First Advisor

Dr. Bethany Lucas

Thesis Committee Member(s)

Dr. Amy Schreier


Dr. Amin Asfari


Regis College

Degree Name


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Number of Pages

55 pages


Violence is something we’ve all experienced to various degrees. Although murder is less common compared to other violent crimes, it nevertheless remains a devastating issue. It would be foolish to not allocate resources in search of a cure for murder. Modern genetics not only offers an answer, but a solution as well. What if we could identify murderers the day they were born? We have the technology to identify the genes (MAOA and CDH13) associated with murder, as well as the tools to edit them. There have been several movies and shows made regarding this theory, so why haven’t we implemented it? Well, a major flaw remains. Our genes are not the only cause for murderous behavior and therefore cannot be used to predict violent behavior. Our behavior is a result of both environmental and genetic factors (nature and nurture). Additionally, the low activity MAOA variant associated with murder is present in 40% of the population. However, crime statistics state that the number of murderers in the United States is significantly less than 40%. This indicates that MAOA alone does not dictate murderous behavior. It would be both dangerous and ignorant to accept the belief that certain genes are linked to violent behavior.

Date of Award

Spring 2024

Location (Creation)

Denver, Colo.

Rights Statement

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