Female violence is one concept that attracted the attention of criminologists over the recent past. A number of factors are associated with the rising cases of female violence. Using Lizzie Borden as a case study, it is clear that female violence can be caused by biological, environmental, social, and psychological factors. Lizzie Borden was arrested in 1892 for the murder of her father, Andrew Borden, and her stepmother, Abby Borden. This female violent offender was born in Fall River Massachusetts on July19, 1860. Lizzie Borden and her sister Emma lived with their father and their step mother. Andrew Borden and Abby Borden were found murdered in their home on August 4, 1892. Following police investigations, Lizzie was found to be the main suspect. She was arrested and later acquitted in 1893. She dies on June 1, 1972 before the case could be solved.
A close analysis of Lizzie Borden’s life reveals that biological, environmental, social, and psychological factors might have influenced her to commit crime. Various authors have documented that both biological and genetic factors influence antisocial behavior. According to Baker, Bezdjian and Raine (2006), biological factors such as neurological damage are directly associated with violent offending. For example, a person whose frontal lobe is damaged is highly likely to engage in antisocial behavior. Excessively aggressive feelings are believed to originate from severe pre-frontal damage. Neurological deficit in a child can result from negative experiences during childhood. According to the Independent (2015), many theorists believe that Lizzie Borden was suffering from epileptic seizures during her menstrual cycle. This places her into a dream-like state that made her to commit murder unintentionally.
An important environmental factor that shapes a child’s behavior is socialization. Socialization is defined as the manner in which a child interacts with people in her immediate environment and the way he or she does things. During childhood development, a child learns the values of the society by observing what people in his or her environment do. This explains why it is important to teach a child how to behave morally at an early age. Lizzie Borden did not grow up under the care of her real mother. Even though he father worked hard to ensure that Lizzie and her sister Emma lived a good life, the two were not in good term with their stepmother Abby Borden. Lizzie and Emma are reported to have been engaging their stepmother in frequent domestic battles. In such an environment, Lizzie could not obtain appropriate maternal guidance that could guide her to live a moral life through adulthood.
Since Lizzie had developed hatred for her stepmother, she happened to dislike her father even more because he loved he stepmother. According to Levy and Orlans (2004), a child who manages to secure parental love during childhood is likely to live a morally upright life in the society. The fact that Lizzie never loved her stepmother prevented her from receiving her love during childhood. This interfered with her ability to develop positive social behaviors. Additionally, Lizzie’s father, Andrew Borden, was a successful man in the fields of real estate development and manufacturing. He employed servants to take care of his home and to keep everything in order. This means that he had little time to offer parental guidance to his daughters, Lizzie and Emma. This might have given Lizzie and opportunity to interact with friends and to engage in activities that led her into murdering her father and stepmother.
It is normally difficult to identify specific psychological factors that might have contributed to a particular criminal behavior. However, it is possible to determine psychological influence on a given criminal behavior through analysis of family and individual factors. By studying a person’s life over a period of time, one can reveal the major psychological factors that might have influenced the person to commit crime. In Lizzie’s case, the psychological factors that influenced her to kill his father and stepmother can be determined by looking into her life from childhood to adulthood. As (Farrrington, 2013) points out, certain antisocial behaviors develop after a person has experienced a number of psychological problems.
Lizzie Borden and her sister Emma lived under the care of their real mother Sarah Borden and their real father, Andrew Borden during childhood. Unfortunately, Sarah Borden died when Lizzie was still a young girl. The death of her mother could have resulted into grief and depression that made her to view life differently. Following Sarah’s death, Andrew Borden married Abby, Lizzie’s stepmother. The life that Lizzie lived in the presence of her stepmother could have been completely different from the one she lived when her mother was still alive. This change in the nature of care resulted into additional psychological impacts. Therefore, Lizzie turned into the life of violence as a way of reacting to her negative psychological experiences (Farrrington, 2013).
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