Criminal error

August 29, 2003

Angela Pinter alleges that I have suggested that criminal tendencies are fixed and can be diagnosed at birth (Letters, THES , August 22).

At no time have I ever put forward such a ridiculous claim.

There are important genetic influences on human behaviour but that definitely does not mean that the traits are fixed.

The suggestion that criminality could be diagnosed at birth is even more preposterous.

Michael Rutter
King's College London

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