The topic was about inheriting sociopathy and how it is "handed down" from fathers. So, if you're thinking about hooking up with or marrying that "bad boy", consider that you may end up with "criminal kids".
A 20-year study at St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Washington, D.C., revealed that the brains of sociopaths are different, physically different from those that are not sociopathic. Psychiatrists at St. Elizabeth's, a hospital for those not guilty by reason of mental defect (where John Hinckley was incarcerated), did brain autopsies on many of inmates/patients and documented consistent differences.
Whereas the origin of sociopathic behavior is likely to be biological, psychopaths have a significant trauma and abuse element. Regardless, "bad wiring" plays a role in both conditions. Environment sets up conditions to "practice" the associated behaviors and we get good at what we practice. Essentially, factors in the environment create the "theme" of psychopaths such as sadism.
When the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary and Umpqua Community College in Oregon happened, there was a lot of commentary about the shooters being psychopaths. When their histories came to light, it was my impression that they were likely to be suffering from schizotypal personality disorder. Remember that the brother of the Sandy Hook shooter reported being told that his brother was autistic. You can't imagine the calls I got from the worried extended family members of my autistic clients. They were afraid to include them in holiday festivities for fear of them becoming violent.
Schizotypal. What's that like? Think the withdrawal and social interactional issues of autism. As a result of extreme anxiety and social distress, they can develop the delusional and psychotic symptoms associated with schizophrenia and when the "blow", they can become deadly. Schizotypal occurs in nearly 5% of the general population and that's a lot! In terms of the clinical population (those in treatment), schizotypal occurs from 0% to nearly 2%. This means that they are not in treatment. Considered to be "odd" and "different", isolated and essentially non-functioning in society, their distress goes unrecognized. They train their families well to simply accept their eccentricities. "That's just how he is."
My take away message here is that symptoms of developmental and psychiatric disorders and social maladjustment can "look" as though they overlap. Be careful about media personalities making diagnoses...more about that in a minute.
We wonder how CEOs can have such blind ambition and behave so ruthlessly? How can lawyers defend the obviously guilty? Can we talk about journalists and the media? What about salespeople, clergy, surgeons and police? How DO they do those jobs? These are some of the professions that attract sociopaths. WHAT??? These professions require charm, impulsivity, fearlessness, narcissism, reduced empathy, shallow emotions, low tolerance for boredom and yes, high IQs.
Think about a cop's job. Mostly thankless irritations occasionally punctuated by terror or a grateful citizen. It's brutal. If they were emotionally thin-skinned, they wouldn't survive. They wouldn't be able to help because they'd be so wrapped up in their own emotional reactions. Of course, they have to charm, cajole and manipulate us into cooperating with them and stop acting like fools. They carry the badge (and gun) of authority and are somewhat narcissistic because we tell them they are special. And, they are. Where would society be without cops? They are fearless and run into places we are running out of and their low tolerance for boredom keeps them sharp for all of the surprises that await them at every turn. Their strong intelligence helps them consider many options to solve the wide variety of problems they face daily. See? Works for society. Unfortunately, many of these traits cause havoc in their personal lives.
If you want to learn more about this topic, there are some very interesting and "easy reading" books (some of my favs):
The Wisdom of Psychopaths: What Saints, Spies and Serial Killers Can Teach Us About Success by Kevin Dutton
Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us by Robert Hare (he created the Hare Psychopathic Scale and is a full-on expert)
The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout
The Good Psychopath's Guide to Success: How to use your inner psychopath to get the most out of life by Kevin Dutton
The more you know, the better it will go,