>From the APA DSM IV
Antisocial Personality Disorder Diagnostic Features The essential feature of Antisocial Personality Disorder is a pervasive pattern of disregard for, and violation of, the rights of others that begins in childhood or early adolescence and continues into adulthood. This pattern has also been referred to as psychopathy, sociopathy, or dyssocial personality disorder. Because deceit and manipulation are central features of Antisocial Personality Disorder, it may be especially helpful to integrate information acquired from systematic clinical assessment with information collected from collateral sources. For this diagnosis to be given, the individual must be at least age 18 years and must have had a history of some symptoms of Conduct Disorder before age 15 years. Conduct Disorder involves a repetitive and persistent pattern of behaviour in which the basic rights of others or major age-appropriate societal norms or rules are violated. The specific behaviours characteristic of Conduct Disorder fall into one of four categories: aggression to people and animals, destruction of property, deceitfulness or theft, or serious violation of rules. The pattern of antisocial behaviour continues into adulthood. Individuals with Antisocial Personality Disorder fail to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviour. They may repeatedly perform acts that are grounds for arrest (whether they are arrested or not), such as destroying property, harassing others, stealing, or pursuing illegal occupations. Persons with this disorder disregard the wishes, rights, or feelings of others. They are frequently deceitful and manipulative in order to gain personal profit or pleasure, (e.g., to obtain money, sex, or power). They may repeatedly lie, use an alias, con others, or malinger. A pattern of impulsivity may be manifested by a failure to plan ahead. Decisions are made on the spur of the moment, without forethought, and without consideration for the consequences to self or others; this may lead to sudden changes of jobs, residences, or relationships. Individuals with Antisocial Personality Disorder tend to be irritable and aggressive and may repeatedly get into physical fights or commit acts of physical assault (including spouse beating or child beating). Aggressive acts that are required to defend oneself or someone else are not considered to be evidence for this item. These individuals also display a reckless disregard for the safety of themselves or others. This may be evidenced in their driving behaviour (recurrent speeding, driving while intoxicated, multiple accidents). They may engage in sexual behaviour or substance use that has a high risk for harmful consequences. They may neglect or fail to care for a child in a way that puts the child in danger. Individuals with Antisocial Personality Disorder also tend to be consistently and extremely irresponsible. Irresponsible work behaviour may be indicated by significant periods of unemployment despite available job opportunities, or by abandonment of several jobs without a realistic plan for getting another job. There may also be a pattern of repeated absences from work that are not explained by illness either in themselves or in their family. Financial irresponsibility is indicated by acts such as defaulting on debts, failing to provide child support, or failing to support other dependents on a regular basis. Individuals with Antisocial Personality Disorder show little remorse for the consequences of their acts. They may be indifferent to, or provide a superficial rationalization for, having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from someone (e.g., "life's unfair,' 'losers deserve to lose," or "he had it coming anyway"). These individuals may blame the victims for being foolish, helpless, or deserving their fate; they may minimize the harmful consequences of their actions; or they may simply indicate complete indifference. They generally fail to compensate or make amends for their behaviour. They may believe that everyone is out to "help number one" and that one should stop at nothing to avoid being pushed around.
Basically, this disorder is not just about the subject rejecting societal morality systems in favor of one's own, but rather a demonstrably harmful disregard for the welfare of others and of him/herself. Such a person, I would argue, is in fact incapable of constructing a coherent moral system of his/her own. Moral systems are formed out of a system of actions and consequences, and what actions are appropriate for a situation based on the results. Those suffering from antisocial personality disorder are not capable of putting any meaning to the consequences of their actions to themselves or others.
Reportedly, the major theory as to the genesis of the disorder is based on inconsistent, abusive and/or negligent parenting. Those with the disorder are often themselves abusive and negligent towards their own children. Thus creating the vicious cycle.
Some people just shouldn't have kids.
Eileen C. Krasowski