Last week, former Kerala DGP (prisons) Alexander Jacob, was speaking at a talk show on Asianet Plus when he made several startling statements, backed by seemingly bizarre logic, on how some people became criminals.
Discussing about "Criminal Tendency in Adolescents" on the show called "My Doctor", Jacob said, "In America and France, scientist researched about people who have done shootouts in public places, especially schools. They found that 80% of them were born to caesarean birth. The new born sees the doctor holding a knife dripping with his motherâ€™s blood, no wonder that the child has criminal tendencies.â€ť
Firing another salvo of his theories, he said â€śsome people are born as criminals. Women are born with XX chromoses, men with XY chromosomes. But some people are born with XYY chromosomes, they are born as criminals and will be so during their lives.â€ť
â€śRipper killers are born to forceps delivery. They have a higher tendency to hack people on the head," he continued.
While there does not seem to be any concrete research on the forceps or C-section theory, on the XYY-chromosome front, nothing has been proven.
The News Minute spoke to a few psychiatrists and asked them if children born through C-section, one of Jacob's most sweeping statements, end up having criminal tendencies in later life.
Dr V Jayanthini, a child psychiatrist based-out of Chennai, said that such a research is news to her.
"In my 40 years of experience, I've not seen a single such case where the child said that he or she remembers seeing a bloody knife associated with child-birth. The infant does not know what C-section is and can't really see blood. During child birth, once the baby is born, the medical staff will make sure that his/her eyes open and then they are made to cry. By that time, the mother is also cleaned up," she said.
Adding that a huge number of babies born in several parts of the world are through C-section, she asked, "how many of them are criminals?"
While she has not heard of the research, she said that any such study needs to be done on a huge scale to come to reliable conclusions and that we can't go by the findings of one single research.
"I don't know how far the research is true, but I have never seen or experienced any such case. And I have come across a lot of kids who had problems and those who did not," she added.
Dr Kumar Babu, a general psychiatrist in Chennai also holds the same view.
"Recollection at birth is so impossible. Also, coexisting things need not co-relate," he said.
Explaining the concept further, he said, "If there is an increase in robberies in Bengaluru in summer, we can't say that it is because of the heat. It could be because more robbers come to the city around this time. Or lets say, there are 100 murderers and all their names start with the letter 'K'. This does not mean that if you give a 'K' name to your baby, he/she will turn out to be a murderer. So things that co-exist need not co-relate."
Jacob had also said that mothers who read crime or thriller novels during pregnancy, some of the children born to them turned to be criminals. On the other hand, he said referring to a study, some children (not all) born to mothers who read novels about saints during pregnancy eventually became priests and nuns. Similarly, some who were born to women who read books on scientists and researchers became scientists.
Responding to his statements, child and adolescent psychiatrist GK Kannan, who practices in Australia, said that the arguments are â€śreally stretchedâ€ť and points to â€śnot high quality researchâ€ť.
He then goes on to describe the concepts of â€śco-relationâ€ť and â€ścausationâ€ť stating that just because two variables correlate, it does not necessarily mean that one is caused by the other.
â€śThere is no biological explanation to it. It does not make medical sense. These sound like superficial theories,â€ť Dr Kannan said adding that this applied in the general sense irrespective of the country.