Re: Age and violence stats

Michael Lorrey (
Tue, 30 Jun 1998 21:23:31 -0400

Harvey Newstrom wrote:

> > >>> Max More <> 30/June/1998 03:47pm >>>
> > >I believe that older people tend to commit fewer violent crimes (and not
> > >just those who are in hospital beds). If true, this might be turned into a
> > >cultural-effects argument in favor of extending our lifespans. If violent
> > >crime primarily comes from youngsters, the more older people there are
> > >and the lower the birth rate, the lower the level of violent crime that we
> > >should expect.
> >
> > Your belief is bolstered by fact. I remember reading a SA article several
> > years ago that linked the number of teenagers (as a percentage of
> > population) with the rise and fall in the incidence of violent crime in the
> > US. Unfortunately, I don't remember which issue it was in; you could try
> > a search on their web-site though.
> To establish the relationship between age and violence, one would need
> to eliminate other age-related factors. I believe that wealth increases
> with age. I believe that a lack of money is the leading cause of
> violence. Persons with money resort to violence less often to obtain
> what they need or desire.
> Before promoting advanced age as a PR point, consider the negative PR
> that advanced age may bring to mind.

There is also the factor that crime tends to be higher in welfare states that
limit support to males beyond childhood. Once the boys grow up and can't live off
the welfare trough, which they have been raised to beleive they are 'entitled'
to, they certainly are pissed.

There is also another physiological/environmental factor at work. Lead ingestion
in childhood has been difinitively linked with agressive behaviors and higher
incidence of criminal activity. Since homes that still have lead paint in them
(which children are prone to eat because the lead compound tastes sweet) are
typically occupied by poor people, poor people tend to have a higher incidence of
criminal records than more affluent people. However, there is an additional
factor at work. Researchers have often wondered why rural poor people, though
just as likely to live in lead paint infested dwellings, have a lower incidence
of criminal records than urban poor. One contributing factor may be the use of
fluoridation in drinking water. A recent study shows that flouridated water will
increase the human body's ability to absorb lead from the digestive tract, thus
raising the body's level of lead for a given diet of lead paint. So poor people
growing up in rural lead painted homes with sources of drinking water that are
not flouridated are going to have a lower average lead level in their body than
urban poor people, and thus have a lower agression level, and liklihood of
commiting violence.

As to the age connection, one can simply look at it as a process of elimination.
Young violent offenders typically commit violence against other violent
offenders. By the time they are old, the most violent have been killed off, put
in jail for life, while the smart ones have gotten away with it and might have
learned their lesson. So older folk are less likely to be violent because the
members of their generation that were violent are already dead.

   Michael Lorrey
------------------------------------------------------------ Inventor of the Lorrey Drive
MikeySoft: Graphic Design/Animation/Publishing/Engineering
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