Today, many of us, who have never even met the bandits in person (and God forbid!), Have, however, a clear idea of how these narrow-minded creatures should look.
Maybe these stereotypes came to us from action-packed television films, where the role of bandits is sometimes embodied by actors with characteristic facial features? But, most likely, these are echoes in each of us of the theory of Cesare Lombroso about the innate nature of crime, with which this Italian psychiatrist was able to thoroughly stir up the entire European society in the 19th century.
They do not become bandits, but are born immediately.
Lombroso defended the assertion that people do not become bandits, but are immediately born by them, that all criminals already from birth have some "genes of villainy", which completely predetermines the life path of the future criminal.
No amount of upbringing can correct a person who is born a criminal.
Lombroso considered such people to be underdeveloped, having much in common with animals. Therefore, C. Lombroso suggested identifying such individuals from childhood and immediately isolating them from society (taking them to uninhabited islands), or even depriving them of life.
The perpetrator can be identified by his appearance.
Further, Lombroso makes a logical conclusion for his theory: if the genes of crime are present in a person from birth, then they cannot but affect his appearance. That is, criminals can be distinguished from respectable people by their external data.
He wrote that the distinctive features of the bandits are: a low forehead, an asymmetrical skull, a flattened nose, developed superciliary arches, a gaze from under the forehead, massive jaws and others, and it is by these signs that one can always recognize a person with criminal inclinations.
Why is Cesare so deeply involved in the study of criminals?
A Jewish boy, born in November 1835 in the Italian city of Verona and having received a good education in several European universities, at the age of 19, he began to publish his first works on psychiatry.
And in 1859, Cesare changed his scientific activity to work as an army surgeon, and during these years he often had the opportunity to take part in the then campaigns to combat crime in the south of the country. This is what prompted the inquisitive psychiatrist to conduct his first studies. He made measurements of parts of the faces, the shape of the skulls of the caught bandits with the help of a device he invented - a "craniograph" and subjected the collected material to statistical processing.
Cesare Lombroso identified 4 types of criminals: thieves, murderers, rapists and crooks. And for each type of "degenerates" he described his features in appearance.
Continuing to work in the field of psychiatry: from 1871 he headed a psychiatric hospital, and from 1876 - the department of psychiatry at the University of Turin, Lombroso wrote his most significant work, "The Criminal Man."
The Lie Detector is an invention of Cesare Lombroso.
Another achievement of Cesare Lombroso is the invention of the first lie detector. Lombroso suggested monitoring the blood pressure of the suspect during interrogation, and judging by the jumps in the indicators about the truthfulness or falsity of what the person said.
Criticism of Lombroso's theory.
But the theory of Cesare Lombroso, despite its sensational fame, immediately received a lot of criticism, because the psychiatrist exaggerated the biological and completely did not take into account the social component in the cause of crime.
But Lombroso's techniques for measuring skulls were adopted by the Nazis and used in concentration camps before sending people to camp ovens. Although Lombroso himself died in 1909 - long before the birth of fascism, this fact served to denigrate his theory of genetic crime.
It should also be noted that closer to old age, the psychiatrist made some amendments to his teaching: he began to argue that only 40% of criminals are incorrigible, and 60% can still be corrected.