does not hold good in the present era of gender equality and women’s empowerment.
Like alcoholics, narcotic drug addiction is also regarded as one of the psychopathic traits of criminal behaviour. Lindsmith observed that a man may start using narcotic drugs for two obvious reasons. He may start it out of sheer fun or curiosity or observance of folkways or he may initially start using them as a medicine for his ailment and subsequently get addicted to it due to prolonged use.
These addicts suffer distress when the supply of drugs is withdrawn and often resort to violence in an attempt to secure the dose. Moreover, drug addiction produces physical and mental deterioration and the addicts frequently resort to crimes such as theft and vagrancy to seen re money for procuring drugs.
That apart, addicts too often associate themselves with the underworld characters and pick up criminal tendencies for acquiring the supply. Thus, unknowingly they lend into criminality without any real intention on their part to become criminal.